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Feeding in the Run

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Might be going Mad, quite often am but sure Avocado is harmful for our Girlies.

Hopefully somebody else will come along soon to clarify, sorry if I have it wrong.


I believe you are right on this one Margaret. I have read it many times and already knew from having a parrot that there is something in Avocados that is very harmful to some pets.

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Thanks for tip on avocado. Had no idea they were bad for girls. Mine love them so no more.

Wonder what is in them that is bad.

The Wikipedia answer is below - (learning experience for me too :shock: )


Toxicity to animals

Avocado leaves, bark, skin, or pit are documented to be harmful to animals; cats, dogs, cattle, goats, rabbits, rats, birds, fish, and horses[20][34] can be severely harmed or even killed when they consume them. The avocado fruit is poisonous to some birds, and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) lists it as toxic to many animals including cats, dogs, and horses.[35] Avocado is an ingredient in AvoDerm dog food[36] and cat food.[37] However, the ASPCA has declined to say whether this food is safe or not.


Avocado leaves contain a toxic fatty acid derivative, persin, which in sufficient quantity can cause equine colic and, without veterinary treatment, death.[38] The symptoms include gastrointestinal irritation, vomiting, diarrhoea, respiratory distress, congestion, fluid accumulation around the tissues of the heart, and even death. Birds also seem to be particularly sensitive to this toxic compound. Feeding avocados or guacamole to any nonhuman animal should be avoided completely. Negative effects in humans seem to be primarily in allergic individuals.


:shock: Who'd have thought a little green thing could be so bad :( Meant to be good in lowering Cholesterol levels in us though....

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My two penneth. Our girls love, tinned sweetcorn, toms, banana, grapes, oranges and sultanas. I was adviced not to empty to mower grass box into the run as it could clog them up. Todays treat was 2 weetabix with warm skimmed milk with banana and sultanas sprinkled on top. Looked great and far superior to my breakfast!

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Chard and perpetual spinach are the veg of choice for my hens - it's funny watching them try to sqeeze through the chicken proof fence trying to grab leaves from the raised bed. They eat the leaves and leave the stalks, so when one of the hens got round to what we call 'our' part of the garden the spinach plant was stripped with just the stalks sticking up! A word of caution though, as too much spinach can affect eggshell quality. Perpetual spinach is very easy to grow, and may survive a mildish winter. They do turn their beaks up at a lot of other things I've tried, like lettuce, soft ripe apples off the tree, but do love grapes and also plums. They also finished up the tiniest cherry tomatoes from the plants which were too small for humans!

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OK so I tried the pumpkin and seeds but they didnt like that, tried cooked cabbage, they didnt like that... they aint half fussy!


Tried to buy alfalfa extract from cotswold chickens but they didnt have it, searched high and low on t'internet... only one other place who sell it and they dont have a contact number just an email address, of which they havent responded to my mails.


Does anyone know where I can buy alfalfa extract?

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Our girls will eat almost anything!

They especially love:

- swiss chard

- corn on the cob (we had a crop on the allotment that didn't taste very sweet for our palates, but the chickens didn't mind!) Now that's all gone I give tinned sweetcorn.

- sprouting broccoli leaves & bits that have gone to seed

- spinach

- raisins, plums, apples, grapes & numerous other fruits (I don't throw ones that are passed their best now, just cut any really bad bits out & pass them on :D )

- mixed corn

- live mealworms, and dried

- a selection of weeds from the allotment, I think one of them is chickweed- but not 100%

- cooked pasta (unsalted)

- they're favourite is a mixture of vegetable s"Ooops, word censored!"s, peelings, stalks etc all boiled up. I add un-peeled potatoes to the cooking mixture for some bulk- I love not throwing the peelings etc in the bin, I think about everything I throw away now!


The only thing I've found they weren't too fussed about was porridge, I thought they'd love it on a cold morning :roll:

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