Help! Advice please, my girls are not eating

Brenda Jones

Songster
Sep 9, 2020
111
125
113
Upper Eastern Peninsula of Michigan
My 4 Sapphire Gems(12 weeks old) stopped eating their fermented food... so I left it dry, they won't eat that either. I have mixed in mealworms ( in both wet and dry) and they pick out the mealworms and only eat those. I have tried black sunflower seeds and smaller seeds, grinding up their normal food, mixing in warm milk, cooking split peas ( also feeding them raw). I made an herbal treat block that they devoured. We are getting down into the teens at night and only low 30's during the day. They are going to bed with very tiny (hard) crops. They are used to foraging throughout the day, so I wasn't too worried if they didn't eat a lot of their food, but now the ground is covered in snow and they don't want to come out of their covered run area. ( I am using "scratch & peck" organic soy free feed, organic cracked corn, split green peas... treats grubblies, mealworms, black sunflower seeds (wild birdseed mix) ...free choice grit (which they are also not eating) I don't want to just give them treats. Please advise. Thank you
 

Mrs Howey

Songster
Jun 22, 2017
74
70
116
Have you tried to put the fermented feed through a blender to make it more of a mash? See if they will maybe eat it that way. I also agree to steer away from the treats to encourage the chickens to eat their regular feed.
 

Brenda Jones

Songster
Sep 9, 2020
111
125
113
Upper Eastern Peninsula of Michigan
Are you feeding an actual ration? I would stop all the extra stuff an offer free choice a good dry ration and see how they do.
Thank you oldhenlikesdogs, I have tried their normal ration dry and it basically sat there for 2 days and they wouldn't eat it. They sort of pecked at it when I dumped it onto the ground, but mostly just scratched it around
 

Brenda Jones

Songster
Sep 9, 2020
111
125
113
Upper Eastern Peninsula of Michigan
Have you tried to put the fermented feed through a blender to make it more of a mash? See if they will maybe eat it that way. I also agree to steer away from the treats to encourage the chickens to eat their regular feed.
Thank you Mrs. Howey, I have not tried to put their fermented food through a blender. I dumped the last ferment, afraid it was tasting bad to them, and started a new batch. I will try putting it through the blender.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Meandering through the garden
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
49,416
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Wisconsin
Thank you oldhenlikesdogs, I have tried their normal ration dry and it basically sat there for 2 days and they wouldn't eat it. They sort of pecked at it when I dumped it onto the ground, but mostly just scratched it around
Are they less active? Mine are currently eating less because they aren't ranging as much. My feed consumption rises and falls throughout the season. Also maybe yours are done growing for the most part at their age and they are eating less.
 

RojoMarz

Songster
May 21, 2020
787
1,357
221
Southern CO...at 8600 ft
If you stop feeding all the other stuff and leave the ration out for them...I would think they will eat when they get hungry enough. What is their normal ration food? I don't see any listed in what you've said you feed them.

My girls like crumbles mixed with enough water to make it a very thick oatmeal or paste consistency. They think it's a treat.
 

Brenda Jones

Songster
Sep 9, 2020
111
125
113
Upper Eastern Peninsula of Michigan
Are they less active? Mine are currently eating less because they aren't ranging as much. My feed consumption rises and falls throughout the season. Also maybe yours are done growing for the most part at their age and they are eating less.
I will check them for impacted crop in the morning, but yes they are not doing much since the snowfall. they either lay on the ground in the straw or up on the roost. They are not going outside the run even though I put straw on top of the snow for them to walk a path
 

Brenda Jones

Songster
Sep 9, 2020
111
125
113
Upper Eastern Peninsula of Michigan
If you stop feeding all the other stuff and leave the ration out for them...I would think they will eat when they get hungry enough. What is their normal ration food? I don't see any listed in what you've said you feed them.

My girls like crumbles mixed with enough water to make it a very thick oatmeal or paste consistency. They think it's a treat.
"Scratch & Peck" is the name brand of feed that I use it is a whole grain organic, soy free food.
 

kerbotx

Crowing
5 Years
Aug 29, 2016
481
1,030
251
Northeast Texas
I agree with the above, try cutting out everything but their feed, try a wet mash (may have to play with the water content to find their preferred consistency,) and maybe be prepared to try a different feed altogether. Did you recently switch from starter to grower? Sometimes they resist change.
 

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