Need Help! My chickens are picky!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bljfarms, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. bljfarms

    bljfarms New Egg

    Jul 4, 2011
    I am new to the whole chicken thing but several months ago I built a coop, read raising chickens for dummies, and started my flock. My hens were born on Feb 16 I bought them on the 17. From day 1 I used Layena medicated starter feed and they loved it. Just last week I started getting eggs and I switched my food from starter to layer feed. My problem is that the hens refuse to eat it. They basically starved themselves till I gave them some of the starter food back. They have laid probably 7 eggs total now but i was told not to eat them because they are still on medicated food but they wont eat the other food. Any suggestions? I tried to mix the two foods together but they just pick around it.

    Thanks for your help.
  2. Fritatta

    Fritatta Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2011
    Woodstock, GA
    I would try unmedicated starter. many "game" and turkey feeds are 24% protein and that may be what they are after.
    Also they MIGHT prefer pellets over crumbles now that they are bigger. Its lots of work to get enough food with crumbles.
    Or, they mix in some goodies like Black Oil Sunflower seed, other grains, or cracked corn. However, too much cracked corn is not good in hot weather, as it heats up their metabolism.

    Do you feed treats? Sprinkle a mix of treats and pellets on the ground, it may spark their foraging instinct. O, and, treats are essential, they will love you and come when you call (if you let them out) and its a great way to watch the pecking order and antics.

    Thats all that comes to mind.
  3. bljfarms

    bljfarms New Egg

    Jul 4, 2011
    Thanks for the suggestions! What are good treats?
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens IMO most birds far prefer crumbles to pellets. Did you stick with the same brand when you switched feed?? I would not mix the feed together. Your birds will not starve - they will eventually eat the layer feed if that's what's available. I'm not so sure about mixing in treats with the feed either. Mine won't touch their feed if scratch or other "treats" are available - that's like mixing in snickers bars with brussel sprouts - we're all going to dig for the candy bars. [​IMG] I would get rid of the chick feed and only make the layer available.
  5. Sandy16

    Sandy16 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 28, 2010

    Our chickens love the following treats:

    BOSS (black oil sunflower seeds)
    strawberries (although sometimes they won't touch them)
    lunch meat (I know, it sounds wrong, but they LOVE turkey! I haven't given them chicken yet.)
    shredded cheese (small amounts!)
    meal worms from the pet store

    I'm sure others will give you more suggestions.
  6. This_chicks_place

    This_chicks_place Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 18, 2011
    Upstate NY
    My girls favs are grapes and watermelon served ice cold in this heat! When I switched the girls over, they also turned their noses up at the new layer pellets. In the AM when I would let them out into the run, I would grab a handful of pellets and toss it in the run. They pecked away at that and soon realized the same feed was in the feeder and they've been fine with it ever since. Good luck to you!
  7. Sassafras

    Sassafras Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2011
    I mixed my feed when I went from starter to grower since I had some left over. They didn't seem to notice it. They were all crumbles though.
  8. Animalian

    Animalian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2011
    fill their feeder with the layer feed then cover it with starter feed. They'll think they're getting starter feed and it might trick them into eating the layer.
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Agreed. Until they start eating their food, cut out the treats. You'll be surprised at how quickly they are willing to eat their feed.
  10. ChicKat

    ChicKat Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Quote:I'm the same way, if they turn up their nose at the layer rations, I wonder how good it is.

    Some folks say that the 'medication' in the chick starter is not harmful to humans depending upon which medication it is -- But you could scramble or boil the eggs and feed them back to your chickens, even mixed with the layer food that you have. Perhaps that will get them more interested in it.

    I wonder if my chickens are just resisting the change when I switch them, and now that it is so hot they may tend to eat less anyway, or if they do miss the higher protein percentage.

    sounds like your chickens are very particular about their feed. I think mine are too, or are they just toooo spoiled?

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