Spoiked chuckens? Won’t eat scraps.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by dandread, Dec 16, 2017.

  1. dandread

    dandread Chirping

    Oct 20, 2017
    Seattle, WA
    We have four red sex links that are 3 months old. They have been in an outside coop for the last month.

    We got the yard set up a week ago so they can now free range a couple hours a day.

    We have to keep the coop closed because they rather eat their feed than free range. They will walk around the coop looking for an opening. (We put water outside the coop.) after one week yesterday they did start to eat grass and start to scratch like chickens.

    We have tried to give all kinds of leafy greens and they refuse to eat them. We have kept them in the coop with no access to feed for sux hours, just the greens and they refuse to eat them.
    When we bring the feed out they go on an eating spree.

    The weather is in the 30’s-40’s so we don’t want them going hungry too long.

    I thought chickens will eat anything? It is going to be an expensive winter if only feed.
  2. They need their feed. Don't be cheap it does not cost that much to feed 4 hens.

  3. 4 Georgia Hens

    4 Georgia Hens Crowing

    Jan 3, 2017
    Northern Georgia
    nminusyplusm and IdyllwildAcres like this.
  4. dandread

    dandread Chirping

    Oct 20, 2017
    Seattle, WA
    No problem giving them feed. Just want them to have a varied diet and wondering why they won’t eat scraps and how to get them to eat scraps and eat more while free range. They seem not interested at all.
  5. hlhutchinson

    hlhutchinson Songster

    Aug 26, 2015
    Casper Wyo
    Mine are very picky about the scraps they eat :(. They do not like lettuce, they love bread (no we don’t give it on a regular basis) they love left over oatmeal and the list goes on if what they don’t eat and what they like
    Huntsville Saloon likes this.
  6. Their feed contains everything they need. I keep mine available to them 24/7 and plenty of fresh water. If they just ate that they will be fine. Anything else is a treat.

    4 RSL's will deliver a big egg each almost every day! I have one in my flock and will get at least 1 new one every spring. I am in it for the eggs. And to spit out that big egg she needs to eat as much as she decides she needs.

    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
    21hens-incharge likes this.
  7. junebuggena

    junebuggena Crowing

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    They are still babies at 3 months old. They will instinctively see new things as scary monsters. They are at an age where everything wants to eat them, and they know it. It's instinct. Without any adults around to show them the ropes of foraging, it will take them time to learn.
    Right now, they still have a lot of growing to do, so their access to feed should be unlimited during daylight hours.
  8. rebrascora

    rebrascora Free Ranging

    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    Red sex links are working girls and they need ready access to a balanced proprietary feed to produce those eggs. I'm not sure where in the world you are (including that info on your profile page is helpful) but in winter there is usually very little to be gained from free ranging other wellbeing. And no, chickens will not eat anything! What one flock of chickens will eat, another may not. Even as individuals, one will eat something that another will turn her beak up at. Their feed should contain all the nutrients including vitamins and minerals they need to be healthy and lay eggs. Yes, grass can be beneficial, but depending on the type and time of year, it may not be of interest to them. Bugs and worms are a good source of protein for them, but in winter there may not be many of them to forage for.

    Most of us who free range, leave our chickens free access to their feeder throughout the day so that they can get what they need. I think perhaps your expectation of how much they can forage from your garden or yard is unreasonable. Clearly they are keen to free range if they are pacing the fence line to be out but you still need to provide them with as much layer/grower/flockraiser as they want.
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    This is also a lean time of year for free ranging. If you have a typical suburban yard, your yard is woefully deficient in meeting the "free range" needs of a flock, no matter what time of year it is.
  10. dandread

    dandread Chirping

    Oct 20, 2017
    Seattle, WA
    Thank you so much for all the advice. I now have peace of mind that they are ok and ‘normal’.

    Good I posted because I was stopping them from access to feed to force them to forage.

    Actually this morning when I opened their coop they came out on their own and started foraging immediately.

    Btw live in Seattle, yes somewhat suburban yard. Do at times have plenty of grubs but they seem to be gone now.

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