How to switch from mash to pellets

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Chick2chicken, May 6, 2017.

  1. Chick2chicken

    Chick2chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    101
    11
    56
    Mar 19, 2017
    Hi,
    when I first got the chickens I was told to get them mash not pellets... Now I'm going to the feed store soon and I noticed that the pellets that they have have more protein than the mash. Should I get the pellets? The chickens have never had pellets before, would there be a problem if I switched the mash to pellets suddenly?
    thanks
    -chick2chicken
     
  2. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

    852
    308
    126
    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    They'll probably be a little confused for a few days but should switch over without too much fuss.

    I went from grower mash to layer pellets. Conventional wisdom says to mix a little of the old with the new to help them swap over, but mine billed out all the pellets and only ate the mash when I did that, so I gave them only pellets until they were used to eating it. I now feed them some mash (fermented) along with pellets and they eat both without fuss.
     
  3. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    20,855
    4,085
    421
    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    The basic ingredients in all feeds are pretty much the same, so switch from mash to pellet won't cause any digestive upset. However, chickens HATE change of any kind. They might not even touch the pellets for a few days. Be persistent and wait them out. Don't give them anything else until they are eating the new feed. They won't starve themselves.
     
  4. Chick2chicken

    Chick2chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    101
    11
    56
    Mar 19, 2017
    So I just change the mash to pellets when the mash runs out and they will eat it eventually?
     
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    20,855
    4,085
    421
    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    Yep. They will eventually eat the new feed once they get hungry enough.
     
  6. ILuvMyFlock

    ILuvMyFlock Chillin' With My Peeps

    204
    17
    51
    May 2, 2017
    On the Farm
    I have never ever fed any of mine pellets, I doubt any of mine would even touch it, even my rabbits won't touch pellets. So just be warned they may not like it at all.
     
  7. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,228
    680
    201
    Jul 26, 2016
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    I mixed crumbles with pellets 50/50 in the feeder and tossed pellets with scratch grains on dry ground and they gobbled it up. Of course I tossed scratch on the ground as a treat before switching to pellets. So if you don't it may not work. I tossed scratch grains as a treat starting at eight weeks and started to switch to pellets at sixteen weeks over a two week period. That's what worked for me. GC
     
  8. LULUjane

    LULUjane New Egg

    1
    0
    3
    Apr 29, 2017
    Ohio
    NEWBIE help...please... I am feeding my 3 golden comets crumbles...trying to switch to pellets...but I have a chicken with a severe underbite beak deformity...I have been adding some water to the mash to make it like chunky sand..and she eats it vigorously. Otherwise, she looks lost and unable to eat. The other 2 are normal pecking eaters.
    I have tried putting the food in raised bowls, bungee cording them to the coop, ect...but, they always flip the bowls everywhere.
    Am I spoiling them, helping the deformed pullet, or just so new to all this, that I am not doing something right?.
    I considered making a food trough, I thought this might be another option.
     
  9. ILuvMyFlock

    ILuvMyFlock Chillin' With My Peeps

    204
    17
    51
    May 2, 2017
    On the Farm
    They make feeders that can be placed on the side of things, they're automatic perhaps that could work? you could also look into making a pvc pipe automatic feeder. As for the underbite, I am no expert but I would suggest keeping her well hydrated and mixing the food with the water, I would continue giving her mash - not the pellets. I would recommend keeping her separate during feeding just to insure that she is able to eat her food properly.
     
  10. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,183
    258
    211
    Jul 18, 2013
    Pennsylvania
    [​IMG] It depends on how bad the problem is. I have a hen with a scissor beak and she is fine, eats and stays with the flocks and lays beautiful eggs. She's never had any extra care. I do think birds with an off bite do learn to scoop the food with their lower beak rather than peck at it It may be easier for her to eat wet food, but it might not be necessary.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by