Problems with chickens eating

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by wildkitty1957, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. wildkitty1957

    wildkitty1957 New Egg

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    Apr 14, 2013
    Hello,

    I am relatively new to chickens. I bought some from someone who was moving and they are about a year old. I also bought 4 day old chicks back in April, and then the same lady who I bought the adult ones from gave me a batch that was turned into the animal shelter where she worked. So I have 18 hen total (2 of which are bandy) and 1 rooster.
    I have two questions:

    !. On the advice that I was given from the lady that I bought the hens from and from a couple of friends that are raising chickens I was mixing 1/2 scratch and 1/2 lay crumble. (I thought that I was being generous with the lay crumble because they were only giving them a cup once a day. I know now that that is not a good combination. ( I was also noticing that most of the lay crumble was on the ground I have one of those hanging feeders) Well now that I have taken the scratch away they are not eating. How long should I wait them out? They do free roam during the day. I have a small lot that they have full access to. I also give them alfalfa I cut up the stick part and it is in another feeder.

    2. The second one is I saw the fermenting thread and I am now fermenting whole oats, lay crumble (should I switch to pellets), whole oats, soybean meal, and whole wheat) is it ok once it is done to put it in the galvanized feeder?

    They loved the above mixture dry however once again they left the lay crumble.

    Sorry for the long post and thanks for any advice.
     
  2. jetdog

    jetdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2013
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    I switched from crumbles to pellets and the girls were none to happy but they will not starve themselves just wait it out and they will eat, I would stop with the scratch mixture and just feed straight pellets, scratch should be given as a treat not a main food source.
     
  3. wildkitty1957

    wildkitty1957 New Egg

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    Apr 14, 2013
    Thank you. Is the grains that I am fermenting considered scratch?
     
  4. jetdog

    jetdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2013
    Massachusetts
    I don't know anything about fermentation.
     
  5. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    wildcat-
    Half scratch/half layer is ok if they are free ranging, but since they pick the scratch out and don't eat the layer then don't give them any more scratch till they eat the crumbles they left. That's the way I do my hens.
    When your hens get hungry they will eat the layer if they have no other choice. Mine don't like it either, it sticks in their throats and they look like they're gagging then they run over and drink a bunch of water.
    Apparently your hens are getting their crops full free ranging and are not inclined to eat the layer. When they come in at night feel their crops to verify this
    Wet the crumbles with enough water to make it look like chicken feed soup and I guarandamteaya they'll gobble it down then.
    If you use vineager to ferment the feed do not put it in a galvanized feeder, it will rust out the feeder prematurely.
     

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