What's the best organic layer feed & how do I make my spoiled hens eat

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by euiduc, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. euiduc

    euiduc New Egg

    Jun 20, 2011
    My hens are almost due in laying eggs (about 24 weeks now). I think I spoiled their taste pallet with ground meat, scrambled eggs, carrots, and treats for a while.

    I have decided to stick with normal chicken feed instead and stop giving them too much treats. I normallly leave handful of pellets per hen every morning. They don't seem to be eating much of their pellets, and whenever they see me, they start complaining.... demanding something better. I mix in some barley and other grains into the feed, and they only eat the grains, not their pellets. Are the pellets too big for them to eat, or is it just tasteless for them to bother eating?

    I don't want them to get malnourished. How can I get them eat their pellets and what's the best organic layer feed? What would be better for the girls? Mash or pellets? I am still new at this - have been raising them now for less than 2 months. They free range by the day eating grass and weeds (some cherries, tomatoes, cucumbers off the tree/vine).

    Any adivse will be very helpful. Thank you!
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2011
  2. ChickenAl

    ChickenAl Diagnosis...Chicken-Headed

    Jun 5, 2011
    Putnam cty, NY
    I've found that ours like the crumbles better than the pellets. A little experimenting with pellets, mash or crumbles to see what works would be a good idea.

    I asked the same question as far as which is the best organic feed. Well, that is up for grabs. I've already tried two different grower feeds, Green Mountain (pellets) and Nature's best (crumbles). The ladies like the Nature's best way more. Not to say the green Mountain isn't excellent. They eat the crumbles with more gusto, though. You will have to figure out what is best for your flock in terms of what they like, what is in the feed, and how you feel about soy or no soy, corn or no corn, animal protein and the like. When you find one that meets your criteria, your chickens eat it well enough, then I would think you have found the best for your flock. There probably is no "best" feed for your chickens.

    Good luck, and go light on the treats.
  3. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    If they are hungry, they will eat it. You are going to have to practice some tough love.

    I suggest that you sniff each bag of feed as you open it to check for off odors. They won't want to eat it if it is spoiled.
  4. maxslug

    maxslug Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 29, 2011
    San Francisco
    We're having the same problem -- they don't eat the pellets and then act like they're starving. We tried changing pellet brands, and that worked for a while, but they are back to being picky. I think we've given them too many tasty table scraps and they're spoiled. The problem with the tough love approach is that it's causing egg eating. Instead of eating the pellets they tuck into a nice delish fresh egg instead.

    I'm going to try mash or a higher-protein bird feed next?


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