Switched from crumble to pellets & they're refusing to eat

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by dulcimer lady, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. dulcimer lady

    dulcimer lady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a laying flock that is a year and a half old. When they were old enough for layer feed, I put them on pellets and they did fine. Didn't have a moment's problem. But then I acquired another chicken that had some health issues and I felt she would do better with crumble. So instead of buying 2 feeds, I switched everyone over to crumble. That was a year ago. Now, in addition to my layers, I have a younger flock as well that is just at the age to switch to layer feed. I found a deal on feed that is $3 less per 50 pounds than I've been paying. So I purchased that feed and it's pellets.

    Now everyone in the chicken yard is looking and acting hungy and like they have no idea what to do with the pellets. I don't see why they can't eat them - they eat everything else from table scraps to mice for pete's sake. I just made this switch yesterday. Will it take them a couple of days to readjust? Or do chickens ever literally just not eat if they're not happy with the feed?

    I could really use some advice here. I've got 100 pounds of pellets and 40 very hungry chickens. [​IMG]
     
  2. MyKidLuvsGreenEgz

    MyKidLuvsGreenEgz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Patience. They'll figure it out.

    Could mix in some rolled oats with it. You didn't switch feeding dish, did you?
     
  3. SanctusPullus

    SanctusPullus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My idea would be just let them work it out, they'll eat when they get hungry enough. But... my wife would recommend that you put the pellets into a blender. That's what she did for the chicks feed. I don't see a difference but I suppose it only takes 3 minutes so it can't hurt. Good luck! [​IMG]
     
  4. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Try making a mash out of them. Take some water, add the pellets and leave to soak for a minute until they've absorbed most of the water. Then sprinkle some more pellets on top and serve. At first they will eat around the pellets to get to the mash but the pellets will soften while they're working due to contact with the mash and it won't be long before they are eaten too. Once they realize this is also food, you won't have to turn them into a mash any more.
     
  5. dulcimer lady

    dulcimer lady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2010
    Thanks. I think I'll try the mash idea because I could do it in a bucket to get a lot made at once. I think if I tried to use the blender it would take quite a while. A blender only holds so much and I've got 40 mouths to feed out there. I'll try mixing some scraps in with it too. Maybe in a couple of days they'll forget that they don't recognize the pellets? Honestly, I've got a yard full of chicken divas out there, lol.
     
  6. stargirl

    stargirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The mash is a great idea [​IMG]
    Once a couple start eating, the rest will soon catch on!
     
  7. Tenmore

    Tenmore Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When I switched from crumble to pellets I mixed them in a 2 gallon bucket I would dump a cup of each till it was full. than dump the mix in the feeder as needed. Chickens didnt have a problem with it....Bu tthe feeder did a little the fine crumble powder would block the bottom of the feeder so the pellets would not fall down as they should but with a little shake everthing was fine...only had to shake it down once a day and over about a weeks time they were on just straight pellets happy as can be.... Try the mix 50 50 and slowly back off on the crumble but Im sure they will figure it out when they get hungry good luck
     
  8. TinaCiesla

    TinaCiesla Out Of The Brooder

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    I think they will get used to it too. We switched and they didn't have a problem with the texture. But I did notice for two weeks, no one laid eggs. Once they started laying again, the first eggs were soft and rubbery. The following day, the eggs were perfect. We have a LOT less waste with pellets. I don't think we will ever change back.
    Good luck!
    Tina
     
  9. AccentOnHakes

    AccentOnHakes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 2, 2009
    Is it a different brand of feed? They might not like the taste of it, it could be old, etc.
     
  10. sammyh312

    sammyh312 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    mine did the same thing. I gave up and went back to crumble mixed with the pellets and some scratch. i aint buyin pellets again!
     

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