My chickens suddenly aren't eating their pellets or crumbles

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Pressman, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. Pressman

    Pressman Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2014
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    Hello BYC!
    I need help! All of a sudden my Golden Laced Wyandottes will not eat their pellets or crumbles from the feeders. They were doing great, even though it is now four degrees here in Idaho, and now when they need to eat the most, they're not! They will eat the crumbles from my hand and go after it like they are starving, but they won't eat from the feeders. I have straw down in their 10x20 outdoor run, pine shaving in their coop, lots of feed and water but the last three days I come home and it doesn't look like they have touched the feeders. Any ideas?
     
  2. Barn Maid Ann

    Barn Maid Ann Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just ideas: Is the food frozen? Is it loose and free flowing?
    Do you have metal feeders? Perhaps their combs and wattles have gotten stuck (if wet), or burned from the cold.
     
  3. Toddrick

    Toddrick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are the feeders metal? Maybe they touched the metal with their combs or wattles while eating, and found it very unpleasant. I wonder if a plastic feeder would help.
     
  4. Pressman

    Pressman Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2014
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    Thanks for the ideas. I have plastic feeders, foods never been wet, everything is free flowing, nothing frozen. I'm really stumped. Guess I'll see if the feed store has a different type feeder and see if that makes a difference. I sat and hand fed them tonight until they seemed to have enough and then threw out a little scratch for them just before they went to bed. Supposed to be minus 2 tonight. Before their crops were bulging before they went to bed so now I am worried they aren't getting enough to keep them warm.
     
  5. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Perhaps first just try putting a cheap plastic dish with feed in it first to see if they'll eat from that before buying any new feeders. What kind of feeder are you using and/or do you have a pic of it?
     
  6. Pressman

    Pressman Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2014
    East-Central Idaho
    Well, I don't have a photo tonight. They are just the standard feeders you get at a feed store. One is a long plastic tray with a plastic cover that has elongated round holes on both sides of it. The others are plastic bottles that you turn upside down on a plastic dish with a cover that has round holes in it. The same exact feeders they've been eating out of for six months. I mixed just a small amount of scratch with the crumbles this morning and when I came home tonight both crumble feeders were empty, but they still hadn't touched the pellets in the long tray.
     
  7. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Perhaps the pellets are like swallowing tiny ice cubes? Whereas the crumbles, being tinier, don't take quite as long to warm up once swallowed. I take it that the crumbles and pellets are the exact same feed? If not, perhaps there is something about the pellet formula that they're not liking in this cold.
     
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    My birds had a bag of food that they simply refused to eat. It looked fine, smelled fine, but they wouldn't touch it, no matter if I fed it dry or wet. They were starving. This was last winter. I replaced the bag of feed, bought Multi-flock to give a nutritional boost, and they immediately started eating it. I'm guessing there's something wrong with that particular feed. Try an other brand, check the date on it.
     
  9. Pressman

    Pressman Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2014
    East-Central Idaho
    Thanks BYC! I love this forum! That's a great idea, but we are talking about the same feed they've been eating since September and
    they are half way through this particular bag. Last two nights I've come home and they have eaten the crumbles but not very many
    pellets. And their crops were full tonight, that made me feel better, especially since we just got four and a half inches of snow.
    You should have seen their expressions when they came out of the coop this morning:) I think I will get another bag of feed, just in
    case and thanks for the tip on the Multiflock feed to build them up.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    How old are you birds? That sounds like a chick feeder, maybe too small for them?
     

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