they will eat it, i started with crumbles, bought pellets next, then went back to crumbles, finally settled on pellets because the waste is so much less, mine dont ever eat the "dust" at the bottom of the feeder. Plus while they peck, they break up the pellets and they become smaller like crumbles!
I like what your dad would say, that's quite an expression!
I just went thru that with my horses. Hay-nothing wrong with it, they wouldn't eat it. Someone finally suggested I buy a bale of alfalfa, and use it like a seasoning. I crumbled some on top of their hay, and they were eating every last bit!
They'll eat it after they get over pouting that you had the nerve to change their food. I do wish someone that insists bantams can't eat pellets would explain to me why bantams can't when the sparrows and finches that raid my feeder daily can.
Might want to mix the pellets in with crumbles. I know, another trip to get feed!
But, there was a thread a while back about switching to pellets suddenly in adult chickens and they nearly died of starvation. Chickens eat with their eyes, not their nose. Worse comes to worse, whirl some pellets in the food processor and mix with whole pellets.
Chickens won't starve. They may eat a little less than they need for awhile and a drop in egg production is possible with a feed change but they won't do it long enough to cause actual harm to themselves. Even feed they hate they will eat long before starving to death.
Most animals probably go more by smell than sight. Smell is connected strongly to taste and taste is what we most use to determine how edible or needed something is so it's more likely a good smell will turn an animal on to a food than sight. Even humans will be drawn first to food that smells good and then debate the sight part. Birds aren't known for their sense of smell though. They tend to have better sight and much worse smell/taste than mammals.