my ladies are being fussy eaters!!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by fluffycucky, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. fluffycucky

    fluffycucky Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 9, 2012
    Wondered if any other chickens are fussy, i have offered them vegetables they look and walk off!! is this just because they have never been given before,
    im also trying to get richer egg yolks as they are rather pale at the moment and thought greens would enrich them.

    they love to eat worms and spend all day stratching around the garden and love the handfuls of corn i throw them for a treat, but trying to get them to eat something healthy is proving more difficult.

    anyone have any tips please.

    very happy chicken lady tracey. .lol xx
  2. mickey328

    mickey328 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2012
    Northern Colorado
    They definitely have their likes and dislikes. Try offering a variety of things. For example, mine do not like carrots in any way, shape or form; they also won't eat strawberries. You might also try confining them to their run and hold back on the food/corn (just for a while...don't want to starve them!) A bit of hunger might well spur them to try some of the things you offer. Plus, if they have nothing else to do, they may investigate further rather than just sticking with worms and corn since they're familiar with it. If you can, try spinach, kale or chard. Ours are fond of all 3 and all the green stuff will pump up those yolks. If you have dandelions, pull some and offer them...ours are sort of weird...they love dandelion leaves if I pull them and put them in their run, but ignore them when they're still in the ground. You could also try chopping some greens and mixing them in with yogurt or cottage cheese.
  3. fluffycucky

    fluffycucky Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 9, 2012
    thanks some great tips there, i have found they love a bit of toast of mouldy bread. just trial and error i guess,
    i had a lot of left overs from a sunday roast but they turned their beaks up at it!! the dog got it as usual lol xxx

    ill let you know how it goes
    wet wet wet here today!!! punk chickens lol
  4. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    They should have loved the Sunday roast and the strawberries as well. Often they will shy away from a new food, apparently because they are so afraid of anything new. When I introduced watermelon they ran away at first -- but later that day they had eaten it down to the dark green. I've read many stories similar to my experience with watermelon. Offer very small pieces at first and give them time.
  5. mickey328

    mickey328 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2012
    Northern Colorado
    That's been similar to my experience, flockwatcher. They didn't get much in the way of "treats" where they lived before we got them...basically just food and scratch, so pretty much everything we give them was "new" and they were wary. I throw all kinds of stuff in there for them and just watch to see what they like and what they don't. I've tried strawberries several times because most folks say their girls go crazy for them but they just get stepped on and squished into the ground. They peck at 'em...and then just leave 'em lay. They're crazy for any kind of meat tho! I had one strip of roast that wouldn't fit into my canning jars so I cut it into worm sized pieces and lordy, was the "Chicken 500" in their run!
  6. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    I wouldn't give them anything moldy. Sounds like your giving them scratch first. I'd quit the scratch & give them some greens like mustards, kale, something of this nature. Just throw it in there run they will eventually eat it. Once, you get one to try it they will all follow the lead. I only feed mine scratch on cold nights to fill them up for the cold night ahead. I give it to them right before they go on the roost. You just gotta keep at it they will eventually take the bait. its like fishing you gotta keep throwing it out there.
    Mine were finiky but now eat everything I give them. Guess, they learn to trust what I give them.
    Anything, that comes from my hands they don't hesitate & eat it there's know waiting & staring at the treat they attack it. It takes time but they learn who you are. I'm the feed guy to them. They see me & come running looking for a hand out.
  7. Skwishface

    Skwishface Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 6, 2012
    Mine have always been great about eating veggies, bread, meat, whatever. But recently I switched their regular feed from the cornmeal-like stuff to pellets and they're refusing to eat. They peck at the pellets, then seem to decide the stuff can't possibly be food and don't eat it.

    Any tips for how to get them to eat the pellets? Or should I just wait them out and know that they'll get hungry enough, eventually, to eat the new feed?

  8. mickey328

    mickey328 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2012
    Northern Colorado
    We changed from mash to pellets too. We started mixing it just before we ran out of the last of the mash and they seem to have gotten the idea..they freely eat it all. You could try breaking some of the pellets up and scattering them...they might well eat it if they scratch for it. And if there's nothing else, they'll likely figure it out ;)
  9. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    Food Treat Chart From the BYC


    General Opinions

    Raw and applesauce

    Apple seeds contain cyanide, but not in sufficient quantities to kill.


