Silkies will only eat treats - no feed!!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by SilkieNation, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. SilkieNation

    SilkieNation Songster

    Oct 26, 2007
    Rhode Island
    I was of the habit of giving my crew a plate of treats every morning - greens, berries, grains, egg, some fruit, mealy worms, etc.

    My rooster is getting on in years and is very healthy. My last old hen just died. I got three new young hens and continued with my treat plates. But now, nobody will eat the feed. I've tried a few different types. So, I stopped the treats and now it's been two days and except for one hen, they are not eating. No one seems sick. They have oyster shell. They had grit, but I took it up because one of the hens (the one that's eating) was gobbling it up, got a watery crop for a day, and was full of grit - she's fine now. My rooster was eating a lot of it too.

    I believe the treats I was giving were quite healthy for my birds, but they've got to eat their feed! How long can they go without food? And, any suggestions about what's happening? Lots of people feed treats to their chicken, I can't understand why I am having such an issue.
  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    They just like the treats better than the feed. They will eat when they get hungry enough.
  3. Naser

    Naser Songster

    Oct 29, 2014
    I have never heard of someone complaining that their hens died of starvation with food in front of them.
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Don't feed treats.

    If you want them to be healthy.

    Don't silkies tend to be picky eaters?

    I wouldn't take the grit away.

    Those were good treats but still should be 10% or less of the diet.
    These are the nutrients chickens need.
    Unless the treats supply all those in the right ratios, your chickens are better off with just chicken feed.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2015
  5. TheEggCollecter

    TheEggCollecter Songster

    Feb 16, 2014
    Agreed and limit your treats maybe once or twice a week in smaller amounts.
  6. SilkieNation

    SilkieNation Songster

    Oct 26, 2007
    Rhode Island
    Thanks everyone, for responding. I will put the grit back, but I still don't understand why the one hen filled up on it so. I've taken the treats off the menu for now. As long as they eventually eat, I can hold out!! It seems the treats are good for them, but I realize that they have to eat their feed since I can't know what the nutrient balance is in the treats - even if I load up on lots of different things. It's disappointing actually, as I enjoy giving them all of that good stuff, but it's no fun when they won't eat their regular food. So I'll seriously limit the treats.

    I don't know if Silkies are picky eaters, but if you ask me, I'd say - YES! My roo and his old hen got to the point where they wouldn't eat berries and other great things - only greens, mealies, scratch.

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