can you overfeed hens ?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by countrygirl57, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. countrygirl57

    countrygirl57 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2009
    I give my chickens all the leftover veggies rice etc. (from the approved list). I have noticed that their poo is loose after I give this to them. Am I overfeeding or is this nomal? Should I give them treats like this every day? The chicks are 6 mos & laying.
  2. felidaet

    felidaet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2008
    Vancouver, Wa.
    Maybe you are giving them too many treats. You may want to cut back a little to make sure they are eating plenty of layer pellets.

    This last summer we canned a lot of tomatoes over a period of a few weeks. When we canned the first batch I gave the chickens a big bowl of tomato skins. A few hours I noticed that they had bad diarrhea. I immediately stopped all treats for a few days to allow their systems to get back to normal. After that we gave them very few tomato scraps. I only gave them about 2 or 3 tomatoes for 17 chickens per week.
  3. ziggywiggy

    ziggywiggy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2009
    McNeal, AZ
    I just asked basically the same question and I believe you can over feed-due mainly to the extras we feed. What I am doing now is weighing my feed so they are getting 1/4 lb per chicken including scraps and treats. Before, I was not including the treats and scraps in my calculations. After you weigh the food a couple times you develop an eye for it so it's really not that difficult. I've found one progresso soup can is 1 1/2lb's of pellets. The only problem with measuring the feed is that some hens may get pushed out of the way. I have one hen I feed off by herself. She meets me in the same spot at every feeding.
  4. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    I don't think you can overfeed them on greens, such as leftover veggies, grass, etc...they are very low calorie, and full of nutrients. But carbohydrates such as scratch, rice, bread and fruit are very attractive, and should not be more than 10% of their daily diet, so that they get adequate nutrition overall. If they have a well-balanced crumble or pellet, I have not heard of them overeating this (at least not uncaged chickens) so they should have access to this at all times, they are pretty good at self-regulating.
  5. TipsyDog

    TipsyDog Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2009
    Aregua, Paraguay
    Treats should be treats and not a large portion of their diet. They should be getting 90% of their nutrition from their layer crumbles. I think when you give too many treats (junk food) they don't lay as well either. In the summer mine free range and eat all the bugs and grass they please which I do not consider "treats" as this is their natural diet and they also have their layer feed available. In the winter however, I do give them more in the way of treats because of the cold. Today it's about 5 degrees here so I offer warm oatmeal, corn, rice, etc., so they get the additional calories they need to keep warm and battle the elements.

    I think you can give them treats everyday (I do) but it's in proportion to how many hens you have. For example, I give 2 small apples for 7 hens. It's just like people - eating a "serving" of cookies is OK, but 1/2 the bag is too much [​IMG]
  6. Amethyste

    Amethyste For Love of Boo...

    Agreed.... they should be getting mostly feed. I only give them treats like the greens and stuff in the seems to run thru them quickly, and they will eat their own food then. When its cold outside "treats" consist of the gamebird crumbles or layer pellets mixed with hot water, some horse oats, and some BOSS all mixed together....with maybe some veggies etc added in. If they have meat scraps it goes in as well. I usually will add a banana or two as well OR 2-3 apples. I figure this is stuff they would normally eat anyway if they were out in the great outdoors... dropped fruit, greens/veggies and scavenged meat scraps. So they rarely get "junk food" per se.

    So most of the time they are getting their regular feed, just in a different form and they think they are terrible spoiled [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  7. countrygirl57

    countrygirl57 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2009
    I have23 hens , I have a automatic hanging feeder that they feed as needed. I haven't taken any of this & mixed with water, didn't know I was supposed to.
    The leftover cooked veggies I warm up a little. I give scratch in the morning. I don't know what Boss is. I am new & I appreciate any comments.

    It is 1'C here now(Eastern Canada) & all our snow has gone, after rain. MY chickies can still free range for 1-2 hours each day, before the temp. drops to low in the evenings.
  8. kcsunshine

    kcsunshine Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 3, 2009
    Maryville, Tennessee
    BOSS - Black Oil Sunflower Seeds- don't be afraid to ask. I spent hours, more like weeks, before I finally figured out some of these things.
  9. twister

    twister Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2009
    BOSS.... black oil sunflower seeds
  10. TipsyDog

    TipsyDog Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2009
    Aregua, Paraguay
    Quote:If you put some of their feed in a bowl and add warm (or hot) water and mix to make a mash for them they will love it! I use layer crumbles and when I mix with water I make it like an oatmeal consistency, or just a bit drier. My girls think they are getting a treat and eat it all up every time. It's also great for little chicks or to get an ill chicken to eat. I bring out a warm bowl of mash on these cold winter mornings and they love it.

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