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10 weekers have found a new treat...good, ok, or bad?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by 4H kids and mom, May 11, 2007.

  1. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

    974
    2
    171
    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    Well, first a little on the changing situation here..lol [​IMG]

    We have the chickens (the older 10 weekers) free ranging our 3/4 acre yard all day, along with our two goats. Both the coop and goat pen are left open for them to have access to feed, etc and a shady place to cool down. We have a medium sized hay holder in the middle (ish) of our yard for the goats, along with a good size automatic water tub that both the chickens and goats use while they are roaming the yard.

    Ok, so here's the problem. Our chickens have discovered that they REALLY like the goats Sweet 16 feed. We moved the goats dishes up off the ground, and that didnt deture them. Then we bought hanging buckets, but the chickens can still get into it. We cant close off the pen to the goats, or lock the goats up (WAY too hot for that as the pen has only one SMALL window/vent). We cant seperate them (like divide the yard) because the 'humans' also share the space, and that would make getting around harder. [​IMG]

    So....how bad is the stuff for them really? They like it, but dont eat TONS of it or anything. I'm hoping its just like a 'scratch' to them and wont do them any harm. Here's the ingredients (for those of you who dont do the 'goat' thing...lol...its an all-purpose type feed for goats and some cattle and horses):

    Cracked corn, Oats, Liquid Molasses, 18 1/2% Dical, TM Salt, Cattle Lac, 44% Soybean Meal

    And the Analysis:

    Crude Protien: 16%
    Crude Fat: 3.5%
    Crude Fiber: 5%


    I'm not worried about the oats or corn or soybean meal, as they already get that in their organic feeds. I am more worried with the Dical (I have no idea what it is), Molasses, Salt, and Cattle Lac (which I also have no idea what it is!) Any help is appreciated! [​IMG]
     
  2. Critter Crazy

    Critter Crazy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2007
    Binghamton, NY
    I cant imagine it would be too bad for them. My chickens used to get into the horses feed all the time, and it was pretty much the same thing. As long as they arent going craz and eating tons, they should be fine.
     
  3. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Those darn chickens! Ours are always into mischief too! [​IMG]
    So here are my comments. I'm not being critical, so please don't take these comments that way.

    Watch the sodium/salt content; high levels can be lethal to your birds.

    Of course they love it... but that doesn't make it good for them. You said your birds already get corn in their feed. Excessive amounts of cracked corn can make them fat, which can cause health/laying issues. Feeding too much cracked corn is like feeding a small child chocolates instead of veggies. It comes down to.. which would the child prefer vs which is healthier.

    Add the molasses and you have carb overload. This is reducing the amount of protein in their diet. They need the protein to grow healthy and properly.

    Dical is Calcium and Vitamin D - your 10 week old chicks don't need the extra calcium as it could damage their kidneys, causing renal failure and death.

    Cattle Lac is made with molasses and stimulates beneficial bacteria in a rumin to allow the animal (goat, cattle) to break down grass roughage. Chickens do not need this.

    If it were me, I'd try to find a way to keep the flock out of it.

    regards,
    keljonma

    if edited, probably for typos...
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2007
  4. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

    974
    2
    171
    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    Ok so my talented DH managed to solve the problem for me while I sat here posting away...lol [​IMG]

    He simply installed a "doggy" door on the goats door big enough for them. We worked all day teaching them to use it and they got it down good now. The chicks dont know what to think and wont even give it a go. I guess if they figure it out in the future, we may have to devise something else. But, hopefully by then, the goats (who are only a little over three months old- one was born 01/06/07 and the other on 01/09/07) will have grown enough that we can raise their bucket feeders out of the reach of the chicks. [​IMG]

    And yes, there is some corn in their feed, but I guess I should have specified that I mix my own organic feed for them with corn, oats, wheat, millet, peas, etc. I mix all this with their organic pullet grower feed to acheive a (now) 50/50 mix. (Once I re-read what I'd posted, it made it sound like I was feeding them a corn diet! lol Just wanted to correct that!) They dont seem real picky (yet), like some have said. They eat the pullet feed and the corn about the same. I think they just liked the goats feed because it was sweet... [​IMG] Silly chickens!

    Thanks for the advice, and I'm glad I dont have to worry TOO much IF they get into it again. We are being more careful though, so it shouldn't happen again.....shouldn't be the operative word.... [​IMG]
     
  5. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    4H kids and mom,

    Glad to hear you have a solution!

    The people who owned the farm before us had small dogs (corgis, beagles) and had installed a pet door in the laundry/mud room so the dogs could access the farm yard. It is much to small for our Great Pyrenees. We had the chick's brooder in the laundry/mud room. So we removed the pet door from the house when we were moving the chicks from the laundry/mud room into the barn/hen house.

    We use the pet door for the chickens. I tried showing my daredevil girl (our White Wyandotte) how to go through it, but she didn't like the experience, so none of the others will even try. I had to have a way to hold open the swinging plastic, so I use the solid door to prop it open. None of the flock will go through the door if I forget to secure the plastic! [​IMG]

    Here is a pic of our pet door into the hen house taken last autumn. I brace a window over the outside of the door at night and in inclement weather. That way no predators can push through the door at night. And in the daytime, the window allows additional sunlight into the hen house without letting in the blizzard. [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    regards,
    keljonma

    if edited, probably for typos...
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2007

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