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Suet for chickens?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

still new at the chicken thing here...just wondering if the ladies can eat a little suet (meant for birds) once in a while?  I guess you wouldn't want them to have much so they get fat.  So, if the answer is yes then the next questions are - how much, how often, is there a homemade recipe/version?  Sorry if this is a totally amateur question, but I guess since I am an amateur then it would be dumber not to ask!  *also can they have some black oil sunflower seeds in the shell? if so, what are the limitations there?

post #2 of 12

I use it in the winter,I put it in a suet holder and and put a sting on it and hang it from the ceiling that way they don`t get a lot at once and gives them something to do.

Buff,blue,black and splash orpingtons,and silkies.One sheltie, boarder collie mix dog                                       

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Buff,blue,black and splash orpingtons,and silkies.One sheltie, boarder collie mix dog                                       

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post #3 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by chesapeakechickens 

still new at the chicken thing here...just wondering if the ladies can eat a little suet (meant for birds) once in a while?  I guess you wouldn't want them to have much so they get fat.  So, if the answer is yes then the next questions are - how much, how often, is there a homemade recipe/version?  Sorry if this is a totally amateur question, but I guess since I am an amateur then it would be dumber not to ask!  *also can they have some black oil sunflower seeds in the shell? if so, what are the limitations there?


They can have suet but it's not very good for them, as it's just plain fat. I feed it very rarely, maybe 2-3 times a year. I feed it to them the night before it's going to be very sub-zero and again in the morning. I have about 40 birds and do a quarter cake each time.

They can also have black oil sunflower seeds, shell and all. This is actually a bit better for them than suet as it has fat and protein in there. I feed mine a cup in the morning sprinkled in their shavings and some on the ground outside, and then again at night when they go to bed. Less in the summer, more in the winter.

All of these things are considered "treats" and shouldn't make up a large part of your birds diet. If you're in a colder climate they can have more calories in the winter to keep warm. I consider cold below freezing for long periods of time.

A lonely blue girl guards the riverbed, she shakes her brown torch at the tide...

 

 

 

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A lonely blue girl guards the riverbed, she shakes her brown torch at the tide...

 

 

 

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post #4 of 12

I feed it to them on really cold mornings. They love it! If they had it their way, they would eat it all the time.

The littlest chicken wrangler in the Northeast
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The littlest chicken wrangler in the Northeast
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post #5 of 12

they can definitely have black sunflower seeds in the shell, they LOVE it. and it's got a lot of good oils and stuff, I hand feed mine BOSS as a treat. I don't know about the suet, I know birds are given flock blocks, which is basically a giant suet, but it's held together with something else, like molasses. I'm also wondering about the suet, hope someone has experience with it and will let us know. not that mine need to be *more* spoiled! lol

Wheaten/Blue Wheaten Ameraucanas, Black and Blue Copper Marans, 1 EE, 1 white Silkie hen and 2 'milkie' chicks (marans x silkies), 1 Dominique hen. 2 female free range rabbits, 2 cats and 1 dog. Homesteader, organic gardener, and most importantly chicken fanatic!



"Gardening is the purest of human pleasures." -- Francis Bacon

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Wheaten/Blue Wheaten Ameraucanas, Black and Blue Copper Marans, 1 EE, 1 white Silkie hen and 2 'milkie' chicks (marans x silkies), 1 Dominique hen. 2 female free range rabbits, 2 cats and 1 dog. Homesteader, organic gardener, and most importantly chicken fanatic!



"Gardening is the purest of human pleasures." -- Francis Bacon

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post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the great responses...keep them coming if you have anything else to add.  I know that our ladies will be just fine as we have read about so many of you who have much colder temps than we do.  However, when I went out there this morning and it had gotten down to somewhere around 19 last night (our coldest so far this year I think) I just got all sappy about those little cuties!  Just wanna keep them happy....but also healthy and still laying!  I can't believe how cold it gets where some of you folks live!

post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by chesapeakechickens 

Thanks for the great responses...keep them coming if you have anything else to add.  I know that our ladies will be just fine as we have read about so many of you who have much colder temps than we do.  However, when I went out there this morning and it had gotten down to somewhere around 19 last night (our coldest so far this year I think) I just got all sappy about those little cuties!  Just wanna keep them happy....but also healthy and still laying!  I can't believe how cold it gets where some of you folks live!


