What can't you feed your chickens - Homesteading Today
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  #1  
Old 07/01/10, 10:38 PM
 
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What can't you feed your chickens

I have heard that you can feed chickens almost anything, but are the plants or other food items you shouldn't feed them? Also, how much should they eat? Do they stop eating when they are full? Mine seem to eat A LOT!

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  #2  
Old 07/01/10, 10:45 PM
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I give mine free reign to eat whatever & however much. They stop when they are satisfied. Mine are free range with free choice lay crumble and couple scoops of bird feed (milo, millet, sunflower) daily. That's not counting whatever bugs they find. I usually toss out anything & everything from the fridge that isnt good anymore. They dont like citrus & "rotten" things, meat especially, is bad for them.

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  #3  
Old 07/02/10, 12:04 AM
 
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i dont feed mine other chickens i find that kinda mean and they might start eating each other

also they dont like garlic or onions or moldy food they will eat it but i dont think its too good on them

and dont let your chickens around broken glass there stupid and the sun hit they glass and they eat it (ya i lost 6 chickens one year cause they were eating this before i got them away from it and its the only thing i can think of that would of killed them)

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  #4  
Old 07/02/10, 11:33 AM
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They like to eat styrofoam too, so keep that away from them.

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  #5  
Old 07/02/10, 11:55 AM
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You're not supposed to feed them raw potatoes.

I never feed anything that's rotten or moldy, no citrus, no onions or garlic (I heard they could affect the flavor of the eggs, not in a good way). I don't feed meat to my hens, either since that usually goes to my barn cats. My hens free range sometimes so they get plenty of bugs or whatever else they scratch up.

I also stopped feeding my chickens weeds that I've pulled up myself because I found the chickens were having more issues with impacted crops. Basically, since they weren't pulling the pieces of grass/weed off of the plant themselves, they were eating larger pieces. The larger pieces were rolling up into a "ball" in their crop and impacted the crops... which then led to sour crop... which then led to dead chickens. Now I just burn my weeds and compost the rest... and leave the weed eating to the chickens when the stuff is still in the ground.

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  #6  
Old 07/02/10, 11:58 AM
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I guess a basic overall statement about chickens and eating is this. They will eat (or attempt to eat) anything, especially if it moves. They're curious and peck at everything in their surroundings.

I was painting my chicken coop once and the chickens were trying to eat the paint. I had several white-beaked hens for awhile. I moved the lid of the paint can on top of a fence, and they simply flew up there and got a snack... and they walked around on the lid to get it on their feet, too.

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  #7  
Old 07/02/10, 12:51 PM
 
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As far as the amount to feed them the answers will be different in regards to meat birds, layers, growing layers, free range, etc.

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  #8  
Old 07/02/10, 01:39 PM
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I have 32 chickens. I put 4 cool whip bowls of layer in the feeders this morning and there is still some out there.[if they were empty, i would put more] But I also give them treats of whatever and they peck around outside for bugs ect.
I stay away from raw potatoes and any meat [which goes to the barn cats].
Just how I do it.........................

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  #9  
Old 07/04/10, 09:55 AM
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My chickens eat raw potato peelings all the time and haven't gotten sick or died. Why can't you do this?

Is there a reason NOT to feed meat? Does it affect the flavor of meat or eggs if fed in large quantities? Chickens are natural scavengers. I give any meat scraps and some deer meat once in a while to my chickens.

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  #10  
Old 07/04/10, 12:55 PM
 
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Yeah I dont get that. Mine love potatos...

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  #11  
Old 07/04/10, 01:49 PM
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What I've read is that you shouldn't feed GREEN potato peelings. I've been chicken sitting for a week now, so thanks for this thread! My "wards" are very happy with the treats!

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  #12  
Old 07/04/10, 01:59 PM
 
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We give ours a big chunk of styrofoam once in a while for a treat. They love it.

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  #13  
Old 07/04/10, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beaglady View Post
They like to eat styrofoam too, so keep that away from them.
yes mine love to get after a stray foam cup or plate. hasn't killed them yet tho.

garlic greens are good for them but the garlic cloves & onions aren't bad but they do have a tendency to flavor the eggs. raw potato skins will give chickens the scours. mine are good about just not eating what isn't good for them .. 'sides the foam cup/plates lol.

mine LOVE meat, it especially helps them in the winter. it doesn't do anything different to the eggs just boost the hens health. i let them eat whatever meat, if one died i wouldn't let them eat that but they LOVE to pic deer bones clean or the cut up liver & organs. we hunt deer so in the winter there is plenty for them. i just don't let the bones/scraps go bad cause the rotten meat will give limp-neck & other things that WILL kill them.
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Last edited by WstTxLady; 07/04/10 at 03:37 PM.
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  #14  
Old 07/04/10, 09:59 PM
 
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what not to feed chickens

I have also read that Green potatoe skins are poisonous to humans

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  #15  
Old 07/04/10, 10:07 PM
 
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So, my DH has been fishing and giving the "cleanings" to the girls. I assume this is alright? The muscovy drake likes it the best!

Rickki
(calicoty)

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  #16  
Old 07/04/10, 10:17 PM
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I feed them everything: meat, potato skins, fish guts, frogs, dead mice from the traps, moldy stuff from the fridge, wheelbarrow loads of weeds. If they dont like it, they wont eat it. They pick the sausage chunks out of spaghetti sauce, first thing. I haven't seen them ever eat orange peels, those they dont touch.

I dont give them styrofoam 'treats' though, that seems unhealthy to me.

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  #17  
Old 07/04/10, 10:20 PM
 
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Oh yes, that's great! And should boost the omegas in the eggs. Nice and healthy.

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  #18  
Old 07/04/10, 11:21 PM
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Do most of you who don't feed meat just not feed it because you're giving it to the dogs and cats or is there another reason? I always try to give the chickens our meat scraps and yucky deer meat because I figure that they can turn it into food for us. The dogs and cats only get the meat if my husband gives it to them before I can sneak it out to the coop.

I also found out by accident that chicken eat styrofoam, oops. Didn't kill them though. Oh and loose livestock minerals. Talk about expensive chicken feed at $30 per 50lbs!

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  #19  
Old 07/05/10, 10:01 AM
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Chickens are omnivores and animal protein is good for them. I feed meat when I have it, though it is hard for the birds to get much with 3 big dogs. It is ok to feed chicken to chickens too. They don't care where it comes from.

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  #20  
Old 07/05/10, 10:35 AM
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When we had chickens before we would give our potbellie pig pretty much everything left over and the chickens would try to get it first, so they ate just about everything. When we butchered chickens we threw out everything to them raw and all, it did not make them canibals either.

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