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What is chicken mash and its purpose?

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 

I was just wondering what chicken mash was and what is it used for?

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post #2 of 33

it is feed...they eat it...I know...it is what a pellet is before it is a pellet...comes in several different mixes...layer, grow/finish, starter

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post #3 of 33

its less processed chicken food - not ground all up and spit out of some machine into little pellets.  Normally produced by local mills versus a multiglobal food factory producing edible non-food substances.

I like it better than pellets, but it does seem that the chickens waste a bit of it.  It makes it easy to give them a hot meal (add warm water, or soup to the mash).  Chickens tend to pick out the pieces until you are left with a fine powder, that's when you dump in your yourgurt/milk/buttermilk/cottagecheese/other leftoevers and stir it up. Then they think it is really really tasty, and they get all the nutrients in the feed.

post #4 of 33

Mash, crumbles, and pellets are just different sizes of feed.  They are processed much the same and then screened for size and seperated into different bags.  Personally I prefer crumbles because I have bantams which can't all eat pellets easily but they don't waste as much crumbles as mash.  I think mash is also harder to eat actually since they have to peck up more pieces.  Pellets have the least waste but chickens tend to prefer crumbles and small bantams or younger birds may have trouble eating large pellets.

post #5 of 33

definitely not trying to argue here - maybe mash comes in different forms in different parts of the country. The mash I buy from the local mill has whole oats with the hulls on, corn kernals, some soybeans, etc  and some of it is ground up.- you can pick up a handful and see the oats, corns, etc. There is also a nutrient mix added...   the only pellets I've seen are uniform color (kind of tan) and if you crush them with a spoon, you get powder. 

With pellets, the ingredients are pulverized to flour consistency, and formulated in a machine - "baked" to make the pellets. 

My banties eat the mash same as my other chickens.  I did buy a bag of pellets by mistake one day, and the chickens won't eat them indoors. Sometimes if I throw some on the ground, they will pick up some of them to eat.  But they leave most of them. 

I've been trying to use up the 50 pounds by throwing a handful in  the feeder when I fill it, but they mostly pick them out and leave them. 

Some folks feed only pellets, and some folks don't have access to anything else - pellets are more likely to be carried at the big stores.  So if you live in an urban area, you are likely to use pellets.

Have to say, chickens will do fine on mash or pellets, or whatever.

post #6 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teach97 

it is feed...they eat it...I know...it is what a pellet is before it is a pellet...comes in several different mixes...layer, grow/finish, starter


The only answer that is even close & actually it's right on. The missing element is the crumble. After the mash is formed into a pellet the pellet is then run through a chopper that, well, chops it into a crumble.

APA General Licensed Judge with 50 years experience raising and showing all manner of fowl.

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APA General Licensed Judge with 50 years experience raising and showing all manner of fowl.

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post #7 of 33

All the mash I've seen is nearly powder.  It's the same as what's left in the bottom of a bag of crumbles or pellets.  I would think it's more the brand your getting than the form.  Sometimes in pellets you can see bits and pieces.  It just depends on the brand as to what went into them and how they made them. 

I've had the same with guinea pig pellets.  Get some cheap pellets and put one in your mouth (or drop in water if you can't stand to do that).  It will turn to salty mush.  Now get the good quality pellets and you'll have left a nutty flavored bit of hay like putting bits of grass or hay leavings in your mouth.  It just depends on the manufacturer and the mill you get the pellets from.

post #8 of 33

Mash is defined as a feed made from grains and other ingredients that is ground into small pieces.  It is what pellets are made from, although it can also be bought by the bag.  Some may feed it to chicks, especially if they are smaller, like bantams.  Some crumble is too big for bantams.  Usually though, most people feed chicks crumble, since that's the form most chick starter comes in and if it's too big, just toss it in a blender until the chicks get a little larger.

I know there are studies that have been done on the effects of feeding mash vs other styles of chicken feed, geared toward the commercial chicken industry.  I don't really know how it may be used in large commercial operations.

Lalaland, I know the style of feed you're talking about.  It is really good for the chickens.  I'm just not sure what the technical term is for it.  It's a complete chicken feed.  Some mills or individuals use cracked or rolled grains when they mix their chicken feed.  Others leave them whole.  It also has a protein source, vitamins and minerals added.  If we don't get some additional input on terminology here, maybe we can start a new thread on the various names used for that style of chicken feed.  Whole grain chicken feed, maybe?  The style with cracked and rolled grains might be cracked grain chicken feed?  I know scratch is defined as being plain grain.  Chicken feed is a complete diet.  And I don't doubt that your feed mill calls it mash.

post #9 of 33

In my experience with Blue Seal, Agway (southern states), and Tractor Supply, mash and crumble are the same thing, just depends on the company as to what they call it. 

If the feed has whole grain in it you are buying Scratch and it is being mis-labled as mash.

You can take a picture of your best laying hen, post it on Backyardchickens and ask what sex it is and somebody will tell you its a Roo....
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You can take a picture of your best laying hen, post it on Backyardchickens and ask what sex it is and somebody will tell you its a Roo....
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post #10 of 33

It is pretty interesting to see how we are all using the same words to refer to different things.  Up here in Minnesota, you can get your egg mash, with whole grains. If you pick up a handful, it isn't powder - it is like a mix of grains. 

It isn't scratch, which tends to be whole and/or cracked corn and whole oats.  Does have that in it, but also the nutrients/minerals, and egg mash is usuallly around 16% protein, and is different from mash for meat birds.

I suppose the factories grind the stuff up pretty fine and then you are just talking the difference in whether you have meat by products or chicken by products or what as an ingredient.  The stuff I feed doesn't have any byproducts from other processing, although I can get that stuff at the local big box farm store (fleet farm).

I'm also wondering if what we call pellets might be what some of you are calling crumbles.  What are crumbles? The pellets look like very very fat strands of spaghetti chopped into 1/3 of an inch or so pieces.  Is that what your crumbles look like?

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