First I love that 3 Mainers answered... smile


And chesapeakechickens... with your name I'm assuming you're in Maryland? That's where I'm originally from. The winters aren't bad enough temperature wise to be too worried, as long as your girls have somewhere to go away from wind (like a nice draft free (but well ventilated) coop). If you get snow, just shovel it out where you want your birds to go and then add shavings or hay on top of what you shoveled by the chicken door, and they'll come out. If they're still hesitant to come out, sprinkle some of the black oil sunflower seeds on the hay/shavings. Also on cold mornings mine get some of their food mixed with hot water in a bowl. That way they get some fluid and something to warm them up.

You should check out the following cold weather thread:

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=5145374

A lonely blue girl guards the riverbed, she shakes her brown torch at the tide...

 

 

 

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A lonely blue girl guards the riverbed, she shakes her brown torch at the tide...

 

 

 

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post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by superchemicalgirl 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chesapeakechickens 

Thanks for the great responses...keep them coming if you have anything else to add.  I know that our ladies will be just fine as we have read about so many of you who have much colder temps than we do.  However, when I went out there this morning and it had gotten down to somewhere around 19 last night (our coldest so far this year I think) I just got all sappy about those little cuties!  Just wanna keep them happy....but also healthy and still laying!  I can't believe how cold it gets where some of you folks live!


First I love that 3 Mainers answered... smile


And chesapeakechickens... with your name I'm assuming you're in Maryland? That's where I'm originally from. The winters aren't bad enough temperature wise to be too worried, as long as your girls have somewhere to go away from wind (like a nice draft free (but well ventilated) coop). If you get snow, just shovel it out where you want your birds to go and then add shavings or hay on top of what you shoveled by the chicken door, and they'll come out. If they're still hesitant to come out, sprinkle some of the black oil sunflower seeds on the hay/shavings. Also on cold mornings mine get some of their food mixed with hot water in a bowl. That way they get some fluid and something to warm them up.

You should check out the following cold weather thread:

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=5145374


Thanks so much for the snow advice!  The girls haven't had to venture through any just yet, but if my kids snow-wishing efforts have any effect they will be in over their heads!  Yes, we are from Maryland and our chickens have a nice coop that is always a work in progress.  We would like to do a little more "buttoning up", but they seem to be doing quite well.  I'll check out that thread for sure. I think they would love some chicken feed "oatmeal" in the morning!  We'll have to try that out.

post #9 of 12

My scratch consists of basic bird seed, a little BOSS, raisins, veggie scraps (if they are on-hand) wheat bread, oyster shell, some cracked corn, rolled oats, 1/2 a suet cake, and if its really cold, cooked oatmeal. Of note, all the ingredients that are listed before the suet cake comes up to about the 1/2 way mark in a 4 gallon bucket, so the suet is fairly widely dispersed. In the summer time, the corn is cut down and the suet comes out, and I kick up the BOSS just a little bit.


Edited by DFCottage - 1/4/12 at 1:57pm

Shady Lane Farm (NPIP/AI): On 50 beautiful acres in central Virginia we raise: Black Copper Marans, Olive Eggers, Wheaten Ameraucanas, Silver Penciled Rocks, GermanNHxUtilityNH, Calico Cochin bantams, BCLB Dutch bantams, and Dark Cornish bantams. Also home to 2 OTTBs, a QH, a rescue mini and her goat, and 7 cats.
Search for us on Facebook under 'Shady Lane Farm' and look for the black australorp.
w...

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Shady Lane Farm (NPIP/AI): On 50 beautiful acres in central Virginia we raise: Black Copper Marans, Olive Eggers, Wheaten Ameraucanas, Silver Penciled Rocks, GermanNHxUtilityNH, Calico Cochin bantams, BCLB Dutch bantams, and Dark Cornish bantams. Also home to 2 OTTBs, a QH, a rescue mini and her goat, and 7 cats.
Search for us on Facebook under 'Shady Lane Farm' and look for the black australorp.
w...

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post #10 of 12
Mine love it. Especially on days they can't go outside and it's cold. I have it in a feeder hanging in the coup.
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