I don't think my chickens are eating their layer pellets.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Jody, Nov 14, 2009.

  1. Jody

    Jody Songster

    Nov 8, 2009
    Epping, NH
    I use layena layer pellets in a hanging 7lb feeder. I know these birds know what the feeder is for as the person whom sold them to me has a hanging feeder in her coop. I don't think it's the height as they should be more than capable of knowing food is there and getting it when they want, but to me it does not look like they've been eating it. I filled it half way on the day I set up their coop and here it is several days later and it looks the same.. Figuring 1/4lb per bird per day for 3 birds, shouldn't it be empty by now?

    Anything I ever sprinkled around the run they ate.. today I gave them scratch and they gobbled it up like they were starving.

    How can I be certain they're eating their layer pellets? I'd rather they use the feeder than pecking for it on the ground as I don't want food wasted, nor becoming bad for consumption by being on the ground with droppings, shavings, mud, dirt, etc

    I have never seen them drinking from the waterer either.. Can't tell really if they're getting their water, but I never seen them using it.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2009

  2. My chickens prefer Flock Raiser vs pellets. So my bag is going to take a long long time before its empty.

    Do your chickens free range? It could be that they are getting enough nutrition from pecking around.
    How much treats do you give them daily? Maybe if you don't give them as much, they'll eat more from the feeder.
    You could also use the pellets as treats or mix them into your other treats. Sometimes that works.
  3. Jody

    Jody Songster

    Nov 8, 2009
    Epping, NH
    Well, for treats today they got a few handfuls of scratch. Yesterday they got half a can of mixed veggies and a couple handfuls of sunflower kernels. The day before they got half a banana, 3/4 a raw carrot and 2 slices of bread... and before that, about 1/4 an apple, some cheerios and bread [​IMG]

    It's been 6 days since I filled up the feeder.. roughly 3lbs of food for 3 birds.. How much pellets should they be eating? I guessed around 1/4lb per day

    Tomorrow they're gonna have a nice warm breakfast made of oatmeal, yogurt, & mashed up layer pellets with a little bit of garlic
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2009
  4. l'abeille

    l'abeille Songster

    Oct 16, 2009
    Berkeley, CA
    I'm having the exact same situation with my 5 month old pullets I got last week. I swear they haven't touched anything in the feeder although they will gobble up scratch and greens and bugs and worms. I tried throwing pellets into their run like scratch and then they ate it, but I also don't want to feed them like that. Finally today I moved the feeder out into their run (I never see them go into the coop during the day). They chowed down on pellets! Maybe they just like to dine al fresco. I'm hoping now they have figured out that pellets from the feeder are delicious, they will be wiling to go into the coop to eat them (they will need to go in there to lay, too, right?). I don't want to keep the feeder outside in the rain and attract vermin at night. Let me know what happens with yours.

  5. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Mine prefer crumble... sometimes I smash up my pellets for the picky ones.
  6. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Sometimes mine will go for days without touching the pellets. Other days they empty the bowl daily.

    Imp- guess they have cravings too
  7. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Songster

    Feb 6, 2009
    I found myself nodding "yeah, that sounds good" as you described the treats that you feed. No problemo. Oh, except I have THIRTY chickens to your 3.

    I think you should ease off the treats for awhile. Maybe throw out pellets as the "treat."

  8. ella

    ella Songster

    If you're worried they're not getting enough food you can check. Feel their crops after they go to bed, they should be pretty full. If they're really little, like the size of a golf ball, they're not getting enough. Otherwise they're eating and not telling you about it. [​IMG]
  9. hcammack

    hcammack Crowing

    Oct 5, 2007
    Mine are going through tons of layena pellets its getting rediculouse time to downsize.


  10. CarolynPerth

    CarolynPerth In the Brooder

    Nov 14, 2009
    My 6 girls were already grown when I got them and the seller said they ate pellets. I tried three different brands and they wouldn't eat them.

    I probably spoil them but here is what I do. I put the pellets in water for 15 minutes and they break up into crumble then I mix in the crushed hen egg shells that we save and a blended up mix of whatever scraps I know they won't eat whole such as potato peelings.

    They get the rest of the scraps such as lettuce leaves, breakfast cereal and stale bread as treats in the areas I want them to scratch over (my girls are gardeners too).

    Sometimes I even cook up spaghetti as "worms" and rake it into the garden beds I want want worked on [​IMG]

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