Chicken Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My flock reduced to 2 this summer. 2 left are best friends. Some trouble as bottom of the heap Fran would push Alpha Sue's buttons. Forage well in electric fenced area. Rather suddenly, they aren't eating much. (Minimal poop) Won't take most treats even. Don't seem sick. Fran is mid-molt so off. Any advice? No chicken vets in area.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My ladies are 18 months old. I feed fermented sprouted whole grains. Offered carrots, apples, bananas, grapes and cucumber. They ate the cucumber seeds. They peck some at the grass. It seems like they are looking for something.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
408 Posts
Fermented, sprouted, whole grains do not provide all the nutrients your chickens (or anyone else's) need. Any good brand of chicken feed that is not scratch feed will be much better for your chickens.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
While a change of feed sounds good, this all started because they had a glut of bugs and weren't eating their feed. My gut instinct is that they're out of whack nutritionally. What are insects low in that they are missing because forage was so good? I feel it might be magnesium. I added commercial pellets, oatmeal (high in magnesium) and spinach. They aren't touching the pellets. They eat some oatmeal and all the spinach. I don't normally offer so many options, but I don't want them to weaken and get sick.
 

· Administrator
Joined
·
25,039 Posts
I would try crumbles and not the pellets, chickens can be a pain in the neck if they never had pellets.

Their diets are carefully put together by scientists that understand their needs. Without testing most time you can't know what they are deficient in and trying to guess can make things worse.

Try making the pellets into a wet mash. Keep them up until they try it. Then get them on dry feed.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
408 Posts
I think the answer to your questions are in your own details. The sprouted grains do not offer the protein your chickens need, but the bugs do/did. That's why I suggested a commercial feed, but like Robin said, if your chickens aren't used to pellets, they may not eat it. Give the crumbles a try or make a wet mash as suggested.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just so you know, I was hasty in my reply. I feed a carefully researched mix of non GMO whole grains and soybeans. The soy isn't sprouted as only roasted is available. There are resources that have a lot of experience in making a balanced feed from scratch. They aren't eating their feed because freezing temperatures killed tons of bugs. Making easy pickings. They currently won't even eat corn. No new feed will be well received. I appreciate the help, I just think the answer is elsewhere.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
How old are they? What are they being fed?
They are 18 months old. I feed a carefully balanced blend of whole grains and soybeans. I sprout the grains and ferment it all. They eat it minimally when foraging is good. They are in electric netting fenced area that moves every couple weeks. Hard freeze made crickets and flies abundant and easy to get. The Australorp is still laying. (Too dark for the Cochin)
 

· Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Mypetchicken gave me advice that probably worms. Suggested wormer with fenbendazole. 20mg/kg for 3 days and they are doing better. Will repeat in 2 weeks. No eggs for us for awhile. The Australorp could take a break but she doesn't listen to reason.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If worms build up in the crop, they will feel full and not eat well. You only see worms in feces if they are shedding them at the right point in their life cycle. Their food is complete and balanced. They are recovering after deworming. It would have been better to do a fecal float, but I wasn't patient enough to get a sample to a vet. Ideally, whenever worms are suspected, you should do a fecal float to properly identify the species of parasite to treat properly. If they had been just a little off, I would have done so.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
While this may be true in some circumstances, not all worms are easily detected by sight. Maybe with a magnifying glass or a microscope for sure. You can't assume you will see worms if your chickens aren't well. I wouldn't want to wait until there's no room left in my girl's digestive system to treat.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top