Help! They won't eat their new layer pellets!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Peppermint, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. Peppermint

    Peppermint Chillin' With My Peeps

    It's been one week since the pellets have been in their feeder. I did slowly add them in...they totally picked around them until the old feed was gone (mash). They are on hunger strike! One of them has started doing a mini-molt, empty crops at night, egg production is down...how long will they keep this up! I went in the coop last night to check crops and they were all gobbling up wood chips [​IMG]

    They are 6 months old, free range 2-4 hours per day. I want to switch to the pellets because the little piggies were picking through eating all the grains and seeds and leaving the dusty stuff alone.

    Words of wisdom appreciated [​IMG]
     
  2. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Double post - sorry.

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    Last edited: Dec 16, 2010
  3. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe there is a problem with the pellets. There have been several posts lately about layer pellets causing problems. https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=428225

    How about just using crumble? My girls don't eat the pellets yet, and I'm almost out of the crumble. I think I'll but another bag of crumble and throw in the towel. I want them eating and healthy.

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  4. Peppermint

    Peppermint Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hmmm. I haven't seen layer crumbles specifically. Thanks for the suggestion! Now off to research organic layer crumbles [​IMG]
     
  5. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The crumble I got wasn't organic. It isn't specifically layer crumble either. My crumble was Purina Flock Raiser and it was 20% protein. It is 5% calcium, but I also have a bowl of oyster shell available. I'm going back to it when I run out of the little bit that is left because they liked it. They just aren't eating the pellets.

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  6. Steak and Eggs Farm

    Steak and Eggs Farm Out Of The Brooder

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    Stick with the pellets. If you can get your girls to eat them you will like them more from a quality perspective. When I buy crumbles the bottom 1-3 inches are dust most of the time. My girls don't like the dust and that seems wasteful. If you think your pullets aren't eating the pellets because of the size take some and make smaller with a hammer. They'll get used to the texture and taste that way. I had that issue a few years back with cat food.
     
  7. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I like the hammer idea. I'll try it on the next feeder full.

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  8. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Quote:What exactly were you feeding them and what did you switch to? If it's all the organic mixes, I can't help you, it's not available here. But are you feeding scratch grains to start? It sounds like it, which will make it take a lot longer for them to adjust.
     
  9. Peppermint

    Peppermint Chillin' With My Peeps

    I originally had them on a great product available here locally (www.scratchandpeck.com) that is soy free, and all organic: field peas, BOSS, grains, fish meal, and lots of powdery minerals. But like I said, they just pick through and eat their favorite pieces, and leave the calcium, fish meal and minerals at the bottom. I want them to get complete nutrition.

    Thank you for the suggestion about breaking it up a bit for them to get used to first. I will try that, and if that doesn't work...I'll search out the crumbles.
     
  10. LeezyBeezy

    LeezyBeezy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I got two hens this summer from a friend, and they were on pellets. Then got some chicks, whcih were on crumbles. When I intergrated the flock, the adults just gobbled up the crumbles. They completely stopped eating pellets. I bought the layer crumbles, which they all loved. After one bag, I switched them back to pellets with no problem. WHO KNOWS why, silly hens. But mine refused for awhile too.
     

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