Feeding Question

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by marie_martin, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. marie_martin

    marie_martin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2007
    Grenada, MS
    I have a hen and a roo (OEGB's) and have a question about what they eat. When I got them, the lady just gave me corn that was in small pieces to give to them. But I went to the feed store and told them what I had and they suggested I get laying pellets and that the roo could eat that too. Well, I mix a little corn in with it just to get rid of it but they don't really seem to like the pellets. Maybe they are to big or something. The just scratch them out of the feeder onto the ground and leave them there to get wet and fall apart. I mean they do pick the ground so maybe they are eating some of it, but I can't say how much. Anyone else have that problem? Should I try something else? I do give them apple peels and cores and banana pieces and whatever we have at the time. So they are eating well and she is laying. Any suggestions??

    Thanks.
     
  2. Barnyard Dawg

    Barnyard Dawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 7, 2007
    Northern California
    We feed our chickens steamed rice with some layer pellets and DE mixed into it. They also get green leafy vegetables, free-range on grass, bugs, worms; they love blackberries, watermelon, figs, tomatoes, sunflower seeds and pine nuts.
     
  3. marie_martin

    marie_martin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2007
    Grenada, MS
    Mine are not free range but are in a chicken tractor and I am moving it every couple of days so they can get fresh grass. I also have been giving a few Black Oil Sunflower Seeds as a treat here and there and like I said I throw in whatever fresh veggie or friut I have on hand too. I have not tried tomatoes, I thought I read that they are not good for them?? I have given them apple and grapes and bananas. I have also given them baby carrots and brocolli but they did not eat the brocolli. I know not to give potatoes. And I assume citrus would not be good either? I just could not figure out why they were not eating the layer pellets. But maybe they like them soft?? Mixed with rice probably softens them up. I may have to try it. Thanks.

    Marie
     
  4. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

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    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    Perhaps if they were never fed them by their previous owner, they simply don't know that the layer pellets are 'good' to eat. In that case, it will just take time and patience, and you continuing to offer the pellets. You could try giving them nothing but the pellets. When they get hungry and have no other option, they would have to eat them, wouldn't they? I think they're being picky and are just preferring the cracked corn (which is much tastier than plain old pellets) over what they 'should' be eating. Think of it like putting a plate with broccoli and a cupcake in front of a human child. Which do you think they'll eat? If you offer only broccoli, eventually they'll get hungry enough to try it. [​IMG]
     
  5. marie_martin

    marie_martin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2007
    Grenada, MS
    You have an excellent point. Do any of you use treats to get them to come to you? I have heard some say that they use scratch or something like that to get the chickens to come to you, like if you are putting them up at night. How do you start? I want to sort of make sure they will not fly off and not come back so that maybe some day I can let them out of the coop to free range in the goat pens. Thanks.

    Marie
     
  6. Henrietta

    Henrietta Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2007
    I bought scratch (they love it) and I give them the leafy stuff, tomatoes, pumpkin, etc.

    I have a feeder in my coop but noticed on the forum that someone said they feed their chickens each morning. If you are going to do that....how much to you feed per chicken? I think maybe I would lose less feed that way.
     
  7. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Our birds like the layer crumbles better than the pellets. Mostly the pellet type feed gets wasted. Can you switch to layer crumbles? We keep the feeder full 24/7 but keep it in the hen house.

    To train your flock to come back to the hen house at night. First lock them up in there for a couple of weeks, don't let them out. After that time, keep all feeders in the hen house. At dusk, they should start making their way back to the hen house. If not, try throwing a little scratch or oats down while calling them. After they realize you have treats, they'll follow you to get more. Don't give them more until they are in the hen house.

    We can get our birds to follow us anywhere on our two acres IF we have some plain fat-free yogurt w/active cultures to which we have added crushed garlic. They will eat it off a spoon and follow us straight to the hen house.

    I started saying "I have treats" when we moved our flock to the hen house. Now, if I have a container in my hand (it could be layer feed with crushed garlic or chopped carrots) and say "I have treats" they come running.

    My hubby always keeps a piece of fruit or veggies leftover from lunch. When he pulls in the gate after work, a couple of the birds immediately run to wait for him by the back door of the house because they know he has treats and that is where he hands them out.

    Just be consistent and in no time those birds of yours will do the same. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2007
  8. GoDogGo

    GoDogGo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2007
    I also feed layer crumbles. I also feed scratch mixed in with the crumbles to get a good dark yellow yolk. With the crumbles by themselves the yolks just aren't as rich looking.
    My girls also free range around the hogs and horses. I live on 40 acres so they have lots of room.
    They always come back to the roost/coop at night since that is where they were raised. I have a feeder inside the coop ( it is a large space ) and I also feed by tossing some feed out around the coop in the mornings just because it excites the girls and I enjoy watching them come running for it.
     
  9. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Quote:GoDogGo -

    Research has proven that eggs from flocks raised on pasture contained only about half as much cholesterol, were up to twice as rich in vitamin E, and were two to six times richer in beta carotene (a form of vitamin A) as commercial eggs.

    That's the reason why your yolks are so orange or dark yellow - not the corn or scratch.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2007
  10. marie_martin

    marie_martin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2007
    Grenada, MS
    Thanks for all the suggestions. I will check to see if I can get the layer crumbles. If not, maybe I can crush the pellets for now, until I can find some crumbles? Thanks so much for your suggestions. I have some eggs coming to go in the new incubator, so maybe I will be on here asking questions about new baby chicks in a few weeks!

    Marie
     

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