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Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by The Phantom, Mar 8, 2017.
For a couple of months now my hens have refused to eat layer crumbles. What is a good food for them?
What *are* they eating - are the foraging on a large area they free range in, are they eating lots of vegetable/food scraps, are they eating scratch grain? What is their current body condition? Are they producing as expected for their breed(s) or are you seeing more/less production than should be expected?
If you don't provide any other feed they will eat it. Chickens will not starve themselves so if you stay diligent they will switch to the new feed. Being creatures of habit any change can be a challenge from change in location, coop, feed, etc. Don't provide treats or scraps until they make the change of feed. Then provide other options in rationed amounts.
They are eating oats,corn,and black oil sunflower seeds. They are skinny. They are not laying as much. What is a good brand of food? I have been feeding them Sprout Layer feed. I will try only giving them the crumbles. Thankyou
I kind of expected to hear that. ....yes, cut out all the stuff and give only layer, or even a grower/all flock feed (sometimes more palatable), just be sure to put out oyster shell to make up the calcium....the extra protein in the grower feed can help recondition them. Another thing to try is using soaked feed/mash or fermented feed, both are more palatable to most birds.
I feed the Sprout Layer Crumbles also, which happens to be the only Layer feed available at a reasonable price. I could get an organic crumble, but the cost is nearly triple. My chickens will not eat the All Flock pellets - except for One Spoiled girl, she loves her some chicken feed in any form - even preferring it to any other treats. They will not eat the crumbles if it is wet or fermented. I prefer the crumbles to pellets because they seem to waste a lot more with the pellets.
They definitely prefer the cracked corn, oats and sunflower seed treats that I throw in the run to keep them occupied when they cannot free-range. I prefer to mix cracked corn, oats and BOSS instead of buying scratch grains because (1) it is cheaper this way and (2) scratch grains contain soybean oil and I am trying to avoid soy in my diet. I have also been giving them some sprouted popcorn and wheat lately. Just extra stuff from the pantry that is getting old and needs to be used up. Maybe a cup per day of treat for 12 chickens to dig out of the hay.
Maybe toss a little of the scratch with the feed - very little, like maybe a tablespoon of scratch to 2 cups of crumble. The scratch will get them to start eating, and once started my chickens tend to keep at it until full.
That said, I would like to find a better quality of feed. If I don't supplement with "treats" the egg yolks are pretty pale and a couple of my chickens seem to get a little thin. ( I have 3 different "breeds" of chickens).
And watch the bags of Sprout feed, I have gotten a couple that were moldy. I am now the strange lady that sniffs the bag of feed before buying. Not meaning to blame Sprout, it could happen to any feed with shipping, handling, storage in the warehouse, a lot of reasons/ways a bag of feed may get damp and mold.
In fact, the latest bag that I dumped into the bin was a little clumpy on the bottom of the bag - my fault, the sealed bag was stored on the shelf next to the bin and water from melting snow dripped on it for a day. Not moldy, but clumpy so the birds are getting picky, but I made sure to feed the damp clumpy stuff first so it wouldn't mold.
That seems to be the problem with any animal not eating, treats !!
They can eat only so many calories in a day so if you feed them " a handful" of high calorie treats they don't have room for what their bodies need .
I feed the real food in the morning, if it's gone in the afternoon/evening they get a handful of treats
We have a dog boarding kennel , one dog who " wouldn't eat" dog food was getting pizza at home ..... go figure the kibble wasn't appealing
Ok Thankyou all for your feedback.