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My 3 hens leave behind a portion of their feed....

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Kneiley1, Mar 1, 2015.

  1. Kneiley1

    Kneiley1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 5, 2014
    Hey!
    Just wondering if anyone would have any idea why my girls (3) are leaving behind the pellet portion of their food. They are 26 or so weeks and are laying regularly (1-3 per day). They get to free range from 1 hour to 4 or 5 hours in a day. I figure its just not their favorite part… Seems like quite a waste though…Any insight would be appreciated!
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    When you say "the pellet portion" - what is the rest of the feed that they did eat? If you are mixing layer pellets with other feeds (ie scratch or treat) it is likely that the other feed is simply more attractive to them - or if you are mixing it with crumble it may be that they prefer the texture of the crumble over pellet.
     
  3. Kneiley1

    Kneiley1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nothing added, just the layer mix. It looks like corn and other grains and this pellet looking item they leave behind.
     
  4. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Can you post a photo of the bag or a brand name? Most "layer rations" that I am familiar with are pretty uniform in that they are all pellet or all crumble. The mixed grains are the problem - those are more tempting to your birds (sort of like a bunch of healthy food mixed in with french fries or other junk food would be if presented to a kid) and they are going to fill up on those and leave the most nutritionally dense portion, the pellets. It sounds like your feed is a layer pellet that is coming pre-mixed with "scratch grains". In theory, scratch or other treat foods should comprise no more than 10% of the birds' total diet and, ime, are best fed separately when fed at all. The nutrition offered by the portions they are eating is not sufficient to support optimal health and production.
    Soaking the feed may be a way to encourage more uniform consumption.
     
  5. Kneiley1

    Kneiley1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Its made by Mule City Speciality Feed and its their layer ration
     
  6. tomjoad

    tomjoad Out Of The Brooder

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    Agree w Grey Mare. It is like offering carrots and candy at the same time.
     
  7. Kneiley1

    Kneiley1 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a sand run where their feed is so I could sift it out and put it back in the hanging feeder until they eat it. Would a trough feeder be better than a hanging feeder? Less likely to peck it off onto the ground? Thanks for your comments!
     
  8. PapaChaz

    PapaChaz Overrun With Chickens

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    sounds like when I pick all the m&m's out of the trail mix first.............. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  9. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Another reason not to simply toss the feed onto the ground is you don't know how much feed your chickens are consuming.

    I employ the fermented feed method, and I know exactly how much my chickens eat each day. This tells me they're either normal and healthy and getting the nutrients they need, or if they are eating less for some reason and someone is ill perhaps, requiring further looking into.

    But I suppose if you only care enough about your flock to throw their food on the ground, walking away and maybe hoping for the best, you're not thinking much about whether or not they are eating enough to maintain their health and well being.
     
  10. Kneiley1

    Kneiley1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Harsh man! I didnt say I was throwing their food on the ground! I have a hanger! They are spitting it out or pecking it out. I was saying I did NOT like the idea of sifting it and throwing it back in! I was asking if the trough method would keep more of it in...?
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015

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