My four new new hybrid point of lay pullets, compared to my last hens, are hardly eating any layers pellets and have very little interest. They will eat corn grass, so they have an appetite. I am currently only giving them pellets and no other treats. Is this the right thing to do?
Laurence Beeken says:
Don’t worry if new chickens are not as ravenous as your others may have been. Different breeds, even differently sourced hens, have differing intake.
Chickens will eat their favourite food over other foods that may be offered, so if they are used to eating corn, then they will often turn their beaks up at pellets. Similarly, if they are not used to eating pellets, they may not even recognise them as food.
A sudden change in diet is stressful for POL pullets, so it is always best to check with the supplier as to what feed they are used to and, if necessary, continue feeding the same, while incorporating increasing amounts of the new feed day by day.
By feeding the pellets and no treats you will ensure that they get all the essential vitamins and minerals that they need, but you need to make sure they are eating them. If in doubt, mix the pellets with whole wheat (not mixed corn) until they get the idea that the pellets are edible.
You don’t mention when your chickens were wormed – it is also worth doing this with a licensed worming product if you feel that they are not as active as they should be.