I think I spoiled my chickens!!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by leasmom, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. leasmom

    leasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2008
    Okay, I give them snack several times a day and I think they've stopped eating their feed and just wait for me to come out several times a day, checking on them in the garage and bringing them whole wheat bread-(right now because of my budget, I give them this daily), lettuce/cabbage-(on occasion), peanut butter sandwiches-(like 3 times a week), bird seed-(mixed with their feed already and as an extra treat), and I fix them dinner at night which is leftover's mixed with their feed.

    My eggs are small, they're not as rich in color, despite putting their feed in the center so they can all reach it and providing oyster shell...

    How do I unspoil my chickens?
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2009
  2. jab91864

    jab91864 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2007
    Northern Michigan
    I add alfalfa pellets to my feed to help with the rich coloring in the winter when they are unable to free range on plants and bugs. I try to give layer along with game bird pellets, corn, oats, some scratch. I also give them scrambled eggs for protein and they get other left overs....fruits, veggies, noodles, rice, potatoes etc..

    Bread adds weight but not much nutritional value in my opinion and I only give it once in a blue moon.

    They're diet varies depending on the season...cold weather I give more carbs than I do the rest of the year. But budget plays a big part on what they get to. I try to keep to a good local milled layer and the gamebird pellets and work around that for add ons.

    Julie [​IMG]
  3. joanc

    joanc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2007
    Shafer, MN
    When you stop bringing them treats/snacks, they'll find their own food. Your egg production/size may get better too.

    I give my chickies treats, usually fruits and veggies, raisins and occasionally cooked noodles. I've noticed when I give them too many treats their feeder stays full. When this happens I just cut back on the treats until they are eating their food. When they get hungry enough they'll seek out their own food.

    If you can't help yourself giving them treats (I know it's a hard thing to stop [​IMG]) just cut back as much as you can.

    Good luck.
  4. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    Uh, I can't really tell you how to un-spoil, but I can second the motion re. cutting back on treaties until the feeder starts showing some action. Dark leafy greens are a great way to make those yolks nice and dark.

    I have to go hand-feed my chickens now. My tiny masters are waiting. . .
  5. leasmom

    leasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2008
    It is a hard thing to do. I do the same thing to my cat, he even gets a whole hotdog to himself. I'm about to order 25 more so I can't afford to giving so many treats to my 7 plus the new 25, so it would be easier on me financially to stop giving them so many treats...I've got to learn to control myself...

    What about their dinner with the scraps? Would that be okay?
  6. jab91864

    jab91864 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2007
    Northern Michigan
    Chickens always look hungry. When the flock sees me they come running... fat chick brings food. Didn't take them long to learn that...lol.

    Force yourself to cut back on the treats and don't look at their little faces. They need to eat their feed first...

    Julie [​IMG]
    greggooo likes this.
  7. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Here's what I do: set a scale beside the feed.

    The feeder is carried out of the coop and weighed. If the hens have eaten their 1/4 pound each, they get "treats" - of course, since they are 7 pound Australorp/BR's, they've always eaten their 1/4 pound of feed [​IMG].

    How much in the way of treats they get depends on how much feed they are eating. With all the cold weather, they are getting lots of treats but they are each still eating that 1/4 pound of commercial formula every day.

    Since there are so many hours of darkness right now, a lot of the hen's day is spent in the lighted coop. So, treats are part of my "entertainment package" [​IMG]. They will have some treat while I'm filling their feeder. Then I'll be back with something else - maybe a couple of times thru the evening.

    Morning, they are on their own with the feeder. I don't really like to be tossing stuff in the coop when they are busy with laying. Laying may continue into the evening but usually they are all finished by sundown. Then the "staff" begins to show up with the goodies [​IMG].

    edited to change numbers to fractions
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2009
  8. lovemychix

    lovemychix Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 14, 2008
    Moulton Iowa
    My chickens are the same way. They look forward to their scratch grains or anything else I have in the scrap bowl. It's almost dangerous out there!! [​IMG] Dessert before dinner. Don't tell my kids!
  9. jforsness

    jforsness Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I find that giving them days off of the treats makes their feed soooooo enticing. They get hungry, they'll eat [​IMG]
  10. WriterofWords

    WriterofWords Has Fainting Chickens

    Dec 25, 2007
    Chaparral, New Mexico
    If you want to see spoiled chickens and ducks watch my yard after lunch. My UPS man has started ordering extra fries at lunch and he goes straight to my house, parks out front and hand feeds the little beggars!The Fed Ex guy is terrified of the ducks, he had a delivery for me last week and got there while the UPS guy was feeding them so he gave my package to him and the UPS driver delivered my FEd Ex to the porch!

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