help, chickens are ceasing to eat 'chicken feed'

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by eeiko321, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. eeiko321

    eeiko321 Songster

    Sep 1, 2008
    hi guys, im starting to realise my chickens are starting to stop eating 'chicken feed' & starving...

    but they respond when i give them cabbage, lettuce, CORN & live worms......
    they love the ones i mentioned........

    maybe ive been giving them too much treats all too often
    thier main dietry feed is boring to them now????

  2. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    LOL..i'm no expert here..but..i bet they wont starve themselves(unless they are really sick)..they will eat the chicken feed if they are hungry..
  3. iajewel

    iajewel Songster

    Oct 22, 2008
    Corning IA
    Chickens aren't like dogs. You can't buy them one kind of food and expect them to be healthy on it, or like it for years. They need variaty. Thats what makes them such great foragers. In my own coop I have cracked corn and a protine mix year round. They choose whitch they want. In the summer they range. In winter I do everything from bake them bread, to find guys that are butchering deer for the organs and even get bags of dehydrated veggies(then re-hydrate) for thier winter greens. They also get Alfalpha. They don't always eat from thier feeder. I would say 26 birds are eatting less then 1/4 a large coffee can of feed from that feeder a day. They aren't starving, they are eatting, they are just choosing a balanced diet.

    It sounds to me with all the other stuff you are feeding that your birds are doing the same. Its ok..If you cut back on the treats they will go back to the feed. Your doing just fine Im sure. You are offering a balaced diet and not a thing wrong with that.

    Like the other poster said, they will eat when they are hungry.
  4. flakey chick

    flakey chick Songster

    May 3, 2007
    Let me state the obvious, and you may have already done this but in case you haven't....

    Take their feeder, stick your nose up in there and smell it. Get someone else to smell it too. If it smells musty or off, ditch it and get them a fresh batch.
  5. epona4

    epona4 Songster

    Oct 14, 2008
    Central Indiana

    Do you free choice cracked corn? Does it go in a feeder like the protein mix?


  6. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    I used to call mine "chicken snobs" - they held out for the kitchen scraps.

    At the time, we had 8 people living here, so that was a lot of leftovers! I would save all the kitchen scraps and take it down every evening to my 4 hens. They always acted like they were starving even though they had a full feeder that never seemed to empty. I realized they were holding out for the people food.

    Later, I added more chickens to their pen and the leftovers don't go as far, so they had to start eating their chicken food more regularly.

    Maybe yours are holding out for all those yummy treats.
  7. iajewel

    iajewel Songster

    Oct 22, 2008
    Corning IA
    I have some cracked corn in the feeder with the protine yes. However I scatter handfulls of it around the pen twice a day. Chickens are not stationary feeders and prefer to walk, scratch, and be mobile. I will also give them some green diamond dog food on occation in the winter. In the winter I get very creative where as in the summer they don't need me as much. My birds are on dirt, if yours are not on a bedding, you may want to try just tossing some feed out there. They love it when things fall down to the ground. They like to come see what it is. They like to scratch and eat.. Who knows may make a diffrance.
  8. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I give my girls treats in the mornings because I work the graveyard shift. When they see me drive up in the mornings they run to the fence and start making noises to remind me that they are there and it is treat time. They have their feed and water in their coops available to them 24 hrs a day. They will eat it.
  9. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    Chickens aren't like dogs. You can't buy them one kind of food and expect them to be healthy on it, or like it for years.

    Why do you expect your dog to be any different? Some dogs are pigs and would eat as much of anything they could get but that doesn't mean they wouldn't prefer variety. It's often suggested to rotate your dogs food or at least the flavor of food your using every 6months. I know my picky akita will go nuts for a new dog food for about 2months and then gets bored of it.

    In my experience my chicken and quail are both pickier than most dogs and more in to routine. Once mine find something they like they absolutely hate a change in their feed. They refuse to eat it except to avoid starving for weeks. I've found it better to stick with the same feed and just provide a variety of treats and next year they'll get to free range.

    When provided with edible food very few animals will actually starve themselves to the point of health problems. Cats and my dog are 2 of the few exceptions. Animals like chickens that are used to eating constant small meals are even less likely to starve themselves. If you haven't changed feed (including bags of feed) I'd just cut back the treats a little and see if they eat more. They may just be filling up on treats. If you provide healthy treats that isn't always a bad thing. If you changed feed you may have to wait it out until they are used to it or there may be something wrong with the bag you got.​

  10. jbanducci1

    jbanducci1 Hatching

    Oct 15, 2008
    My Hens (6 of them) are now almost 5 mos old and a couple of them have started laying darling little eggs. They are on a laying formula and I mixed some scratch in the same feeder. Is this OK? Or should I feed the scatch in a different feeder? Could I throw it out on the dirt? Do I need to feed them anything else since they are starting to lay...thanks for any advice!
    In Idaho

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