My 13 week old araucanas hate chick starter/grower - now what?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Arcane Araucana, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. Arcane Araucana

    Arcane Araucana In the Brooder

    Jun 14, 2010
    Fort Mohave
    I'm new at this so bear with me. I've got 4 13 week old araucanas (2 roos/2 pullets). They've been on starter/grower since hatching. At around 2 weeks I started giving them trimings from my garden (spinach, beets, lettuce, arugula, egg plant) plus cabbage, carrot shavings, celery, broccoli, cantalope, watermelon in addition to having the starter available 24/7. It's now running between 110 and 117 degrees everyday in the desert. I give them fresh crumbles every morning at about 5 am, and then a big bowl of fresh chopped veggies. Their run is on sand so I put out some fresh clumps of hay about every three days or so. Between the time I give them the crumbles and the veggies, they go play in the run and then come running to the coop when they see me bringing the veggies, which they wolf down like they are starving. They peck around for a while and then between 9 and 10 I bring out the frozen water bottles and make an "ice fort" under the coop. They hang out under the coop all day. They've got plenty of fresh cold water in the coop and under the coop right next to the ice fort. I didn't think they were eating enough so I started putting a bowl of crumbles out in the run in the shade next to the ice fort. They don't have any interest in that. Around noon I being them some nice cold melon, which they devour and then go back into the fort. My husband said to try to fill them up in the morning before the unbearable heat sets in. I did bring them some cold cottage cheese one afternoon and I noticed leter that two of them had clear runny goo coming out of their mouths when they put their heads down. That stopped, but now I'm not feeding them after noon while it is this hot. At 7 I bring fresh crumbles but they turn their noses up at that after eating a few bites. I'm having better luck when I add some white or brown rice or cooked or raw oatmeal. But they just don't want to eat the crumbles. By 8 they're all up on the roosts. Should I leave a light on at night so they can come down and eat? The nights have been in the 90s but most nights there is a little breeze and the coop is well ventilated. I'm concerned that they are not putting on weight like they were before. I am giving them polyvisol with the veggies in the morning. I'm thinking about making my own feed so they have more interest in eating some thing more nutritious, Or air conditioning the coop, Or getting a misting fan to blow on the run, I over worrying this?
  2. grandparooster

    grandparooster In the Brooder

    Jun 15, 2010
    Montague, Michigan
    i would recommend that you get a light, preferably a florescent. Second, that clear runny goo is pukey/water and you must have upset it or it is stressed and thats why is is pucking. Nice idea about that ice fort. If you make a large or larger ice fort, you can place the food in the ice fort. also you can try to place their food and water next to eachother, or even make a mash out of it with cold water to entice them. Good Luck!
  3. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Songster

    Oct 16, 2009
    Everything eats less in very hot weather as it does not need the calories to keep warm, so expect them to want less food in the summer.Your chicks will probably only be interested in water and very fleshy watery foods in the heat of the day. Give their main food early and late.

    I have often only used a bit of chick starter/crumb with my chicks and then gone on to feed poultry corn, bread and margarine, fresh veg., mealworm snacks etc (mine do free range though). To date they have all grown fast and have made healthy adult birds.

    I would not leave them with lights on at night (as they do in battery farms) as they are diurnal and need to sleep during dark hours.

    Their weight gain will accelerate when the weather gets a bit cooler. if they do not gain weight then they may need worming,

    Good luck,

  4. LeezyBeezy

    LeezyBeezy Songster

    Mar 13, 2010
    Lancaster PA
    Maybe some one who lives in such a hot climate can chime in... I wonder if thery're filling up on goodies too much- but it's so darned hot where you live, that sounds like a very good idea too!! I would agree that they heat may decrease their desire to eat crumbles. Mine do that too. Do you think they aren't thriving? If they're scarfing up the greens and fruit, sounds like they're doing OK. Good luck and keep us posted.
  5. Arcane Araucana

    Arcane Araucana In the Brooder

    Jun 14, 2010
    Fort Mohave
    Quote:Yes, I worry that they may not be getting the proper nutrition since they are scarfing up the greens and fruit and not the crumbles. It has been so unbelievably HOT this past week (and continues through the coming weekend), even the dog is not interested in eating or going outside! I guess I'll keep feeding them in the mornings and later at night whatever they'll eat - even if they get so spoiled they won't ever eat crumbles again. Maybe I should bump up their vitamins? I'm checking on them constantly and replacing frozen bottles as they melt. They are panting a lot but other than that they seem to be okay.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by