Hens won't eat pellets - what to do?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Pequena Bandada, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. Pequena Bandada

    Pequena Bandada Small Flock

    Jun 13, 2010
    We ran out of layer crumbles yesterday so I opened the new bag of Nutrena layer pellets and put them out about an hour before chicken bedtime.

    It looks like my four hens want nothing to do with the pellets. This morning they rushed me when I came to open the coop and were almost ready to eat my sandals but totally ignored the feeder. Is this normal? Will they hold out for crumbles? Or cave and eat the pellets in a few hours? Help! I don't want to starve them, but I don't have an easy way to switch back to crumbles (our feed store no longer carries them).
  2. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    They will eventually eat them. It just isn't what they are used to. One of them will get hungry enough and the others will follow.
  3. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Try putting them in a plastic dish and wetting them. Then you can gradually cut back on the amount of water you add until they're eating dry pellets. You can also add some goodies to the dish to interest them, some cracked or canned corn, grated apple, etc. I prefer using pellets, there's less waste when it gets spilled to the floor.
    1 person likes this.
  4. twentynine

    twentynine Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 14, 2009
    When they get hungry enough they will eat them.

    They ain't no way a chicken is going to starve itself to death when a feed pellet is right in front of it.
  5. AnnainMD

    AnnainMD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2010
    Eldersburg, MD
    Quote:So true! I did a complete switch to pellets, got a little worried as the girls seemed to rush me as well. I threw in half a handful of the old crumbles into the base of the feeder. I ALSO hand fed them a few pieces of the pellets as I would their treats and watched them eat it so I KNEW that they would eat them. Then I just got over it and figured if they were hungry, they would eat. That was 2 weeks ago and I've had to fill the feeder 2x already. Excellent.
  6. cambriagardener

    cambriagardener Chillin' With My Peeps

    Try grinding up some of the pellets to mix in. Once they get used to them they will love them as they can get more at once. Also, you should notice that less feed is waisted. Chickens are not know as picky eaters. Don't worry, they won't starve themselves! Good luck! [​IMG]
  7. spoggy

    spoggy d'Anver d'Nut

    Aug 19, 2008
    Carlisle Township
    Quote:Be prepared for them to go off laying. (It's possible). It's like changing a dog's food cold turkey. Chickens may get a little loose in the "poo" department as well.
  8. tnchickenut

    tnchickenut It's all about the Dels!

    Jan 24, 2010
    Englewood, TN
    I had the same problem not too long ago. They never did take to it (I gave it 2 days, though) so I drove for two counties to get a bag of crumbles.... I mixed up two scoops of crumbles and then one of pellets until the bag of pelletswas gone. I'll never try it again. They were miserable. I don't blame them at all... it looks too big for bantams especially.
  9. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    They'll eat it when they get hungry. All my birds cold turkey eat pellets as soon as they are kicked out of the growing area. This includes the silkies, but they aren't particularly small banties vs other types.
  10. ImagineON

    ImagineON New Egg

    Mar 3, 2013
    Great Idea, Thanks!

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