Can they eat gravy?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Sylviaanne, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. Sylviaanne

    Sylviaanne Overrun With Chickens

    3,309
    343
    251
    Sep 17, 2012
    Ozark, MO
    I recently figured out that I have not been feeding my flock enough. At this point I can't afford more food but next month we will be getting a better price and therefore more food.

    I didn't realize that I have not been feeding them enough and they have lost weight. I let them out to forage but they seem to prefer the feed to hunting for themselves.

    I know that feeding my dogs gravy will fatten them up, will it do the same for my birds?

    I have chickens, guineas, ducks and now geese. Thanks.
     
  2. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

    921
    156
    151
    Sep 21, 2012
    South West France
    Chickens will eat a huge amount of kitchen scraps - some have to be cooked because they are poisonous otherwise (eg potatoes) and some they won't eat raw but like to eat cooked (carrots for example). I put most things out for my girls, and they pick through what they like, and leave the stuff that doesn't interest them.

    My girls love potato mashed up in gravy, but you have to be careful with the salt levels in cooked dishes that you give to chickens - if there is salt or a stock cube in it then you should give it very sparingly, or you could end up overdosing them with salt, which can be extremely dangerous.
     
  3. Sylviaanne

    Sylviaanne Overrun With Chickens

    3,309
    343
    251
    Sep 17, 2012
    Ozark, MO
    LOL I fix gravy especially for the dogs, no salt or pepper and sometimes no meat, just stirred into their dry food.

    That is what I wanted to do for the birds, just gravy made from grease/oil/fat, flour and water, then pour over their food.
     
  4. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

    921
    156
    151
    Sep 21, 2012
    South West France
    If you make it without salt then yes it will help them to put on weight in the short term, but a diet with too much fat and carbohydrates won't be good for them long term. They need a balanced diet, which they should get from commercial feed combined with free ranging, but which they won't get if they stuff themselves with fat and flour - they won't eat all the greens and bugs that they need as well. (Be honest - faced with a plate full of chips and one of cabbage, which would you eat first?!)

    Are you certain that it is the restricted quantity of food you are giving that is causing their weight loss? If they free range then they shouldn't be eating a huge amount of food (unless you have a huge amount of birds [​IMG]). Have you checked for worms / wormed them recently? That can also be a cause of weight loss.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2014
  5. Sylviaanne

    Sylviaanne Overrun With Chickens

    3,309
    343
    251
    Sep 17, 2012
    Ozark, MO
    LOL I'm the odd one out, I would eat the cabbage and leave the chips. Now, cookies vs cabbage, well, first I'd eat the cabbage and then the cookies. LOL Wouldn't leave them out. LOL

    I am not certain about their food. It does not seem to me like they are eating the grass/weeds/bugs and certainly not enough to subsidize their diet. When I first got the guineas and ducks, and put them outside, I expected to see/hear a drastic change in the bug population and that the grass would be shorter. Well, where the guineas pooped, there was a drastic change in the grass, it changed to no grass and this is with free ranging/foraging, not just in their run. Otherwise, I have not seen or heard a big change. I can even turn over wood and stones and they turn their noses up at rolly-pollys, worms and any other bug except grubs that could be under there.

    I saw a round worm in August, I believe and gave them DE. That was the one and only worm I have ever seen in bird poop. I just bought Wazine but when I went to put it in their water, I couldn't do it. Every time I think about putting that stuff in their water, I think of all the eggs that will be wasted. At least 5 a day and some days as many as 11. I have young duck hens, pullets and guineas that are coming of age to lay. I never know how many eggs I will get and I just can't stand the thought of throwing them out. I also don't want them in my trash cans but if I throw them down the ravine, it may draw predators and at the moment I don't have any. I am knocking on wood.

    I have over 110 birds, the exact count I'm not sure of because they don't all go into the coop/run at night and I have some younger ones in the house. With chickens, guineas, ducks and geese we calculated that I should be feeding at least 40# a day at 1/4# per adult bird. I have some cockerels and pullets that are close to POL and some that are at least 2 months away from POL so I assume they should take less than the 1/4# of food for an adult chicken and that would make up the difference for the ducks and geese. Since the geese are much bigger than the ducks, I don't know. I don't know how much they should be getting but they don't rush over to get food when I go out there to feed them, they take off out of the run and come back later to get something to eat. I assume they are headed for grass and weeds but they don't like to be watched and will just mill around when I watch them.
     
  6. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

    921
    156
    151
    Sep 21, 2012
    South West France
    If you use the Wazine to worm them then you don't have to completely waste the eggs. Collect them, hard boil them, then mash them up (shells and all), and give them back to your girls. Ok, you will be out of fresh eggs for yourself for a couple of weeks, but you will achieve two things in one go - boosting their food intake with some extra protein, and also worming them - neither of which can be a bad thing.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by