My Young Pullets Don't Like Layer Feed!!??.....UPDATE!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by TwoCrows, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    My Australorp girls just turned 6 months old last Wednesday and I have finally been gifted with an egg every day now. Yay!! However when I switched them over from their chick starter to layer feed they have been turning up their noses to the new feed. They absolutely loved their chick feed and ate it with gusto. So I stuck with the same brand of feed for the layer feed.

    Well, they don't like it! I thought maybe it was ground up a bit small and even opened another bag. They still wouldn't eat it. So I even tried a new brand of food. They are still not interested in eating layer food.

    I had a bag of Flock Raiser pellets around and they wont' even eat that. Should I be worried? Is this normal? They have the run of an old garden area that is 20x30 feet. They have eaten every blade of grass, every weed, everything down to the dirt. I have hay spread around which has been rained on for a few weeks and have been eating old cruddy muddy hay. I raked it all up the other day and spread new stuff down, so at least they will get SOME green stuff in them, but still they prefer dirt and crud to the layer feed or the new hay. Their poo doesn't look very good and one of them has diarrhea all the time now. They just refuse to eat their new food. And I can't afford to keep trying new feeds on them. And being the rural town that I live in, I will not be able to get chick starter til next spring. Ordering feed on line is not an option as I have no UPS or FED EX delivery out my way.

    What should I do? [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011
  2. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Idaho
    If you are sure it is fresh, not moldy, then take some of it, but it in a bowl and wet it down with water. When it softens, they will eat it, thinking it is some great treat. Slowly transition to dry after they get used to the new taste.

    They never like pellets at first.
     
  3. kidcody

    kidcody Overrun With Chickens

    Yes, its pretty normal for them to not be crazy about it. Sometimes I wet it down at first. They will start eating it! Just give it some time. [​IMG]
     
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    No, the food is not moldy. I have tried 2 separate bags of their same feed and even purchased another type of feed. It all smells and looks good. I checked the expiration date on the bottoms of the bags and they are all good.

    I used to wet down their food when they were still quite young when it was really hot outside and they did eat more of their food then. I can try doing that again. They have eaten pellet food in the past, but I am afraid to try another bag of feed on them and have them not eat it.
     
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    A chicken can only hold out a day or two, if they aren't getting scratch and other things that occupy their appetites. They won't necessarily love it, but they'll eat it. Never seen a chicken yet that will starve itself. I agree with making a damp stew out of it. That they never seem to turn down.
     
  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Thanks for all the quick advice!! I will wet some of it down tomorrow. And you are all right, I am sure they will eat it. I got them to eat earlier on in the summer when it was hot as blazes and they had no appetite. The wet food seemed like a nice treat for them.

    Thanks all! [​IMG]
     
  7. Wildflower_VA

    Wildflower_VA Chillin' With My Peeps

    I fed my six Australorps Countryside organic chick starter, then switched to broiler/grower, which is the same as starter, just bigger pieces and they loved it. When they were 16 weeks old, I switched them to Countryside organic layer, which is lower protein and had a lot more field peas, and they hated it. I paid too much to just let it go to waste, so they eventually did eat it, but since they free-ranged, they never ate much of it. Now that I have 31 baby chicks, six weeks old, I went back the the broiler/grower for all of the chickens and give the pullets oyster shell on the side. They are back to gobbling down the feed, even though they free-range the same amount as they did when they only ate a little of the layer feed. They were on the layer feed for 10 weeks and never learned to like it; they just had to eat it or be hungry if they didn't find enough forage.

    I was completely out of grower when I went to get the layer, so I couldn't mix the two together, but I have heard that you should slowly add the new food to the old so there is not a noticeable difference like when you switch from old to new cold turkey.
     
  8. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    IT WORKED!!!! I got a couple of tubs and thru in a mixture of the two layer feeds that they have been refusing to eat, moistened them with water, and sure enough....they are eating it! They are even fighting over it!! Huge success. I am so glad they are back to eating again.

    Thank you everyone for the advice. I am sure my chickens appreciate it too. [​IMG]
     
  9. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    They are now back to eating their food with gusto! Wolfing it down like I was starving them to death. So now, my next question is, how long will I have to wet their food down? And how long does it last being wet before it spoils...a few hours, all day?

    They have NO interest in eating the dry food that still sits out for them, turning up their beaks as they walk right past it on their way to the tub of wet stuff. Will I be making mash forever, and how long during the day does it last during the heat?

    Thanks...Leyla [​IMG]
     
  10. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Idaho
    Don't mix more than they will eat in one day. You just want them used to the taste of it, then you will gradually decrease the amount over a week or so. Unless you like mixing it for them...because they always choose the wet over dry in my experience.
     

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