The Case of the,"Picky Chickys"...they don't like ANY commercial chicken feed

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Sarahndipity723, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. Sarahndipity723

    Sarahndipity723 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 23, 2011
    Coastal Southern Maine
    I've had chickens since Nov 2011,I'm new to chickens,but fairly competent in other animal care,medical issues, etc as I've often had the misfortune of being my own animal EMT by default here in rural Coastal Maine, treating my own dogs in emergencies, and horses(everything from choke to ng tubes to?)as we r short of Lg Animal vets here. The case of my,"Picky Chickys",has me stumped,tho... I have 5 free range yr old Buff Orp,4 hen and 1 Rooster,-soon to be 21 as I bought 14 chix. I cannot understand WHY they don't seem to like commercial feed,EXCEPT that I bought them from a breeder who
    raised them on table scraps & free ranged them?They eat my horse feed long before they eat the commercial "Layer Pellets",they actually go in my horse paddock to pick up dropped sweet feed grain,then eventually will go over a few hrs later and eat some of their pellets,leaving a lot behind for vermin-not good!They LOVE black oil sunflower seeds,and like to rummage in my compost pile(all vegetable).
    Are chickens creatures of habit,if raised on table scraps will prefer that?They cant have my horse feed,it has molassas in it which I think can cause loose stool... what other prepared feed is out there & will they eat?These r laying hens,and one Buff Orp Rooster. Im in Maine,a wet mash will freeze here in winter,spring,and I dontg have enough table scraps for them as Im eatin out a lot.Any thoughts oncost effective feed anyone? I tried cracked corn,they like it better than pellets,but needs supplementing with what???
    These are PICKY CHICKYs! OR perhaps Im not a chicken saavy Chickie yet?? Thanks!Sarah
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio

    This is pretty simple really. If they get to free range all over the property, they're going to eat the goodies that they want to eat if they have access to them.

    If you would lock them up in their coop and run, with just their laying pellets there, believe me, they would eat them. Trust me. I've found that my chickens do prefer the crumbles over the pellets, but you will have less waste with the pellets.

    Chickens are really like feathery little kids. If they get to pick what to eat, they'll pick the yummy stuff over the "good for you" stuff any day!

    Maybe lock them up a half day if you're worried about their nutrition. Or, just don't worry about it if they look to be healthy, and they're laying eggs for you.

    Enjoy those hens! You sound like an excellent chicken mama!
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012
  3. Sarahndipity723

    Sarahndipity723 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 23, 2011
    Coastal Southern Maine
    Yes,that makes sense,Sharon,thanks!
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    I have a few chickens that will eat ANY type of bagged feed I put in their feeder and then there are some that ARE quite picky and would rather eat dirt than eat their layer feed! So I try do try to please the picky ones and get the feed that they prefer, when I can. But sometimes they will just go without for a few days, finding tasty morsels scratching around. They eventually get hungry enough to eat their feed.

    As far as pellets, they have to get used to them and some never convert. I have never had too much luck with pellets, so I just don't buy them.

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