What can I feed my 11 week olds who do not like their crumbles?!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by starshrike, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. starshrike

    starshrike Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2008
    These girls would eat anything else (my toes included) other than their starter crumbles. I'm very tempted to switch to layer pellets, though I know it's early but they don't have any grower pellets that are organic! They refuse to eat the 'fines', which unfortunately is what most of the crumbles are. They really rather eat 'larger' objects - rice, bugs, seeds dug up from my plants, more bugs, weeds, pine needles... just not crumbles.

    Would it be okay to use layer pellets, but supplement it with something high in protein like my (unfortunately non-organic) turkey/gamebird starter? Extra bugs? Grains?

    thanks!
     
  2. AngelzFyre

    AngelzFyre Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 18, 2007
    Pell City, Alabama
    They need to be on a starter feed until they are 3-6 weeks old, then a grower feed until 16-18 weeks old, then after 18 wks when they start laying put them on the layer pellets or crumbles from then on with additional oyster shell or calcium source available.

    If you feed layer feed now, you will have problems because of the additional calcium added to the feed for egg production is not needed at their age.

    Have you checked the freshness of your feed or switched brands?
    Were they on a particular brand before you got them or did you get them as day old chicks etc?
    Were they eating and just stopped, or you can't get them to eat from the beginning?
    Do you have chick grit available?
     
  3. starshrike

    starshrike Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2008
    I understood the general timeline.. it's just they don't like their crumbles anymore. I know 11 weeks old is generally too young to transition to layer, but there are no other pelleted options for me. When I had chickens (LONG AGO before I knew much) they were started on a mix of grains (as chicks!) and they did okay.

    They have been on the same bag since day one. Organic Pride Chick Starter. The bigger they got, the smaller the crumbles seemed to them, and the more wasteful they became. They *only* eat the biggest crumbles, and the smaller pieces get ignored. They are currently free-ranging during the day, and get their fills of weed seeds, bugs and whatever else they pick up. They have pebbles they pick up as grit and occasionally get *slightly overcooked/aka burnt* rice... and if you mix the rice with the crumbles they'll eat that since the itty bitty pieces stick to it.

    They just don't like the size of the crumbles.
     
  4. AngelzFyre

    AngelzFyre Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 18, 2007
    Pell City, Alabama
    I just saw where it said 11 week old chicks..sorry!

    It may be also that they are getting so much outside free ranging that they are cutting down on their feed consumption. Crumbles although great, do get a lot of wastage.
    I feed crumbles (Layena), so I don't know what grower feed is available out there since mine went from starter/grower to the laying crumbles. Mine won't eat pellets, so I've got the opposite problem.
    What about trying the whole organic grains if you are feeding organic only?
    You can look up sites on the web for what is available in your area or you can order it online if none is available.
     
  5. starshrike

    starshrike Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I ended up getting more starter crumbles since they mainly freerange - they don't need the extra calcium yet.

    That and I got some more chicks! [​IMG]
     
  6. Livinzoo

    Livinzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I found a feed store that carries ADM Alliance Nutrition Fancy Bird Show pellets and my birds (12 week old chicks and ducks) love it. I was so tired of the wasted crumbles.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2008
  7. chickenlady

    chickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2007
    Stillwater, NJ
    I would also try a different brand. Some brands I have used are made finer than others. Example: Walmart crumbles is almost all dust, closer to mash than crumbles. Southern States has very large crumble pieces and very little mash. I use the Southern States Sporting Bird Flight Developer (non medicated) for my birds over 8 weeks old. It is higher protein and very low calcium. Good luck to you and your new chicks.
     

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