I Give Up--they Win!!!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Baymule, Dec 11, 2010.

  1. Baymule

    Baymule Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2010
    Northeast Texas
    I happily spent every Saturday for 2 months last summer building my coop. I lurked here for several months learning all about the process of creating a safe happy environment for those egg laying wonders-the chicken. Easttxchick kindly held me 2 SLW hens until their new home was completed. My DH and I were excited to go get them. The girls promptly rewarded us by laying the very next day and continued until molting and short winter days made the rounds. I have learned so much on this forum and I want to thank each and every one of you for the vast knowlege contained here. Thank You, Thank you.

    Stella and Lola are very spoiled hens. I hold the greens I pick out of the garden for them to eat. When daylight savings time changed, it was dark when I got home, so I put their greens in the coop in the mornings before I left for work. That's not quite good enough. The girls refused to eat them without me holding their greens. My DH laughed at me. [​IMG] They also scatter the layer crumbles out of the feeder. They waste a lot of feed for only 2 persnickety hens. So I figured I would switch to layer pellets. Well, I didn't figure on Stella and Lola. They flat out refused to eat the pellets. I mixed pellets with crumbles. Nope. Not having it. I took crumbles away and fed only pellets. Nope. They would starve to death first. I even beat the pellets with my aluminum meat tenderizer on the kitchen counter, causing my DH to startle awake from his nap exclaiming, "What the _ ell?" I offered them smashed pellets as a transition feed and they turned up their hungry beaks at it. [​IMG] Sigh........ So back to crumbles it is. Stella and Lola happily scatter their crumbles even though I hang their feeder so they can't get their big feet in it, they twist their little birdy heads as they eat, sending a shower of crumbles to the ground where it is not now fit to eat. They win. I also come home at lunch, picking lettuce, cabbage, or broccoli greens and go sit in the coop with them and hold their greens for them to eat. They win. (I win too, caues it is so nice to spend time with them, LOL) Does anyone else have hens that will NOT eat pellets? I am buffaloed and getting pushed around by 2 hens, chickens rule. THEY WIN!!
  2. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    How many days in a row did you leave the mixed pellets and crumbles? They font lie change too wel, but I bet they come aroud when tgey are hungry enough.
  3. VA Susan

    VA Susan Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 2, 2010
    You could try mixing the crumbles and or pellets with hot water to see if they will eat them that way. There is less waste that way, if they'll eat it. Your hens might be eating less because they're molting. Our hens ate very little while they were molting. They didn't feel well or do much scratching around even though they are free range. We tried higher protein feed but they would not eat it and we tried another brand of layer pellets. Nothing worked. We gave them some scratch finally which they love to try to get them fattened back up. They have finally started eating more of their pellets again and their feathers are now pretty again. We're starting to get a couple eggs now.
  4. Baymule

    Baymule Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2010
    Northeast Texas
    I mixed the crumbles and pellets well before they started molting and left it in front of them for weeks. They just ate around the pellets. I measured out the pellets only and they absolutely refused to eat them. Needless to say, I didn't let them go but a few days with nothing to eat. I threw in the towel-they win. Crumbles it is. [​IMG]
  5. PepsNick

    PepsNick Back to Business

    May 9, 2010
    Egglanta, GA
    Agreed with all of the above. They'll have to eat it sometime.
  6. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    Mine ate the pellets, but not like the go after the crumbles. Took forever to go through a 50 lb bag & I think they actually wasted more of that looking for their crumbles...
    Yeah, they won that battle, but as long as I'm getting eggs, I'm a happy farmer!
  7. ND

    ND Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2010
    My birds don't like pellets, either. I don't mind feeding them crumbles, but hated the waste...so I made feeders that they waste very little from. [​IMG]

    Get a 5 gallon bucket with lid. (about $3-4 around here if you buy new)
    Get a galvanized hog pan that has like 4" tall sides... like *THIS*- http://www.amazon.com/Behrens-2168-Gallon-Galvanized-Utility/dp/B000BOB7RU
    I've seen them at TSC for closer to $10, or around $5 at Atwoods in our area. Make sure it's a DEEP one, with 4" sides... not a shallower pan.

    Drill about 4 large holes very near (or right at) the bottom of the sides of the bucket...around it... about 1.5" in diameter (or so, too small and even the crumbles want to get clogged) You want these holes to not come up more than 2" from the bottom of the hog pan when the bucket is set in the pan.
    Drill a small hole (small bolt size) in the bottom center of the bucket and hog pan and, obviously, attach them together with a bolt/washers. Drill a very small hole in the lid somewhere just to prevent a vacuum from being created that'll hinder easy flow of feed.

    Fill the bucket. [​IMG] Mine holds about 25 lbs of feed...and I hang it to prevent scratching. Reinforce the handle attachments or drill small holes and run rope thru them to hang IF the bucket handles are weak so you prevent it from breaking/dropping on birds...it's HEAVY filled with feed. Might be a good idea to do just as a 'back up' in case the handle attachment gives way. Some buckets are better built/reinforced around the handles than others...

    The DEEP hog pan will fill about half way with feed. You'll still have about a 2" lip of the pan above the feed. There is plenty of room for the birds to eat, but it's deep and narrow enough around the bucket that they can't easily scoop it out or scratch it out. There's VERY little waste from my feeders. I had used a different, shallower pan with smaller bucket holes on one of my feeders initially, and there was ALWAYS waste that was drug out with their beaks/heads. Since putting the hog pan on that one, too... nothing gets out of those!
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2010
  8. abhaya

    abhaya Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2010
    cookeville, tn
    guess I am lucky my gals are piggies they eat what ever they can get their beaks on.
  9. dreamcatcherarabians

    dreamcatcherarabians Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2010
    Quote:Isn't it the most astonishing feeling to get bullied by a 4 lb chicken? [​IMG] Mine don't like the pellets either. Amazing enough though, they will eat the stars that the cat food comes in! I have gone from 36 lbs of cat food in 2 weeks for way too many barn cats to .......... 102 lbs this past 2 weeks because the chickens like it....DOI! And they still eat their crumbles right up, and any treats I care to give them. What really blows my mind is that the CATS tolerate the chickens at the food bowls with them. So these birds have me bullied into buying $60 worth of cat food every 2 weeks plus their crumbles at only 10.95 for a 50 lb bag....Can't believe I'm such a sucker! [​IMG]

    So, no question about who is training who here!
  10. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    You could use a potato chip bag clamp or or even tie your greens then hang them for the girls to pick at during the day. The kids at this house like to feed the hens but then tire quickly and throw the greens down and the hens wont touch em. It was tiring trying to have them stop picking the seeded lettuce and such so the chickens could just eat it themselves as it grows. Nope, the girls pulled all the greens and piled it up for the chickens...."Did'nt we do a good job?" sigh...

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