Hens won't eat pellets

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by nlc219, Aug 14, 2016.

  1. nlc219

    nlc219 Just Hatched

    May 23, 2016
    My 8 hens an 1 rooster are free range on 3 acres of my 34 acre property they have decided bugs and grass are their main source of food since i put them on layer pellets since it is time for them to be on layer feed. How can i get them to eat the pellets?
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Not sure, but maybe crushing them a little, till they get the hang of eating them? Adding water to soften them may help, but be sure to put out only sufficient feed for one day, to prevent the feed getting mouldy.

  3. Eric 2016

    Eric 2016 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2016
    I'd enjoy the free food ride!
  4. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2014
    I love the seasons when my flock can get what they need free ranging. It keeps my feed costs down.

    If you truly want them to eat more pellets though, keep them in the coop or run in the morning until they've had a chance to fill up on pellets before giving them access to your property.
  5. Rock Home Isle

    Rock Home Isle Chillin' With My Peeps

    I give my birds a mix of whole grains and pelleted feed, all fed free choice. The also free ranges in the yard.


    In one hopper is just pelleted fed or crumbles, another pan has a mix of processed feed and whole grains, and the last pan is whole grain only. I fill the whole grain pan everyday. And I fill the mixed pan once a week. The processed feed hopper gets filled once every few weeks.



    The birds primary source of food is free ranged. Feed bills are low during spring summer and fall. Once the grass goes dormant over winter, that's when the feeders need more attention.

  6. firestomp

    firestomp Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 28, 2016
    Don't worry, they will eat it. they are "CHOOSING" not to since you free range them. When push comes to shove (cold months or you keep them penned for a few days) they will gladly and hungrily gobble this down as well as anything else you toss them. It is no problem for them to swallow and has less dust than crumble. I have a variety of animals at my place, grind up a special feed for my baby and young quail a 29% protein feed with added goodies. Add to this the dust from the chicken feed, a scoop of rabbit feed, oyster shell, food grade DIO EARTH, some laying pellets, and feed the whole mess to my ducks. They gobble it down, of course the chickens need to try this out as well while the are out in the yard, daily. My chickens will not hardly touch snow by the way. I have a fully covered 4x12 run, leading to their big yard. I could easily fit a 24 foot pool in this area.
    I have seen my chickens pick bones clean I give to my cats to chew on, what the cats can't get at, the chickens do. Nothing is wasted at our place.

    Heck, if I could find a way to grind bones, I would even offer that as well as put it in my compost. In the cooler months, I add blood from the processed rabbits to my compost. I could dig it in in the summer I guess. To dang tired and hot most of the summer though.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2016
    1 person likes this.

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