can't find the answers I'm looking for yet..maybe you could help? I just wanna know if it's ok for my chickens to be on layers pellets even though they aren't laying? And should I pick them up now to get them used to being handled? Even though they still put up a struggle haha.
Hello and Welcome To BYC! Do you know how old your pullets are? Usually you want to wait until the pullets are around 18 weeks or have started to lay before putting them on Layer food. Layer is really high in calcium and it isn't good for younger birds, and if they aren't laying they don't need it.
Chickens tend to struggle less when it is dark, so taking them quietly off the roost at night to start with is a good way to getting them used to being handled. Chickens take awhile to warm up to you, some never like being held as such, but they usually are pretty food motivated and will at least become pretty friendly running up to you and following you around for food. If you sit with them in the run etc on their level and toss them some treats they should start getting braver about coming around when you show up with them, just gradually make them come closer and closer before you put the treats down.
Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to join our flock. X2 on TwoCrow's advice. Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. What kind of chickens do you have?
You shouldn't put them on layer feed until they are very near to laying. Have their combs and wattles gotten redder and larger? Do they squat for you if you touch their back?
Those are generally signs they are close to laying- then they need the layer feed to get calcium for shell production. The way to a chicken's heart is through their stomach - spend some time with them - giving out treats, after a while they will look forward to your visits and mob you.