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Can chickens and ducks have milk?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by happyhens44, Feb 12, 2011.

  1. happyhens44

    happyhens44 BroodyAddict

    Apr 25, 2010
    Northern WI
    I don't know if this is a dumb question or not. But lately Ive been giving them left over table scraps etc. And To prevent another egg bound hen I got told they should have plenty of celcium (sp?) just wondering if a little milk is the right way to go? or no [​IMG]
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Milk, yogurt, cheese, etc are all good in moderation, just like almost everything else. For a more feedable calcuim you can check at the feed store for crushed oyster shell and just keep some in a dish in the coop for them to free-feed.
     
  3. happyhens44

    happyhens44 BroodyAddict

    Apr 25, 2010
    Northern WI
    thanks [​IMG]
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    If they are getting too much, watch for scours and increased flatulence. I do not think they can handle lactose very well. Crows and starlings certainly can not.
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    *giggles picturing a crow farting it's way across the sky*
     
  6. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens like all birds lack the ability to digest lactose.

    http://www.exoticpetvet.net/avian/dairy.html

    As the other commenter noted, lactose is likely to pass through the chicken's system essentially undigested, and that can cause gas, too. Milk is not the best thing to use to supplement calcium for your chickens. Crushed oyster shell is much better, inexpensive, and readily available for poultry use. Check at your feed store.
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    In the birds I have experience with, flatulence is not a normal process. When the posterior digestive tract is distended with gas, it may interfere with how the bird respiratory tract handles air, thus reduces the birds ability to breath properly.
     
  8. grandmaof5

    grandmaof5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I believe I read somewhere that birds do better with yoghurt, kefir, etc than milk itself. My girls get yoghurt, and 2 of 3 love it. They also get egg shell offered for calcium. Today they had some cheese that was leftover from lunch. I think i have the calcium angle covered.
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:Most of the lactose is likely transformed by fermentation to make those dairy products.
     
  10. happyhens44

    happyhens44 BroodyAddict

    Apr 25, 2010
    Northern WI
    I wont give them milk, But us there a special type of yogurt they should have?
     

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