I can't get my chickens to eat fruits and veggies...

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by JenergyLA, Jan 14, 2015.

  1. JenergyLA

    JenergyLA New Egg

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    Jan 14, 2015
    These are my first chickens and argh...I feel like I'm dealing with petulant toddlers here!

    I have two-month old pullets and no matter what I try, I cannot get them to eat anything other than grain, meal worms and crickets.

    I've tried mashing, hanging, tearing...kale, lettuce, apples, watermelon. They won't even eat the chicken treats I buy at the feed store. Yogurt? No way... Beans? Fat chance. I've even tried actual potted plants. Still no dice.

    I want them to have a well-rounded diet (I'm really looking forward to delicious eggs, high in omega-3s), but they just don't see these other things as food. I've tried (very lightly) withholding their feed, but the good stuff still sits, undisturbed, in the corner of their coop/run.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2015
  2. ThePRfan

    ThePRfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your birds are young,it may be a problem.

    My chickens,don't care too much,and they were introduce to it at just a few days.Maybe try ranch on your veggies.

    My birds love watermelon!Surprise to even hear such thing,if they don't like these there's not much else.
    Yogurt shouldn't be used.Your birds don't need sugar,of any type!Any sweets are bad too.
     
  3. ThePRfan

    ThePRfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also,welcome to BYC!
    Were all here to help!
     
  4. matt44644

    matt44644 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
     
  5. JenergyLA

    JenergyLA New Egg

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    Jan 14, 2015
    Thanks for the reply! Yeah - honestly, the watermelon wasn't very sweet... I'll try ripe summertime watermelon and see if that works better.

    At what age do chickens generally start eating a more varied diet?
     
  6. ThePRfan

    ThePRfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Around sexually matured age.
    Right now,its just all fun and games....
     
  7. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    At 2 months old there primary diet should be there regular chicken feed (starter or starter grower), all other stuff (treats) should not make up more than 15% of there diet.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2015
  8. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi,[​IMG] They are toddlers! Your chicks are far too young for those treats! What they need is high protein starter/grower feed. Idk what grain you are feeding but the reason they are eating the meal worms and crickets is because that's where the protein is. The fruit and veggies are no help and could really stunt their growth. Never withhold proper feed, you'll end up with weak, unhealthy, unthrifty birds prone to disease. When they reach 22 to 24 weeks change their feed to layer ration. After that, you can safely introduce small amounts of fruits and veggies.
    Best wishes to you and your hens![​IMG]
     
  9. ThePRfan

    ThePRfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wish I knew that before.....
     
  10. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    To the OP (Original Poster)...Chris09 knows his stuff about nutrition. And it makes sense...all of the 2 month old chicks we've had so far had little other interest than their feed. It wasn't until they were perhaps 4-6 months old that I recall them having interest in other foods like the ones you mention.

    And if you start thinking, "Well that doesn't make sense, it doesn't seem natural...they wouldn't have this fancy formulated chicken feed in the wild..." then know that the modern day chickens are anything but natural. They're the product of generations of careful and selective breeding...breeding controlled by humans, breeding that would never likely occur if left to the chickens' own natural inclination. For example, many modern breeds have had the mothering instinct (the instinct for a hen to sit on a clutch of eggs to hatch them into chicks) bred out of them. Why? Because a broody hen (one sitting on the eggs) lays no eggs and often will not do so for weeks. A hen eating food but not producing any eggs is considered less desirable by many.
     
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