We have 4 chickens. They refuse to eat the layers pellets we offer them and will only eat the grain they also get. Should we be mean and stop giving them the grain? They get crushed oyster shell and live free range in our garden/woods. They mostly lay fine and look healthy enough.!
Yep, cut out the treats. They're greedy, and would always rather ahve the tasty treats. I give mine treats just before bed time, so for breakfast etc they have to eat their pellets. And of course my plants <bitter>.
my 5 chickens only ever eat mixed corn now. they free range all day in the garden. they lay almost every day and are the healthiest and happiest of ladies with orange yolked eggs!i would give your chickens what they enjoy eating. i used to give them layers pellets but they wasted it and it ended up like mush! years ago chickens were only ever fed on corn.
Corn has relatively little nutritional value and layers pellets are a complete food - including protein. Corn is a treat really. If hens are free ranging then they will consume protein in the form of insects etc (or half a dead mouse that I saw one of mine running around the garden with yesterday). This diminishes in the winter though and whilst they might survive on corn - it is not the best diet for them, particularly if the weather is cold.
Mine have access to pellets and then get a scratch feed in the late afternoon as a treat.
Mine are on a mix of corn and barley as they won't eat pellets and I was getting worried abou mice because of all the leavings. I have kepts lots of eaters and layers on this mix as long as they have free range - I have a good size garden and a kind of wooded bit that I'm levelling so they are stuffed full of insects (and mice!) every day. I cut it right down in summer too cos I'm mean .
It is, of course, up to you but if they are FR over a large area and getting protein and grit then I wouldn't lose sleep over not feeding pellets.
Oh man! Conflicting advice!! They do seem to get plenty of insects and lay pretty well. One in particular is looking a bit ropey at the moment though. I think she is moulting as her baldy bum is currently growing BACK.
Those of you who only feed pellets. Do yours get to free range in woods/ garden like mine?
Ours don't eat pellets, though, at all, because they eat Layer's Mash. Try that for a while, and see what happens - I have noticed with ours that they have difficulty picking up the pellets (we tried them once, they didn't like it), and they seem to get more food out of the mash.
It's a bit more messy though, so you might need to put the feeder on a large tray till they get used to it!
Cut out the treats , or at least don't give them until they've eaten all their pellets, naughty chooks - just like dogs really, always looking for something tastier coming along! Had mine on just grain for a bit....makes them lay far less, though I hear it's good to feed in cold weather as it keeps them warmer....
I feed my 12 chucks and 1 roo layer pellets and mixed corn..they eat the mixed corn and leave the pellets..the free range and i get at least 6 eggs per day..they might go eat the layer pellets at night b4 they go to bed im not sure..or rats moght be eating it..i work nights so can bot be 2 sure..i get told fat hens dont lay..now thats a lie as most of my birds are fattish..lol