    Raw or cooked

    Okay to feed, but not a favorite.

    Without the peel

    High in potassium, a good treat.

    Well-cooked only, never dry

    Also, green beans.

    Greens also.


    All kinds

    A treat, especially strawberries.

    All kinds - good use for stale bread or rolls

    Feed starches in moderation.
    Broccoli & Cauliflower


    Tuck into a suet cage and they will pick at it all day.
    Cabbage & Brussels Sprouts

    Whole head -

    Hang a whole cabbage from their coop ceiling in winter so they have something to play with and greens to eat.

    Raw and cooked

    They like carrot foliage too.
    Cat food * (see bottom of page)

    Wet and dry

    Feed in strict moderation, perhaps only during molting * (see bottom of page)

    Cheerios, etc.

    Avoid highly sugared cereal such as Cocopuffs, etc.

    Including cottage cheese

    Feed in moderation, fatty but a good source of protein and calcium
    Cooked Chicken


    They may like it and it won’t kill them, but it just seems so wrong.

    On cob and canned, raw and cooked

    Crickets (alive)

    Can be bought at bait or pet-supply stores.

    Great treat – provides protein and it’s fun to watch the chickens catch them.

    Let mature for yummy seeds and flesh.

    Hard cooked and scrambled are a good source of protein, and a favorite treat.

    Feed cooked eggs only because you don’t want your chickens to start eating their own raw eggs.


    Fish / Seafood

    Cooked only.


    Make sure they haven't been treated with pesticides, such as florist flowers might be.

    Marigolds, nasturtiums, pansies, etc.

    Pears, peaches, cherries, apples


    Bulgur, flax, Niger, wheat berries, etc.


    Seedless only.
    For chicks, cutting them in half makes it easier for them to swallow.

    Great fun - the cause of many entertaining "chicken keep-a-way" games.



    Only feed your chickens that which is still considered edible by humans, don't feed anything spoiled, moldy, oily, salty or unidentifiable.

    Lettuce / Kale

    Any leafy greens, spinach collards, chickweed included.

    A big treat, depending on how much other greenery they have access to.
    (see photo after the chart)

    Available at pet supply stores or on the internet, although shipping is expensive!

    A huge (!) favorite treat, probably the most foolproof treat on the books.
    Meat scraps of any kind.

    Not too fatty.

    In moderation, a good source of protein

    Cantaloupe, etc.

    Both seeds and flesh are good chicken treats.

    Raw or cooked

    Cooked is nutritionally better.
    Pasta / Macaroni

    Cooked spaghetti, etc.

    A favorite treat, fun to watch them eat it, but not much nutrition.

    Peas and pea tendrils and flowers

    Peppers (bell)




    Seeds are a big treat.

    Popped, no butter, no salt.

    Potatoes / Sweet Potatoes/Yams

    Cooked only - avoid green parts of peels!

    Starchy, not much nutrition
    Pumpkins / Winter Squash

    Raw or cooked

    Both seeds and flesh are a nutritious treat.



    Cooked only

    Pilaf mixes are okay too, plain white rice has little nutrition.

    Scratch is cracked corn with grains (such as wheat, oats and rye) mixed in.

    Scratch is a treat for cold weather, not a complete feed. Toss it on the ground and let them scratch for it for something to do.

    Wheat and oat sprouts are great!

    Good for greens in mid-winter.
    Summer Squash

    Yellow squash and zucchini

    Yellow squash not a huge favorite, but okay to feed.
    Sunflower Seeds

    Sunflower seeds with the shell still on is fine to feed, as well as with the shell off.

    A good treat, helps hens lay eggs and grow healthy feathers.

    Raw and cooked.



    Not a huge favorite

    Served cold, it can keep chickens cool and hydrated during hot summers.

    Seeds and flesh are both okay to feed.

    Plain or flavored

    A big favorite and good for their digestive systems. Plain is better.
    The most favorite chicken treat of all – mealworms

    Best of Luck
  10. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    If you are trying to darken the yolk up you need to add more B Carotene to there diet.
    Here are a few things that you can try that should darken up your egg yolks.

    Red Lettuce -- 1031.0 (mg/kg)
    Green Lettuce -- 901 (mg/kg)
    Raw Carrots -- 707.5 (mg/kg)
    Mustard Greens -- 684.8 (mg/kg)


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