Rhode Islands Reds not eating

by Bradford
(London, UK)


Rhode Islands Reds not eating: I have two RIR I acquired those 3 weeks ago. They are POL, but have not laid for me yet. I have put this down to the settling in period.

I have fed them layers mixed with a little corn & sunflower seed since I got them, which they have eaten fine.

One of them is molting quite heavily. When the temp dropped below zero around a week ago, I started to give them a handful or two of dried mealworms twice a day to up there protein intake.

I’ve heard that it will aid in feather growth. Now they won't eat the pellets/corn mix! I have tried mashing it with hot water, mixing it with live yogurt, garlic, poultry spice and they still won’t eat it.

I cut out the meal worms two days ago and they have pretty much eaten nothing since, except for fallen feathers.

They have been drinking water with poultry spice. Late this afternoon, just before their bedtime, I sat next to the run and watched them. One of them was standing with her tail down, puffed out and tilting her neck with her eyes shut.

This lasted around 5 minutes then she pooped and seemed to perk up. She had a rummage in the food bowl. I think she ate a few sunflower seeds.
I am really concerned now, as I don't know what to do about getting them to eat.

Also, I am concerned about the tail down episode today. What should I do? Please help.

This is my second batch of two chickens, the first two died through compacted crop. I fed them the wrong food. Obviously I have tried to do everything by the book this time.

They have had no treats at all except for dried meal worms for around 5 days in a row. I really don't know what to do.

You are right that the hens aren’t laying because they need to settle into their new home. This can take a while but don’t be discouraged. Eventually, they will lay eggs.

It is advisable to keep your chickens on the food that they were on previously. Changing foods can cause digestive upsets.

This could be the cause for your hen’s odd behavior. She very easily could have been constipated and once she pooped, felt a lot better!

You can try adding molasses to their corn and pellet mix to entice them to eat. If that doesn’t work, try a little bit of bread drizzled with olive oil. That should make her regular again.

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