Can chickens eat too much?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by dancingsquirrel, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. I know this is a silly question, but yesterday the chickens found the compost pile. It's not much just coffee grounds, egg shells and watermelon rinds; usually covered with leaves and grass - a bug goldmine. They scratched there for two hours straight and I found them lying on their sides right where they stood looking like they'd just finished Thanksgiving dinner! Can chickens dangerously overeat?

  2. magicpigeon

    magicpigeon Songster

    Oct 9, 2010
    good question [​IMG]
  3. Colored Egg Farmer

    Colored Egg Farmer Chicken overload

    Maybe not till they explode. but if they are not feed a balanced diet they can get overweight which causes problems with laying like prolaps. I had that happen to some of my chickens due to a bad batch of feed that wasn't made correctly.
  4. krcote

    krcote Songster

    May 21, 2008
    Concord, NH
    My chickens have access to food 24/7 and never have "over eaten".
  5. BayouPoules

    BayouPoules Songster

    I would like to hear what people have to say about his,.. ours free range,. and have access to feed 24/7 and get scratch every day and treats often,. I have never seen a problem and don't have fat chickens,..except for the rooster who is confined for now. I have seen some huge crops now and then,.. and I have one roo that's a "horker" and I worry sometimes about him,.. but no problems yet.
    What constitutes "fat" for a chicken. ,.. I hate skinny animals and I have to admit we like our horses, ponies, dogs and kitties a little on the very well fed side,..
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  6. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    They eat what they need to fulfill their caloric and mineral requirements. They eat until they have eaten enough calories and know when to stop. If they are still deficient in calcium after eating enough calories they will eat further to fulfill their calcium requirement.

    If you are feeding a formulated ration then they can get too much of certain things. They will eat enough to fulfill their caloric requirement, but they will also be also getting whatever has been mixed into that ration, be it too little or too much protein, calcium, etc.
  7. Indy

    Indy Hatching

    Feb 11, 2010
    Gabriola Island
    I just got some pullets two weeks ago and about a week after they came in, one of them started going off her feed. She became very lethargic and didn't really eat much.
    I finally took her out of the run and put her in a large dog carrier with all the accoutrements and put her in a shed and fed her some elixir that a friend of a friend told me about
    (homemade). After a day and a half there I put the carrier back in with the other birds but kept her in it (she was very underweight). As soon as she was back in the run she
    started digging in to the food that I had in the carrier. Another night and a day and today I came home and let her out of the carrier. After a few minutes of poking about she made a beeline for the feeder and basically started chowing down and 5 or 10 minutes later she had not stopped so I took the feeder out of the run for about 1/2 hour or so then put it back in. She went right back at it for well, probably 1/2 hour til I came back out and saw her still slamming the food back. Took the feeder out again.
    So the long and short of it is....I AM concerned that this hungry baby will eat herself to death!! I know that she has a lot of catching up to do but geez. I am delighted that she seems to be on the road to recovery but concerned about her overeating after not eating much for a week.

    Any suggestions? Of course, when I take her food away, I am taking it from the others as well. Not that they are starving.

  8. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    My animals free range and feed is available 24/7 and I have never had any problems. They also get daily fruits and vegetables.
  9. Thanks all!! I'm a bit of a Nervous Nellie sometimes [​IMG]
  10. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    Quote:I'd just let her eat. She isn't necessarily overeating, but filling her crop. She'll process the food as she needs it.

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