my chickens refuse to eat anything but their own food

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by the simple life, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. the simple life

    the simple life Chillin' With My Peeps

    Its been very hot here and I have been trying to keep the pullets cool. I have offered them watermelon and other veggies and they will never eat any of it. I let them free range in the yard from about 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m
    I have heard that chickens love all kinds of fresh veggies etc. but mine have never touched it, even from the time they were chicks.
    I also added some electrolytes to their waterer and then they refused to go near it all day.
    They are finally accepting it today.
    Is it strange that they won't eat anything besides their starter food?I have heard so much about everyone's chickens going nuts for treats.
    Today is the first time I have even seen them trying to eat the greenery around the yard. I mean when the girls are hungry they go back into the hen house to eat and then come back out and roam around.
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    How old are your pullets? More than a few days old and I wouldn't be adding electrolytes to their water, no matter the temp. What they need is fresh clean water. Mine acted scared of treats, at first. Once they figured out that the treat wasn't going to eat them the braver ones finally pecked, liked what they tasted, and went back for more. Cold watermelon is one of their favorites and a good way for them to cool down. Have you tried chopped, hard boiled egg?
    Besides treats, I place gallon jugs filled with water and frozen in their pen. I have a fan that blows across the jugs, but some of the chicks like to lay right up against the jugs.
     
  3. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    That's NOT a bad thing, Natalie...you'll never find yourself being carjacked to Mcd's to get fries at beak point...
    Penny had never had treats until she came her and it took her a long time to realize that they were okay to have.

    You can put ice cubes in the water and a fan in the window...
     
  4. the simple life

    the simple life Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes, very true spotted crow:lau. It would save me money on fast food and the gas to get there.
    They are 6 weeks almost 7 weeks old. I do have a waterer with fresh water as well as the other one. I have filled up several water bottles and froze them and then laid them in the coop and in the yard where they like to hang out. They avoid them like the plague. They won't eat eggs either. They have the sense to lay in the shade though when they aren't tromping through the yard. Why can't they have the electolytes? I read that it was what you should do and when I went to the feed store they told me that as well. It was 100 degrees here yesterday and they were panting so it was making me nervous. Will it hurt them and how old should they be before you give it to them? Thanks.
     
  5. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    They should be okay with the electrolytes at their age with the heat and humidity...
     
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Natalie, I'm not an expert and there may be others who will chime in and tell you electrolytes are fine. My concern was that you were offering only water w/electrolytes and your chicks being afraid of it were doing without. Chickens pant when they get hot, just like dogs. They also eat less. If they get really hot they may even spread their wings to release some body heat held in by the wings. I think you are doing the best you can for your chicks and I wouldn't worry about them not liking treats. Treats are really more for us than for them anyhow. Since you've already tried the watermelon and egg without success, the only other treat I can suggest is millet. Buy some strands of it in the pet bird section at the store and break some of the seed pods off the stem. Drop a few of these pods in with their feed and see if they don't decide to try em. Or while they are outside roaming lay a strand or two of the millet where they will find it. One peck and they'll love it, I'm sure.
     
  7. the simple life

    the simple life Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks, I will try that. I should have mentioned that I have two waterers to begin with. I think thats why they just avoided the one that had the electolytes in it because it either looked or tasted different and just went for the other one. I left both out again today and I noticed a couple go over to that one and the others still used the plain waterer.
    I use two so that I can have them in two locations.
    Today was only like 85 so they weren't as uncomfortable as yesterday.
    As veggies are only for our benefit and not theirs I won't worry about it as much. Thanks for the advice. I will try the millet next time I head to the feedstore.
     
  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:Veggies are good for them, no doubt. But there are plenty of chickens that get a good quality feed, never see a veggie in their life, and do just fine.
     
  9. chcknrs

    chcknrs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Try starting with mealworms, they'll go nuts! After you do that a couple of times, they'll start to try whatever you have to give them. Spaghetti noodles look a lot like worms, so those work well as a second thing to try. Once they get used to you giving them treats, they'll try most everything! Mine love gravy now!
     
  10. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:Funny you should mention that. Mine won't eat any treat that gets on the outside of their beaks as they are trying to eat it. The day I tried banana, they all ran to me and wiped their beaks on my jeans. I swear it was like having two year old human babies again. [​IMG]
     

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