I think I've spoilt my hens.....Help Please


10 Years
May 1, 2009
Charmhaven - Australia
I have 4 bantam hens, all different breeds but I think I have spoilt them. I feed them scratch every day(which I know now that I shouldn't) and they get all our vege and meat scraps but now they are not eating much of their layer pellets. How can I turn my mistake around and get them interested in eating their pellets again? I tries mixing the pellets with yogurt but they just looked at it. They free range in the backyard all day.
Should I be worried that they are not eating the pellets?

Thier eggs seem fine and taste fine.
If they're free ranging during the day, they may not want pellets. As long as the eggs are comming and the shells are strong enough, consider them doing ok, and just keep the pellets out in small amounts. I look at it this way, I'd much rather eat a fresh salad than boiled spinach.
Umm I'm pretty new to owning chickens and I only have 2 but my only advice would to be just to feed them less "people" food and leave them with their pellets.

As I had read someone else say on the forums:
"Just leave your chickens with their pellets and if they get hungry they always eat any edible source of food."
Something like that...

You may want to try it though.
I can absolutely guarantee that they will return to their pellets if they are hungry enough. I had precisely the same worries when I first got my girls, but once I spent a day at home poorly, simply watching them from the window and not going out there with any treats, I was completely reassured that when they were hungry enough, they went and scoffed those pellets down as if they were gourmet cuisine!

I just had to make them go a day of cold turkey on the treats and see them eating the pellets with my own eyes to know that they wouldn't starve themselves to death!

(If your eggs are fine and the shells are good, they're probably okay in any case, but you'll probably get even more eggs if you can persuade them to eat more of the prepared layer feed.)
Only 2 of my hens are laying so far and I get an egg a day or 2 sometimes. One of the hens eggs are a bit pimply with calcium spots but the shell is still nice and hard.

I haven't given them scratch for 2 days now but they still arn't eating the pellets. There isn't much grass left where they free range(they've eaten most of it).

I don't let them out to free range till about 9am every day and their layer pellets get locked it the coop with them so that in the morning they have full access to them and in the day I move the feeder out into the yard, so they always have pellets on hand.

Maybe if I mix some in with porridge they will eat them because they love porridge...... Does anyone think this may get them eating the pellets again?
Mine just must be pigs...I actually have been calling them that. They run to greet you every time you come and eat almost anything you give them. They don't particularly like broccoli and cauliflower especially the leaves from the plants, but any other leafy stuff will do and is so good for the eggs. They even ate leftover fried fish that we did the other night. Crazy chickens!
I have a large hanging feeder in their coop. I fill it once a week. They do get some kitchen scraps or fresh picked greens from the yard and scratch every day. But somehow they find the room for their layer pellets. So I agree I would cut back on the kitchen scraps and they'll do fine.

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