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Do they eat their own poop?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I've seen the girls in the hen house  - where I never put food, pecking away at the pine shavings and whatever poo is in there and they eat something.  Are they eating poo or pine shavings?

Is this okay?

post #2 of 11

I saw mine eat poop too. Yuck, but they haven't died from eating it so I think it's ok.roll

Lisa

Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.
Mahatma Gandhi
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Lisa

Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.
Mahatma Gandhi
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post #3 of 11

Rabbits need to eat some of their poops to keep their gastointestinal tract going.

Chickens might be the same.

Cecal pellets help them absorb nutrients:

http://www.practical-pet-care.com/archive.php?2005031017595109

post #4 of 11

I would have been better off not knowing.

Former keeper of hens, life isn't much fun without chickens... but

 

"With God, ALL things are possible."

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Former keeper of hens, life isn't much fun without chickens... but

 

"With God, ALL things are possible."

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post #5 of 11

Some folks use the DLM just to increase their flock's protein intake....yes, they do eat their own poop.  And, in some CAFOs, their poop is fed to cattle and sheep for extra protein.

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

thanks for the advice so far....My girls get plenty of protein so I'm not worried about that...they can't possibly be bored so maybe it's just something they do

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahonri 

I would have been better off not knowing.


Me, too, Mahonri.   Sometimes ignorance is bliss, especially while I'm eating my eggs.

~~~"Is this Heaven?...    "No, it's Iowa"  ~~~   
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~~~"Is this Heaven?...    "No, it's Iowa"  ~~~   
---> ---> ---> My dog is a hero. <--- <--- <---
Mobile Utility Trailer Brooder          Old Style Hen-House Tractor
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post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by SurprisingWoman 

Rabbits need to eat some of their poops to keep their gastointestinal tract going.

Chickens might be the same.

Cecal pellets help them absorb nutrients:

http://www.practical-pet-care.com/archive.php?2005031017595109


Rabbits, yes, but I had not ever read that about chickens.

post #9 of 11

After one hen poos, another is right there to clean up after her.  I really do not have too much poo in the coop or in their run and they are well fed, spoiled chickens so I do not understand their need to eat each others poo!  Just grosses me out!!  Of course, my beagle wants to eat their poo, too!  YUCK!  hmm

Wife to a great husband who tolerates my chicken craze, mom to 3 kiddos, cake decorator, waitress, domestic engineer and caretaker to a LOUD beagle and 6 Black Australorps!
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Wife to a great husband who tolerates my chicken craze, mom to 3 kiddos, cake decorator, waitress, domestic engineer and caretaker to a LOUD beagle and 6 Black Australorps!
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post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by cherylcohen 

. . .  maybe it's just something they do


Well, I think you've got that right.

My birds have plenty of grit to choose from but scratch seed often seems to go straight thru them.

Pigeons build nests with all this poop included. The babies eat some of that and you are NOT supposed to do anything to discourage it. Their parents feed them partially digested food (crop milk) and more fully digested food . . .

All a part of the natural diet . . . and yes, the chickens do eat some wood shavings, too. . . . dirt, composted stuff, fallen tree leaves, etc. etc. etc.

Steve

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TheEasyGarden - Gardening Forum

Easy - Fun - Fulfilling... How Gardening Should Be

www.theeasygarden.com

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