Layer pellet problem?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jessica117, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. jessica117

    jessica117 Songster

    Apr 23, 2008
    SE Tennessee
    I had been feeding my hens a combo of wild game scratch, oyster shells, boiled eggs, and everything else they find while they free-range from dawn till dusk. I have fed them layer pellets in the past, before I had a surplus of eggs to feed them and they acted just fine. I decided about a month ago to give it another go-round so I could possibly sell some of my eggs to my friends and neighbors.

    I took about a week to transition them between feeds. When I finally got them on the layer pellets they started acting like crack fiends. You couldn't walk into the yard without them literally attacking you for food. Even after feeding, they would follow you literally everywhere, jumping up to peck your hands all the way. Their crops seemed quite full but they still wanted more. They refused to free range at all. I honestly think they would have gone through the entire 50# bag in 2 or 3 days had I let them (I only have 8 laying hens and a goose!) They even stopped laying for about 2 weeks, I mean everybody, including goosie. I have since went back to their previous diet and they have all returned to normal. They still rush to see me when I walk out the door, but after they figure out that I don't have food they go back to their dust baths or whatever.

    Did I just get a bad batch of layer pellets or what? The whole situation just had me a bit flabbergasted.

  2. MS9325

    MS9325 Songster

    Oct 20, 2007
    It sounds like they really like those layer pellets, must taste like candy.
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Boy, that does sound mighty odd! My birds just nibble pellets when they have to.
  4. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    * I've posted a couple times on my worries about layena pellets, too. Chook just doesn't seem to be satisfied with them alone!! She acts famished, and she feels 'bony' to me on them exclusively. I think there's not quite enuf fat or protien or fiber or SOMETHING. [​IMG][​IMG]
  5. jessica117

    jessica117 Songster

    Apr 23, 2008
    SE Tennessee
    Thanks for all the replies!

    I didn't think that this was normal behavior but I guess I just wanted to hear it from somebody else. [​IMG]

    There are 2 co-ops in my area. Every time I shop at the one, I say I'll never go there again (poor quality feed, bugs in feed, etc.), but always end up going back because it's convenient. Incidentally, that is where the questionable pellets came from. Hopefully I've finally learned my lesson and won't go back.

    I may try again in the next few months, but only from the other co-op.
  6. hooligan

    hooligan Songster

    Aug 20, 2007
    What kind of pellets were you feeding and what percentage protein ?
    Mine love to scratch in the dirt, eat worms and other goodies and occassionally go and eat their pellets when they can't find anything else more interesting [​IMG] I feed mine Purina Layena and they love it, but love the other 'natural' stuff more [​IMG] Well except when I cook for them lol
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2008
  7. jessica117

    jessica117 Songster

    Apr 23, 2008
    SE Tennessee
    The pellets were just a "standard" co-op brand layer pellet. They only carry one kind. I don't have the bag anymore but 18% is what is coming to mind. Don't know for sure though.

    That's what really got me worried, they usually love to dig around and find the "good" stuff, but with the pellets they refused to go look for anything.
  8. MaransGuy

    MaransGuy Songster

    Oct 25, 2007
    Greenfield, MA
    It may not have been a lack of protein as much a lack of carbs. Layer pellets are not as carb rich as the scratch will be and the birds may have been craving that instead. It would be kind of like starting on the atkins diet after living off of bread and pasta for the past year, or at least a little like that. Pellets are still based on corn so still have carbs, but not as much. My birds free range and are fed breeder pellets. They get some scratch in the morning and some in the evening. They like the scratch, however, they go absolutely berzerk over bread. I tell you, they will LITERALLY drop whatever they are doing and FLY across the yard when they see a piece of bread. [​IMG] They step on each other, stumble over each other and fight like starving dogs on a bone over the littlest crumb. Evidently, refined carbs are like crack to them! It is really useful when I am trying to round them up or get them off my neighbors yard (where they give them cookies![​IMG])


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