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sweet feed for chickens - Page 2

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by wendamus View Post

My feed store charges $8.99 a bag for sweet feed, and $17.99 for chicken feed. Both are %16 protein.

I'd like nutritional reasons I couldn't sub in some sweet feed. Right now my eggs cost 3x store bought eggs, its not cost effective.

"Its not appropriate" isn't enough. I have read back threads with vague advice. I would like to see required protein, carb and vitamin content so I can compare with the label.

My chickens free range over 1/4 avre, and supplement their diet with bugs and stolen garden bits. They're not fat, they get plenty of exercise.

Most sweet feeds are 8-12% protein. I have never seen a sweet feed with 16% protein,but if indeed it is thats a plus. The second factor is sweet feed doesnt have the calcium added that laying hens need. As others have noted chickens can get too much mollasses and have digestive issues and become sickly,primarily in young birds though.  That being said I do mix it in at times with laying pellets,or grower etc.,but I never go more than 50%. The primary issue with hens laying optimally is 16-18% protein and the added calcium.

post #12 of 15

We use layer crumbles as feed in the morning, they pasture all day, and they get sweet feed for dinner.  So far it seems to be working great.  Our chickens appear healthy, regular poop, proper weight, very firm eggshells, and shiny-shiny feathers.  Sweet feed makes up only 1/2 their diet at most though. They have unlimited access to grit and oyster, as well as well water, which has a high calcium content as well (it's practically liquid rock here).

1 Production Red, 2 Easter Eggers in our first homemade coop!  Dad, Mom, Little Man, and Littler Man.  Susan the Cat, The Shrimp Tank and a Garden.

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1 Production Red, 2 Easter Eggers in our first homemade coop!  Dad, Mom, Little Man, and Littler Man.  Susan the Cat, The Shrimp Tank and a Garden.

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"Breath deep, Seek peace."
-Dinotopian Greeting

 

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post #13 of 15

It is best to avoid sweet feeds in a chicken's diet. Various forms of sugar are used as bulking agents in some vitamin preparations and should be avoided.  Too much sugar can create a thirst and predispose birds to bowel problems. There's a big difference between that and naturally occuring Fructooligosaccharides which feed the good probiotic bacteria in the birds intestinal tract.

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post #14 of 15
I feed it to my goats and the chickens cleanup the leftovers. Other than that they fend for themselves as free rangers. All I provide is shelter at night and best boxes. Giving free range birds grit is a waste of money as is feeding them more than just to supplement. They are capable of feeding themselves.
That being said, in the cold of winter I will feed them corn just to supplement a bit more. I also plant ryegrass in the fall to help my animals and birds with greens. I'm in central louisiana so we have much shorter winters here.
post #15 of 15
Why do my ducks and chickens literally crazy over sweet feed ? They attack it seriously. Even my skidish ones come to me but only for sweet feed ! Is sweet feed even on to give to them ?
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