Hens refusing fermented feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by MichelleT, Mar 25, 2017.

  1. MichelleT

    MichelleT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi all! I've searched the threads, gleaned what I could, and now I'm stuck.
    I began fermenting our feed (organic 20% protein pellets) in the late summer. we have 4 layers, ages unknown, and one in particular was starting to "slow down"... not laying, or laying thin shelled eggs, and moving slower. I was confident we were headed for the end of the road with her. Once I started feeding ff however she improved drastically. She's now our most curious and energetic. In fact, all of them have become moreso, but with Carolina it was the biggest difference.

    When I first began they kindof ate it... I fed it alongside the dry pellets to get them interested, and then transitioned over to only ff. They don't get a lot of treats, but we do feed them kitchen scraps of the uncooked, vegetable variety (lettuce, apple cores, pepper seeds, etc.) On occasion they also receive a handful of BOSS or meal worms, but not daily.

    Then they quit eating it. Just quit. I kept an eye out to see what they were doing instead after I'd bring out the food and they weren't eating it and they would completely ignore it and just scratch. Then complain and complain (hungry, I'm sure). I also saw (YIKES!) a rat helping him/herself to the FF. We took care of that immediately and have no more evidence of rodents. Did they not like sharing their food? Who knows. I researched what could go wrong, dumped out all the FF and started over with a fresh bag of pellets.

    Five days later and I've reintroduced the FF... still no interest. It does look like it was pecked at a little yesterday, but not devoured. They used to clean the bowl and ask for more!

    What on earth is going on? I'm tempted to just leave only FF down there today but I'd hate for them to go hungry if they won't eat it.
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    How old is that bag of feed? I had birds that were starving once on a particular bag of feed. It didn't matter whether I fed it dry or fermented. They simply would not eat it, and yes, they acted like they were starving, and actually started loosing condition. And, the bag was not old, it was fresh. I talked to the feed store manager, they had me return it, and problem was solved.
     
  3. MichelleT

    MichelleT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd wonder, except that they busted through the feed for the first 7/8 of the bag and then started refusing at the last bit. I bought a new bag to start over and they're still not interested. I'll check the date on this bag, but I don't think that's the problem...
     
  4. MichelleT

    MichelleT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 20, 2014
    Denver, CO
    To compound matters, the one that was "miraculously" healed (in my mind) by FF is ailing again... doughy crop and has confined herself to the nesting box, even though she laid an egg earlier today. I am so sure that whatever is her problem is tied to "gut health". And now she won't eat the thing I think is what makes her healthy. And I don't know why!!! Can't figure this out at all!

    I checked the food bag and it is extremely fresh. They won't even touch the FF, although the pellets they are grazing on. I would think if all the feed were bad they wouldn't eat the pellets either.

    I bought some scratch grains and am going to try to ferment those... and I'm adding ACV to their water now.
     
  5. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    The most important thing to the feed mill is to get the chickens' owner to choose the chickens' feed.

    Chickens are notoriously bad at paying their credit card bills so hens and roosters don't tote plastic and make few cash purchases..

    To get to this place the feed mill will usually keep up with and quickly revamp their advertising campaign to reflect what ever the most recent new or great thing is in political correctness. I half way expect the hobby feed mills to start claiming that their feed has baby seal meat in it.

    Oh well anything to turn a buck.

    Just remember that for a flashy new fishing lure to catch bass that it must catch the fancy of the bass fisherman.

    The same thing is true with chicken feed.

    Just saying don't get too caught up in things like feeding cruelty free chicken feed or organic humming bird livers.
     
  6. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Rats will urinate on the chicken feed in order to repel other animals from eating it.

    Rats are flock animals like chickens and like the iceberg that sank the HMS Titanic 90% of icebergs as well as rats are out of sight.

    Of course your hen may be in mother mode.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2017

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