Am I doing something wrong?

Annalyse

Songster
Mar 24, 2020
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New Jersey
I was searching winter keeping for chickens, clicked on a website, and found this "A common myth is to feed oatmeal to birds in the winter. This is not a beneficial treat for chickens. Oats contain some types of fiber that chickens can’t digest which can cause the contents of the digestive tract to thicken. This leads to a reduction in the bird’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients. Greens are also unnecessary. Hens may pick at hay and spread it around, but they are not going to eat it."

1. I give my chickens hot oatmeal once in a while maybe depends on the coldest day. Is it bad for them?
2. I've watched my chickens gobble down strands of hay in front of me and sometimes I pull it out of their mouth if I'm close enough. (They know the words drop it, kinda like a dog).
 

Alaskan

The Frosted Flake
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If it is super cold (-10F and colder) I feed my chickens fat, fatty fish, and high protein (20%) feed.

I have for years, it works great.

With cold temps, chickens need more nutrient dense feed so that they can keep themselves warm.

I have only very rarely seen my hens eat strands of hay...they prefer picking out the seeds. I use hay, because that is what I have easily available.
 

Annalyse

Songster
Mar 24, 2020
1,218
987
231
New Jersey
If it is super cold (-10F and colder) I feed my chickens fat, fatty fish, and high protein (20%) feed.

I have for years, it works great.

With cold temps, chickens need more nutrient dense feed so that they can keep themselves warm.

I have only very rarely seen my hens eat strands of hay...they prefer picking out the seeds. I use hay, because that is what I have easily available.
They have hay in there run so the grounds not cold. But so is the oatmeal method I'm doing okay for them? What warm other healthy things can I give them to stay warm in the morning?
 

Alaskan

The Frosted Flake
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They have hay in there run so the grounds not cold. But so is the oatmeal method I'm doing okay for them? What warm other healthy things can I give them to stay warm in the morning?
Oatmeal is reducing the overall protein level that they are eating.

High protein (18 to 20%) and fat help them stay warm.

If your cold temps are 15F or warmer, I don't think it matters what you feed them.

Warm wet feed has to be fed carefully, especially on super cold (zero F and colder) since you don't want wet feed sticking to their faces, then freezing and causing frostbite.

Freezer burnt salmon, or left over bacon fat poured over their pellets, or a suet block from the store, or a homemade suet block (which is the bacon fat poured over pellets) are all great treats.
 

Pghelp

Songster
Jul 4, 2018
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I've been experimenting with fermenting their layer feed which I've seen recommended by a lot of people more experienced with chickens than I am. On cold mornings I add some warm water. I add a spoonful of oatmeal and their scratch to give it some texture and stir the whole mess together. I'm finding they love it and waste a lot less feed. I had been leaving the pellet feed out for them but there always seems to be as much scratched out as eaten. I wouldn't feed them just oatmeal, but I haven't seen any harm from mixing it with the other feed. There was another thread on BYC a while back where someone was talking about feeding oats to their flock. A search might locate that one.
 

chickengr

Free Ranging
6 Years
Dec 29, 2014
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I mix cayenne pepper with their feed when it is cold. sometimes I boil rice with cayenne pepper, herbs and some olive oil. it doesn't have to be cooked. I let it absorb all watter and if I putt too much water I just add some chicken feed. corn, wheat, etc. might be boiled together with rice.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Nov 27, 2012
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Chicken don't need warm food....that's more for the keeper to feel good.
All they need is a good chicken ration and fresh water.


I was searching winter keeping for chickens, clicked on a website, and found this "A common myth is to feed oatmeal to birds in the winter. This is not a beneficial treat for chickens. Oats contain some types of fiber that chickens can’t digest which can cause the contents of the digestive tract to thicken. This leads to a reduction in the bird’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients. Greens are also unnecessary. Hens may pick at hay and spread it around, but they are not going to eat it."
Would be good to add a link to where you found this.
 

ADKcluckers

Chirping
Aug 2, 2020
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Southern Adirondacks NY
I would be shocked to find that "greens are also unnecessary" is actually true. I've seen so many chickens eating whatever greens they can get either from foraging, raiding gardens, or picking what they want from yard and kitchen scraps. I suppose for my own human diet you could say greens are unnecessary, if I were eating a balanced feed pellet diet that gives me all the recommended daily nutrients, so maybe that was what the source was referring to.
 

GC-Raptor

Free Ranging
5 Years
Jul 26, 2016
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I've never fed oatmeal to my chickens.
I don't feed wet feed during winter season.

I do make a wet mash with chicken feed during the summer with cold water, a 1/4 cup dry per chicken.
20190826_132741_resized.jpg

If you want to feed them something warm, I would make a wet mash with regular feed, crumbles is what I feed, but pellets would work, just have to wait a couple of minutes to soak up the warm water. GC
 

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