Switched from layer mash to pellet feed, hens not eating!


11 Years
Jul 23, 2008
Seattle, WA
Usually the feeder is empty every morning when I go out to feed them, but since switching from mash due to all the powdery waste left behind, I've noticed that the pellets just aren't disappearing. I'm okay with them being finicky for a few days and then just giving up and eating what's put out for them, but I'm wondering if anyone has ever had a case of chickens just starving to death because of not eating the new food. That wouldn't really happen would it???

I realized I should have introduced the pellets by mixing it in with the mash and then just weaning them off the old stuff, but they'd run out and I didn't have cash to buy two kinds of feed.

They're still getting kitchen scraps and being let out to forage a little before dusk. What's the consensus?


Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
14 Years
Nov 9, 2007
SW Arkansas
It's MHO that an animal will not starve to death if suitable food is available to them.
You could try taking away treats except mix a little of a treat, something like oatmeal, in with their pellets until they get the idea.


11 Years
Mar 21, 2008
Centre Rawdon, Nova Scotia, Canada
I switched mine from crumbles to pellets gradually and had no problems. They do deem to eat less, simply because the pellets are highly compressed and since they are lush and in good flesh I've not worried. I'm getting wonderful eggs, too. Mine get small amounts of treats- cukes, pumpkin, cabbage...but seem to enjoy pellets just as much.


11 Years
Apr 21, 2008
North Central Florida
I agree with LynneP. I have always given mine mash, crumbles and then pellets. Take some of the mash that you do have left and mix 1/2, or if you don't have any mash, take a bit of the pellets and put in baggy, bang with a rolling pin, make crumbles with some big chunks. They will then realize its food.
Good luck!

Mojo Chick'n

Empress of Chickenville
11 Years
Mar 8, 2008
Republic of Chickenville
I tried this, too - because of waste. I mixed the mash with pellets to try to get the to eat it - they never would eat it, and I gave up.

If I had stuck with it, they probably would have eventually, but I figure it is cheaper and less stressful for me (and them) to just buy more mash and not worry about a bit of waste.

Hope you have better luck (and a stronger will, LOL) than I did.

Peace -


In the Brooder
11 Years
Apr 1, 2008
Ouachita Mountains, Arkansas
I started feeding mine pellets - switch over from crumble type grow ration- they were "off feed" for a day or so but are eating fine now. Just the change put them off. If anything gets hungry enough (kids, dogs, chickens) they will eat what's on the table.


12 Years
switched mine from crumbles to pellets and Had no trouble. They free range about half day and get bread for treats, as they look healthy and are laying good I'm not gonna worry about them starving. My GS guineas have taken up residence outside the chicken run to wait for them to be turned out and all is healthy so I'm notgoing to worry. marrie

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