My Rooster won't eat pellets

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by youngt24au, Oct 13, 2014.

  1. youngt24au

    youngt24au New Egg

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    Jun 22, 2014
    Hello all. I am from Alabama and I have 3 hens and one rooster.
    My dominiquer hen's name is Ethel. She started out as my "problem hen" but has since settled down. I have (2) Rhode Island reds named Thelma and Louise. The hens have become very social and will eat out of your hand. My rooster is a feather footed Rhode Island red (That's what they told me anyway). He is very protective and funny the problem I have with him is that he pecks and eats the bugs and such and we thought he was filling out pretty good but we dusted them for mites and realized he wasn't putting on any weight. We started watching him and he will not eat the pellets at all. He eats the cracked corn and lets the girls eat but we have tried to mix pellets at a higher mixture than the cracked corn and he just won't have it. We have wormed and dusted them and the girls are looking very good their feathers are coming back in and they are definitely healthy. Any suggestions as to what to do for the Rooster. We added red cell to cracked corn hoping that it would boost his appetite but he continued to eat the corn. With cooler weather and winter approaching I am afraid he's not going to get the nutrition he needs. He's a baby and I don't want to loose him. I lost one of my dominiquers in the spring and I don't know that my emotions could part with another one. Also I have one Rhode Island red that refuses to lay in the laying box. She lays her egg in the corner under the roosting pole. It's a pain but that is where she lays. If she gets out in the morning she has one spot in the yard that she lays in. If I don't look where she's been we may not find that egg. Any suggestions on that one? [​IMG]
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  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to our forum!

    It's not unusual for them to eat corn and leave feed. I would remove the corn and only give it in small amounts as a treat, since the corn alone is far from a complete feed, with too little protein and no added vitamins and minerals. . When he gets hungry enough, he will eat the pellets. Meanwhile, you might want to boost hsi nutrition a bit by buying a bag or two of game bird feed as their regular feed. You may need to add a calcium source for the hens if you do this. Many people with roosters do not feed layer, for their rooster's sake; they feed flock raiser or grower, or a game bird feed, and offer oyster shell separately, as a calcium source for the hens who want it.

    Hens that lay away from the coop are another matter. Short of confining them all the time, or at least til around 3 PM when most eggs have been laid, there isn't a lot you can do. When mine free ranged, I used to collect one egg from a particular corner of the shop, and every couple of weeks I would find a new nest with a dozen or so eggs in it. It's a common experience.
     
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    X2 on omitting the corn.

    However, he shouldn't be eating layer pellets either. 4% calcium is too high for a rooster.
    I would switch all of them to a grower feed and the extra protein will help him put on weight for a bit.
    Put oyster shell in a separate container for those laying eggs.
    Another option is to get him his own food and put it in a hanging feeder that only he can reach.
     
  4. youngt24au

    youngt24au New Egg

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    Jun 22, 2014
    I am thinking he may do better with his own food dish. He eats out of the ones hanging on the door but he picks at them too. They are a bit spoiled too; most of my animals are. Husband used to raise game roosters so he knows more about them than I do as this is my first experience with chickens and overall they have done well. Buying chickens around here is iffy to say the least. We bought them at trade day so I am not sure what they were fed before I got them. The hens could care less whether there is corn in the mix or not. We have been using a grit that Jeff said had the crushed oysters in it. I was just worried that Roscoe wasn't getting enough nutrition and he's the only one that won't eat out of my hand but then when I call him he comes running. Jeff said roosters are different and he just hasn't gotten used to us. I've only had the hens since mother's day of this year and I got Roscoe in late July early August for my birthday so he is harder to figure out. I was afraid that it was something that I was doing wrong. My father in law said that corn maybe all he's had and he's just being picky in general and doesn't want to try the other stuff. Is it safe to mix several kinds of feed together and use it that way? Again, I am new to this and just want to make sure that they are healthy and continue to lay and can at least have some babies in the spring! Thank you everyone for helping with this.
     
  5. youngt24au

    youngt24au New Egg

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    Jun 22, 2014
    the definitely have their own personalities. And are defiant; I keep them in their pen if we aren't there. We have dogs that roam freely in the neighborhood and I can't be there to protect them all the time as of course we have to work. They seem to be okay with it though. I let them out for a couple of hours in the afternoon once we get home from work. They don't get too far away from us--they like to stay within range of being nosy and knowing where we are. Roscoe just now is getting into his crow so hopefully he will grow out of his stubbornness. I am glad that I am not the only one with a stubborn hen who wants to lay where ever she chooses! Thank you for you insight it helps to know that this isn't a common problem.
     
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Out to pasture
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you.

    You've received some great advice already. Good luck with your rooster!
     
  8. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

    X2 on Judy's advice. The cracked corn is not a complete feed, but many chickens love it so much that they will ignore the complete feed and stuff themselves with corn. When your rooster gets hungry, he should eat the pellets.

    Good luck! Your rooster is a handsome boy.
     
  9. youngt24au

    youngt24au New Egg

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    Jun 22, 2014
    Thank you for all your help and thank you BantamLover21 for Roscoe's handsome comment. He may actually be eating the pellets when we aren't there but he would much rather have the cracked corn as that is what he goes for initially! I am probably worrying over something minor. He drinks plenty of water so I know he is getting the worm medicine, he acts normal--Jeff just said he needed to put on some weight and thought that he would have filled out more. The hens don't even acknowledge the cracked corn unless we have mixed the red cell in it then they want to eat some of it but they go right back to their pellets. I have to buy feed today so I am going to look for some game feed for Roscoe to try him on and see if that will spark his interest. We mainly use the cracked corn as scratch feed so I am going to look for some crushed oysters also and see if they have any worm treats that maybe I can mix in for protein once a week or something. THANK YOU EVERYONE AND I LOVE THIS SIGHT; it has helped me tremendously with getting acquainted with chickens and raising them!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2014
  10. youngt24au

    youngt24au New Egg

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    Jun 22, 2014
    In reading your post I notice that you also have rabbits. I have a Sahara that is inside kept - litter box trained PRINCESS DIVA! (we call her Lil Bit). Do you raise rabbits also?
     

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