Recently changed from layer to Scratch and Peck organic grains for winter

cherylwillard1

Songster
7 Years
Feb 20, 2014
48
78
114
Hi all,

My first winter with chickens and I switched them from layer crumbles to Scratch and Peck all natural and organic feed. Well, now they're chasing me around looking for something and have been digging in the place where I used to keep my compost pile and eating the dirt there. They barely touch the scratch and peck, which is disheartening because it's not cheap. They even rejected the mealworms, which is usually a go-to favorite for them. I have a roo, too, so I have always offered variety. They are spending more time in the shed, too, because of hawks and inclement weather. As they transition from season to season, what is the best way to keep their nutrients sufficient without breaking the bank?
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
23,141
38,122
1,096
southern Michigan
Welcome! I feed Flock Raiser to everyone all year, so never make changes. Chickens do NOT like change!
Some birds will pick out the best tasting grains from a whole grain diet, and develop issues with malnutrition. I much prefer a pelleted or crumble feed. Make sure that the mill date on each bag of feed is good (within a month) and is used up within a couple more weeks. old feed isn't better!
Mary
 

cherylwillard1

Songster
7 Years
Feb 20, 2014
48
78
114
Thank you all for the help. Apparently, it helps to soak the food and let it "ferment" a bit. I bought them some crumble today, and they had a flock block that they'd been munching on, so they weren't as desperate today when I let them free range. They are eating every tiny bit of eggshell I offer, however. I will keep crumble as part of their diet, and try fermenting the whole grains.
 

Chickassan

Wattle Fondler
May 23, 2017
14,991
74,899
1,307
Greenville S.C, formerly Noneya U.S.A
Ok, iv'e used the scratch and peck for a short while too pricey to use it very long. They don't eat as much of it very true, but it takes longer for them to process whole grains and they're more filling so even though it looks like they're not eating that much they really are. :)
 

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