Pullets not eating much now that it's cold...is this normal??

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by mom22alcorns, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. mom22alcorns

    mom22alcorns Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey all! I have 16 week old pullets in my coop. Our weather has been mid-twenties during the day and mid-teens at night. Since the temp changed a couple weeks ago, my pullets are not eating nearly as much as they used to. They are out in the run all day long scratching around and hanging out, but just not eating much. Their water bowl is being emptied less also. I used to have to fill both food and water daily when the temps were warmer, but now it can be every other day or so. They are active and not acting sick or antyhing. What's up with my birds? [​IMG]
     
  2. farmdude

    farmdude Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is normal. I don't know why. My birds do the same every winter. I'm guessing because they either stop laying or cut way down.
     
  3. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, I've noticed the same thing. I think it's related to the slowing down of laying.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    With 16 week old pullets, it is not because they have stopped laying. Elmo, maybe a little caffeine?

    1. Was something else like wild birds eating the food? Maybe rodents, especially at night? Usually the cold weather increases my loss due to wild birds, but maybe something else was eating the food and has stopped for whatever reason?

    2. Chicks go through a few juvenile molts before they become adults. They simply outgrow their feathers and have to replace them. Maybe they were eating extra food to replace feathers and have completed that process so they don't need the extra food right now?

    3. Have you changed how you feed them, either the type of food or the feeder?
     
  5. mom22alcorns

    mom22alcorns Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:No changes in feed or anything, but I did move their food from a plain bowl into a standard metal feeder. They have not been drinking as much water either. Their old waterer was one of those where you put the bottle on top and it comes out the bottom and stays full as long as there is water in the bottle. Now they have a 1 gallon heated dog bowl next to the coop door. It has been out there for 3 days and I don't notice any water being gone at all and am getting worried about dehydration or something. There are 7 of them and I used to change the 2 liter bottle on thier old waterer nearly every other day. Prior to the change in food and water containers there were quite a few feathers around the run, but no bare spots on anyone so I didn't worry about it. They were 15 weeks then and are nearly 17 now. No one really looks like they are starving, but I am still worried. We have wild birds around, mostly those little bitty chickadee looking birds. Maybe they were eating their crumbles. I appreciate the help! [​IMG]
     
  6. reksat

    reksat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been noticing the same with my birds also, they're slowing down with both, so I hope this is normal. They are acting fine though. When I put a deer carcuss in the run for a snack, that seem to sprout them up a bit , they had a feast with it.
     
  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    It's normal. In hot weather and cold weather mine tend to eat less too.
     
  8. LaurelRidgeDreams

    LaurelRidgeDreams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:No changes in feed or anything, but I did move their food from a plain bowl into a standard metal feeder. They have not been drinking as much water either. Their old waterer was one of those where you put the bottle on top and it comes out the bottom and stays full as long as there is water in the bottle. Now they have a 1 gallon heated dog bowl next to the coop door. It has been out there for 3 days and I don't notice any water being gone at all and am getting worried about dehydration or something. There are 7 of them and I used to change the 2 liter bottle on thier old waterer nearly every other day. Prior to the change in food and water containers there were quite a few feathers around the run, but no bare spots on anyone so I didn't worry about it. They were 15 weeks then and are nearly 17 now. No one really looks like they are starving, but I am still worried. We have wild birds around, mostly those little bitty chickadee looking birds. Maybe they were eating their crumbles. I appreciate the help! [​IMG]

    Might not be the issue for you but when I switched waterers to a heated dog bowl, my pullets didn't drink either. So I put the old waterer beside the new one for a week and when I saw them start to use the new one I removed the old one . The old waterer wasn't even a different type of waterer. It was a bowl also, just a different color and not electric. You might try doing the same with your feeders.
     
  9. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    What's up with my birds?

    4 hours less daylight per day makes a big difference​
     
  10. mom22alcorns

    mom22alcorns Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:4 hours less daylight per day makes a big difference

    You know, I didn't even think of that...[​IMG] And it makes sense, too...lol I will also try putting the old food and water bowls next to the new ones and see if that makes difference. Thanks so much everyone--your help is invaluable! [​IMG]
     

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