Picky eaters or feed problem?

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
18,182
36,873
1,062
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Two obvious issues here:
1) The feed is old, and nutritional value has started to decline. You said you have 3 bags? Are they all that old? I know this is tough to hear (especially with prices right now) but you may be best served with tossing those and getting a new bag with a more recent mill date.
2) They've become spoiled and used to eating all the yummy extras you treat them with, so they're rather hold out and get treats instead of eating feed.

In addition, S&P or any other whole grain mash feed is best fed fermented or at least wet. S&P even recommends it on their site: https://www.scratchandpeck.com/wp-content/uploads/Scratch-and-Peck-Feeds-How-to-Ferment-Feeds.pdf By serving it dry, the chickens aren't eating all the protein, vitamins and minerals that are added to make this a nutritionally complete feed - so they're not getting the nutrition they need and are also wasting a good 5-10% of the feed that way.
 

Lizzy733

Crowing
Nov 13, 2018
1,026
1,846
251
New Zealand
That stuff is ancient - you should aim for no older than 2 months from mill date if you can.

It will all need to be chucked. It is better to buy fresh, as needed than shop in bulk because freshness is important to nutrition content.

If they've eaten from that feeder before, I wouldn't blame it for the issue. All treats need to stop and you need to let your girls get hungry and keep offering fresh feed.

No more treats until they're back to eating their staple. Treats should constitute only 10% of their daily nutrition at most.
 

nolotus

Songster
Nov 13, 2020
107
241
126
West Central Idaho
Okay. Thanks so much for the input and opinions. I hope the quail will eat it since I hate it all to go to waste. This sounds incredibly stupid, but I didn't even think about the feed getting too old. We're in a kind of remote area with limited local options for feed other than the typical medicated food. And I admit I was worried about supply chain issues. I order my feed through Azure so will hope this next bag is fresher. Couldn't be older I'll bet. And I'd better do some research on other options since Azure doesn't always have everything in stock when delivery time rolls around. In the meantime I'll try the wet mash. I really appreciate your help. Thank you. :love
 

U_Stormcrow

Free Ranging
Jun 7, 2020
5,052
15,103
606
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
Okay. Thanks so much for the input and opinions. I hope the quail will eat it since I hate it all to go to waste. This sounds incredibly stupid, but I didn't even think about the feed getting too old. We're in a kind of remote area with limited local options for feed other than the typical medicated food. And I admit I was worried about supply chain issues. I order my feed through Azure so will hope this next bag is fresher. Couldn't be older I'll bet. And I'd better do some research on other options since Azure doesn't always have everything in stock when delivery time rolls around. In the meantime I'll try the wet mash. I really appreciate your help. Thank you. :love

Agree with the others here. Its a rather arbitrary figure, but the general recommend is that you want your birds feeding the last of the bag before its three months old (three months from milling - who knows how long the grains set around there, not 3 months from purchase). Whole grain feeds (lower surface area) don't oxidize as fast as crushed/crumbled feed (its about its only advantage), but they do tend to contain a lot of high fat content seeds. Vitamin E, very important, is fat soluable - and tends to degrade as the fats in the feed go over.

Also recommend you look for local mills and/or farmer's coops, where you might both improve price and obtain better freshness. I am **NOT** making a reccommend, I've not looked at any of these company's product, but if you feed S&P, non-GMO and/or Organic are likely important to you. There is/was an organic mill in S Idaho, Meridian Mill. You may also have options with Valley Wide Cooperative, or something similar. Organic Feed Supply in Ontario, OR, and Intermountain Farmers (Lewiston, UT).

THANK YOU for placing your location - helps us help you.

and yes, I have a sense of how big ID is. Not sure how close any of those is to you. Used to live in TX, it was 4+ hours to the closest border, now live in FL, where visiting my brother (also in Florida) is an 8.5 hour drive, each way.

Good luck!
 

nolotus

Songster
Nov 13, 2020
107
241
126
West Central Idaho
Agree with the others here. Its a rather arbitrary figure, but the general recommend is that you want your birds feeding the last of the bag before its three months old (three months from milling - who knows how long the grains set around there, not 3 months from purchase). Whole grain feeds (lower surface area) don't oxidize as fast as crushed/crumbled feed (its about its only advantage), but they do tend to contain a lot of high fat content seeds. Vitamin E, very important, is fat soluable - and tends to degrade as the fats in the feed go over.

Also recommend you look for local mills and/or farmer's coops, where you might both improve price and obtain better freshness. I am **NOT** making a reccommend, I've not looked at any of these company's product, but if you feed S&P, non-GMO and/or Organic are likely important to you. There is/was an organic mill in S Idaho, Meridian Mill. You may also have options with Valley Wide Cooperative, or something similar. Organic Feed Supply in Ontario, OR, and Intermountain Farmers (Lewiston, UT).

THANK YOU for placing your location - helps us help you.

and yes, I have a sense of how big ID is. Not sure how close any of those is to you. Used to live in TX, it was 4+ hours to the closest border, now live in FL, where visiting my brother (also in Florida) is an 8.5 hour drive, each way.

Good luck!
I am elated! Organic Feed Supply is about an hour away. And there may even be delivery to this area once a month. I'm checking it out now. I am so grateful for your time and trouble in answering my plea. You made my day! :celebrate
 

U_Stormcrow

Free Ranging
Jun 7, 2020
5,052
15,103
606
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
I am elated! Organic Feed Supply is about an hour away. And there may even be delivery to this area once a month. I'm checking it out now. I am so grateful for your time and trouble in answering my plea. You made my day! :celebrate

That's what BYC is for. I join the others in this thread in being happy to have been able to assist. have a great day!
 

nolotus

Songster
Nov 13, 2020
107
241
126
West Central Idaho
Two obvious issues here:
1) The feed is old, and nutritional value has started to decline. You said you have 3 bags? Are they all that old? I know this is tough to hear (especially with prices right now) but you may be best served with tossing those and getting a new bag with a more recent mill date.
2) They've become spoiled and used to eating all the yummy extras you treat them with, so they're rather hold out and get treats instead of eating feed.

In addition, S&P or any other whole grain mash feed is best fed fermented or at least wet. S&P even recommends it on their site: https://www.scratchandpeck.com/wp-content/uploads/Scratch-and-Peck-Feeds-How-to-Ferment-Feeds.pdf By serving it dry, the chickens aren't eating all the protein, vitamins and minerals that are added to make this a nutritionally complete feed - so they're not getting the nutrition they need and are also wasting a good 5-10% of the feed that way.
Thank you for the S&P link on fermentation.I've heard of doing that but haven't tried it. Thanks for taking the time and effort to help me out. it's appreciated! :love
 

nolotus

Songster
Nov 13, 2020
107
241
126
West Central Idaho
That's what BYC is for. I join the others in this thread in being happy to have been able to assist. have a great day!
I wanted to tell you that we picked up some non-GMO, organic feed today from the organic feed supply. It's going to be easy to get it. Possible it can be delivered to the nearest town - 6 miles away. And the lady is so knowledgeable about chickens and chicken feed and happy to share whatever she knows. So thank you again for your invaluable help! :bow
 

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