Jump to content
Donna C

Can chickens eat wild bird food?

Recommended Posts

one of my chickens naughtily eats any 'wild bird seed' that falls to the ground from the feeder, but tbh the others (as greedy as they are) don't bother with it. they have tried it but don't seem to like it. i definetely wouldn't go out and buy wild bird food specifically for them. the one who does pinch it was rescued at 18 weeks old and we were told by the breeder that she was fed on wild bird seed :? , so we had to spend a couple of weeks weaning her off it - during which she had terrible diarrohea (poor thing :( ). since changing her diet to layers pellets her plummage looks so much better, she is more active, her eyes are brighter & her breathing is much improved :D (before she'd always have her beak open & sounded like a mini darth vader).

 

there are lots of healthy treats you can feed them though :D ...what are they currently eating it?

:idea: my girls love pecking at half a grapefruit, quartered oranges, grapes, raisins, tomatoes, apples (without the skin), dried mealworm, and as a very occasional favourite treat i blitz up a banana in the blender and soak a little bread in it for them :drool: . they don't really go for veg for some reason, and we've tried serving it in every way possible! i'd like to try them with some yoghurt next i think, as i've heard this has health benefits.

we only give them 1 type of treat each day, and it's always in the afternoon so that they're filled up on their proper pellets instead of treats. they also have a handful of corn in the winter before bed to keep them warm through the night.

 

are you wanting to give them something new because they're getting bored? or just to add variety? if they're in a run alot of the time and are getting bored then you could get a 'cage ball' to hang healthy treats in (fruit/veg), or simply hang up a brocolli or corn on the cob, or even a cabbage for them to peck at. this should keep them busy for a while! i also have a shiny toy (made specifically for chickens) :anxious: hanging in my girls run, although they don't really bother with it because i'm at home all day so they FR most of time. omlet (i think) & flyte so fancy sell 'boredom busters', which are similar to the hanging bird feed blocks, but are made to suit the requirements of a chicken's diet.

 

good luck & sorry for the long reply! (i didn't realise how much i'd written until i stopped to look at the screen!) hope it's been of some help anyway :wink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I keep a big bag of wild bird seed, and chuck a handful in the run to get them back in after free-ranging - it keeps them occupied as they scratch around for it. I wouldn't feed it as regular treat though.

 

Why not hang up one of those square bird-feeders that are meant to hold a block of suet, and fill it with greens, veg peelings etc- it slows down the rate at which they can eat and gives them something to peck at.

 

A whole cabbage on a string is quite a good toy, as well!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why not hang up one of those square bird-feeders that are meant to hold a block of suet, and fill it with greens, veg peelings etc- it slows down the rate at which they can eat and gives them something to peck at.

 

 

That's what I do! (Though mine was an old hay cube designed for rodents...same principle though!) I cut big wide strips of leaves, large chunks of broccoli and a couple medium tomatoes and/or strawberries...Then hang it up so it swings wildly. The pieces are too big for them to pull it straight out, but they get little tasters! One full cube lasts a couple of days! If I have any live mealworms, I'll pop a few in the middle...the girls can here them moving so get really excited...and when they finally emerge or get shaken out, it ups the excitement!! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
......(before she'd always have her beak open & sounded like a mini darth vader).

 

That's because when chickens eat fatty foods or too much carbohydrate, the fat builds up around their internal organs, putting a strain on their heart and air sacs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

That's because when chickens eat fatty foods or too much carbohydrate, the fat builds up around their internal organs, putting a strain on their heart and air sacs.

Bit like us then :wink:

 

My lot LOVE my home made version of Garvo treats but I use it only to get them in at night.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A wee bit as a treat is fine, just so long as their layers feed make up most of their rations. :D Mine love those dried gammarus shrimps, but only get them as a treat when I have needed to medicate them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
......(before she'd always have her beak open & sounded like a mini darth vader).

 

That's because when chickens eat fatty foods or too much carbohydrate, the fat builds up around their internal organs, putting a strain on their heart and air sacs.

 

oh no, i hope this doesn't effect her long-term since we changed her diet as soon as she came into our care :pray: because she was so young hopefully it won't haven't gotten to the point of internal problems

...silly breeder :?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If her diet hasn't been brilliant, then you might want to try a bit of a good quality poultry tonic in the water - they will all benefit from it too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought some of those shrimps for my girls , only I left the container on the floor with the lid on,and my dog decided they were just too smelly to resist and chewed the container apart, and ate about 97% of them :shameonu: Bad girl

So the girls only got the last few crumbs :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have just read that you can make your own suet to give hens in the winter to help with warmth and retaining protein etc., then read on here that you shouldn't give them fats. The recipe includes lard/coconut oil/home made fats. I'm now rather confused because I wanted to make this to help keep them warm over winter. They normally have layers pellets and vegetable & fruit scraps from March to October, then we rest them on corn and vegetable & fruit scraps October to March. I feel they need something more over Winter and thought the home made suet would be the answer - thoughts please. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Mekita, The Little Feed Company sell  Poultry Porridge "A warming and nutritious treat for winter"

My girls love the Gourmet Grit and the Super Seeds but I've not bought them the porridge yet.

( sorry, not sure what has happened to my fonts 😕 )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



×
×
  • Create New...