My hens HATE wheat?

LucyCorbett

In the Brooder
Apr 30, 2019
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12
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1A686CAC-C083-4B2F-BAAE-A323C23664FE.jpeg
Hey,

so basically I’ve had my two hens for just over a year now, I’ve tried multiple mixed corns and in all of them they have hated wheat. I have no clue why but my grass is just covered in wheat as they knock it all out of the bowls and eat everything else! Is there any alternative to wheat as I know it is a large part of their diets?

I’m trying to start making my own feed partially. I’m going to keep buying layers pellets or mash and then add some other seeds etc too. Do I need wheat as well as layers pellets/mash? Also my hens only really eat layers pellets when I add a bit of water, should I buy mash instead?

Thankyou :)

P.s here are some photos of my pretty little hens, storm and nugget (don’t ask about their names, it’s a long story) aswell as a photo of my old girl, Hazel, who sadly passed earlier this year (it was very unexpected, that was my last photo of her, probably around 2 days before she had a prolapse, she looked perfectly healthy. I had asked about some symptoms she had on these forums earlier this year, just for if you were wondering what happened with her: I did take her to the vets and they didn’t give me any info on what was up with her, they said all they could do is give her some antibiotics, got her put down a few months later after coming home from school and most of her insides were out of her, we couldn’t help her in any other way)
 

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SueT

Crossing the Road
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May 27, 2015
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The layer pellets have all they need. Adding other items dilutes the nutrition they need.
Many people, including me, find their chickens prefer crumbles to pellets so it might be worth a try. Also, if they aren't eating it make sure your feed is fresh. Each bag has a mill date on it. Feed is perishable and chickens will balk at old feed.
 
Last edited:
Sep 2, 2018
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Commercial poultry feed is mostly made from soy-beans for the protein-part and corn for the carbo-hydrates plus (hopefully) other ingredients to cover the nutritious needs of the birds, with additional calcium added to layer-pellets/crumbles.
Where do you buy your grain? If it isn't explicitly for animal/humon consumption, it might be bated…
You could try another grain, like oats, rye, or barley.
And birds have their own taste! When my ducks were young they loved cracked corn and they got plenty of it through their first winter to keep'em warm overnight. Nowadays, if i offer them a scratch-mix, they eat all but the corn.
 

LucyCorbett

In the Brooder
Apr 30, 2019
19
12
29
The layer pellets have all they need. Adding other items dilutes the nutrition they need.
Many people, including me, find their chickens prefer crumbles to pellets so it might be worth a try. Also, if they aren't eating it make sure your feed is fresh. Each bag has a mill date on it. Feed is perishable and chickens will balk at old feed.
ah right, thankyou, I’ll probably just get them some kind of layers feed (probably crumbles) and add some extra stuff as a treat for them then.

Thankyou again :)
 

LucyCorbett

In the Brooder
Apr 30, 2019
19
12
29
Commercial poultry feed is mostly made from soy-beans for the protein-part and corn for the carbo-hydrates plus (hopefully) other ingredients to cover the nutritious needs of the birds, with additional calcium added to layer-pellets/crumbles.
Where do you buy your grain? If it isn't explicitly for animal/humon consumption, it might be bated…
You could try another grain, like oats, rye, or barley.
And birds have their own taste! When my ducks were young they loved cracked corn and they got plenty of it through their first winter to keep'em warm overnight. Nowadays, if i offer them a scratch-mix, they eat all but the corn.
I’ve tried quite a few different commercial mixed corns and they always leave the wheat, I guess they are just not fans. I know they really like their oats though, I’m always giving them some warm porridge over the winter.

thankyou :)
 

LucyCorbett

In the Brooder
Apr 30, 2019
19
12
29
Oatmeal can be quite bad for chickens. They don’t need any treats. Just a formulated feed. If you want to give them treats, try feeder insects, greens, fruit, veg. Treats can upset the affect that formulated feeds have. You may want to read this https://the-chicken-chick.com/the-shocking-effect-of-oatmeal/
Oh I didn’t know this. I give them some porridge maybe once every week or two when it’s really cold as a little treat and to keep them a bit warmer. Is this okay or do you recommend no porridge at all? Also does that means oats, by themselves aren’t okay?

thankyou :)
 

Cryss

Free Ranging
Nov 12, 2017
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ah right, thankyou, I’ll probably just get them some kind of layers feed (probably crumbles) and add some extra stuff as a treat for them then.

Thankyou again :)
If you ever add pullets to your little flock that are young and haven't started laying don't feed layer feed. Only ones that lay eggs need the calcium that is in layer feed. It can be damaging to them. Much better to feed the whole flock Flock Raiser type and leave oyster shell in a separate container for them to eat at will. Non layers won't be interested in the shell but layers will be craving it. Calcium is needed to produce egg shells.
 
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