The chickens stopped eating.

cadudeman

In the Brooder
Apr 26, 2015
14
0
22
Hello,
We have (4) 10 week old chickens, 2 Rhode Island Reds and 2 White Rocks, we finished there coop yesterday and put them in but have noticed that they haven't eaten. We were feeding them chick mash? until last week and we were out of food, I stopped at a feed store and they sold me scratch, they hardly spoke English and I didn't know what I was looking for. So the last week they've had scratch only, didn't eat much of that either, and then yesterday was the big day of moving them into their coop. We also got them new food, lay pellets, and new feeding and watering cans.
They seem happy to be scratching and and pecking but haven't eaten like they used to.
Could it be too much change at once? Or should we go back to mash? Or should I just give it some time?
700
 

junebuggena

Crowing
Apr 17, 2015
23,102
8,204
491
Long Beach, WA
Do not feed chickens 'scratch' as their main feed. It should be used as a treat. Do not feed layer feed to chickens that are not laying eggs. 10 week old chicks are still growing and developing and need proper nutrition. Also, your run is too small for 4 chickens.
 

sunflour

Flock Master
8 Years
Jan 10, 2013
14,974
7,756
772
Macon,GA
I assume you mean they have been raised on chick starter/grower crumbles when you said mash. They were used to the taste, smell and texture of the food. You need to continue the same feed until they are 16 weeks old and then transition over to layer feed ( assuming they are all pullets). Then get layer crumbles and mix with the starter crumbles and transition them over only layer crumbles by 17 weeks. If you prefer the layer pellet feed, transition from layer crumbles to the layer pellets with your second feed bag purchase.

They are creatures of habit, so make changes slowly. Even a change in the type of water fount and feeder can stress or confuse them. If you can use the ones they are used to until they are eating and drinking well and then replace those?

I agree scratch is a carbohydrate treat and not a source of nutrition. Oddly, my hens never liked it at all :) Set a rule of no treats until they get back to eating their primary nutrition.

I hope this helps, good luck with your flock.
 

cadudeman

In the Brooder
Apr 26, 2015
14
0
22
Thank you sunflour. I will go get some starter crumbles and continue with that for 6 more weeks. I do have their old waterer and feeder in the henhouse.
 

junebuggena

Crowing
Apr 17, 2015
23,102
8,204
491
Long Beach, WA
Great. I'm batting 1000! So what is 'proper nutrition'?
Proper nutrition means feeding a complete, balanced diet that provides all of the essential vitamins and nutrients needed for health and well being. Scratch is not it. Neither is feeding layer ration to birds that aren't laying. The added calcium given too early, for too long can cause serious health problems.
 

cadudeman

In the Brooder
Apr 26, 2015
14
0
22
Alright, I went to the feed store and got a bag of starter crumbles and they've been eating for 15 minutes straight! I feel bad that I've given them the wrong stuff for a week. Looks like they're gonna try to make up for it in one day! The guy at the store said to give them this until they're about 5 months old hen start switching them over to layer crumbles.
As far as the run space, they have 40 square feet and there's 4 chickens. I know that's at the bottom of the scale based on 10 sq ft per chicken, but it's what I've got.
 

junebuggena

Crowing
Apr 17, 2015
23,102
8,204
491
Long Beach, WA
The 10 square foot rule is based on a medium sized hen, like a leghorn, and it's a minimum. Bigger birds need more. Rhode Island Reds and White Rocks are large breeds and, as such, need more space.
 

cadudeman

In the Brooder
Apr 26, 2015
14
0
22
Thanks junebug for all your positive feedback and help. That's what I've always liked about online forums. There's always someone willing to to tell you what you're doing wrong and what not to do.
 

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