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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy! I'm Nichole, pretty new to chickens. We bought pullets in March, I think. They started laying about a month ago. We give them soy-free, organic chicken feed. My husband has the feed dish full all the time and he gives them some dried worms each evening. They also get some scratch. They have a big dog run and they go out in the chicken tractor occasionally, but it's been hot and we want to keep them in the shade they have in the dog run. The dog run is not paved, so they have access to dust baths and bugs, etc. I've also given them some big fat grubs from my garden beds when I find them. However, they won't eat table scraps, and by table scraps I mean uncooked fruits or vegetables, pulp from juicing, beet greens, lettuce, melon... Nothing. What should I do?

Thank you so much!
 

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Try adding a little to their water. I've put garlic ( for health) and cucumber in the water and once they get the taste of it they will smell it when u out it out and be more willing to eat.
 

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Don't feed them for a day.
(Keep them watered, of course ! ) ....THEN ...the next day....
ONLY give them "table-scraps" of any kind available....
They will Change their Attitude.....
If that is what you desire.
( I think it is a GOOD IDEA...mostly because it will allow you to feed them as you wish....expecially for "medicinal purposes"...
...such as Garlic, Onions, Tomatoes, slimy OKRA (ha-ha !)...etc.)
Don't forget to RESUME feeding them a "Layer Feed" of at least 15% Protein.....plus whatever else you choose.
( Don't depend on "Scratch"...it hasn't enough feed-value.)
just MY opinion,
-ReTIRED- :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both! I can incorporate both of these ideas at once.

My husband is usually the caretaker of the chickens, but he's away for two weeks. I don't know what layer feeding is.... Oh, layer, as in the chickens that lay eggs? I will have to assume that our organic feed is good.

Last night, I ripped down fencing that was around a yard scraps bin that is also in the dog run/chicken run( we don't have dogs).
It was there when we bought the property last July. It was about 2.5' high. I did this right before the chickens were locked in the hutch for the night. This morning when I let them out, they went to explore. I had moved a little of the top branches off to see what was under there.... Lots of good protein for chickens. They were tearing it up this morning. Yay!

Thanks again!

Nichole
Denton, TX
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
jmw283 said:
Just wondering if they started to eat table scarps.
Yes, they did, but they're egg production is lower. I don't know if it's a coincidence or if it's due to high temperatures in North Texas, or.... What, but they are not giving me a consistent three eggs a day anymore. I haven't yet tried to ferment the feed--I still get them about two to three cups of that in the morning... Do you think that's too much? Haven't tried to ferment the feed yet because I no longer have the bag and don't know if there's fish in it.

I'm extremely open to advice.

Thank you.

Nichole
Denton, Tx
Next two days will be 103°.
 

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Sounds like they're over fed to begin with and they just don't want the scraps.

As for your lower egg production, yes heat plays a role.
 

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gardenista said:
Yes, they did, but they're egg production is lower. I don't know if it's a coincidence or if it's due to high temperatures in North Texas, or.... What, but they are not giving me a consistent three eggs a day anymore. I haven't yet tried to ferment the feed--I still get them about two to three cups of that in the morning... Do you think that's too much? Haven't tried to ferment the feed yet because I no longer have the bag and don't know if there's fish in it.

I'm extremely open to advice.

Thank you.

Nichole
Denton, Tx
Next two days will be 103°.
Just south of Houston here, yes, heat is lowering production. Lay off the scratch for the summer, except as the occasional treat, it makes them fatter, good for winter, but not so good in summer heat! Fatter=hotter chicken.
 

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Yep. If you'll notice, the chickens will self-regulate their feed in high temps and will not eat as much, will find cool places to just lie down or dust and laying will slow a little, shells will be a little more thin, poop a little more liquid urates as they tend to drink more, pee more.

This eating less and producing less is normal and needed for their natural health and life cycles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Apyl said:
Sounds like they're over fed to begin with and they just don't want the scraps.

As for your lower egg production, yes heat plays a role.
Okay, if I'm over-feeding the layer feed, how much should I be giving them? Thank you so much!
 

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As much as they can eat in 15 min. time. If you don't free range, you can do two meals per day. Don't give free choice if you have heavy hitters at the feeder.

If you free range, you can feed once in the evening and will feed even less than you do otherwise, as they will be getting most of their nutrients out on the grass.

How to know how much to give each meal? Same way you know how much to give your kids...if they leave some in the plate after each meal, it's too much. If they clean it up and lick the plate, add a little until they no longer do that within 15-30 min. time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Jim said:
Just south of Houston here, yes, heat is lowering production. Lay off the scratch for the summer, except as the occasional treat, it makes them fatter, good for winter, but not so good in summer heat! Fatter=hotter chicken.
Hi Jim,
Ugh, south of Houston. I haven't been giving the chickens any scratch, just organic layer feed. I only just found out this morning that I do have scratch in the shed. I thought it was bird food for my bird feeders, but my husband say he keeps that in the garage. So, they've not had that at least since June 17th.

I have a tiny little baby pool that I put an inch of water in for them, but they've never gotten in it. I empty it at night. I do notice them panting and keeping their wings out. :( they have lots of shade and breeze, but they're still hot. A friend of mine said she set up a mister in her run. I heard problems can arise from that. Hmmm...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Bee said:
Yep. If you'll notice, the chickens will self-regulate their feed in high temps and will not eat as much, will find cool places to just lie down or dust and laying will slow a little, shells will be a little more thin, poop a little more liquid urates as they tend to drink more, pee more.

This eating less and producing less is normal and needed for their natural health and life cycles.
Thank you. I know I don't know as much as I need to know. The chickens are my husband's domain and he's out of the country until July 3rd. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge, Bee, and everyone!

Nichole
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Bee said:
As much as they can eat in 15 min. time. If you don't free range, you can do two meals per day. Don't give free choice if you have heavy hitters at the feeder.

If you free range, you can feed once in the evening and will feed even less than you do otherwise, as they will be getting most of their nutrients out on the grass.

How to know how much to give each meal? Same way you know how much to give your kids...if they leave some in the plate after each meal, it's too much. If they clean it up and lick the plate, add a little until they no longer do that within 15-30 min. time.
Okay, this is great! So I should feed at night, not in the morning. They don't completely free range. Their run is about 15' x 30' and they have access to two old compost pits, lots of bugs, but no grass left. I have a tractor, but I don't put them in it every day. Perhaps I should. Thank you so much for the 15 minutes advice! Extremely helpful!

:)
 
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