Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by S0rcy, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. S0rcy

    S0rcy Songster

    In my wandering through Ebay for fun I came across an antique feeder that had a section labeled 'charcoal'. Can anyone tell me why they would have fed charcoal? Preventative or mineral supplement before commercial mixes came along??
  2. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    not sure for all the reasons, and it would probably help to know what type of critter was fed by that feeder, but charcoal has long been used as a digestive aid to help process irritants in the gut, and was also frequently used to help counteract any ingested poison. The charcoal absorbed and acted as a neutralizer for many different types of poisons. Ever had your own or seen someone else's stomach pumped? Even today the hospital uses activated charcoal.
  3. People often worm hogs with coal, but never charcoal that I've heard of. How large was the feeder?
  4. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    James Dryden in his book "Feeding for Eggs" (copyright 1909) says this about the subject:

    "Charcoal is a bowel regulator, and most of the successful poultrymen feed it regularly. It may be kept in a box
    or hopper where the fowls can eat it at will."

    I don't know what he means by a bowel regulator. Do chickens have problems with gas?? [​IMG]?

    Hey, SOrcy, Dryden did his work at the Oregon State Agricultural College (now OSU) in Corvallis. Close to home?

  5. Eggseronious

    Eggseronious Songster

    Mar 6, 2008
    East Tennessee
    Quote:Yep a hog will eat coal like a kid eating candy, I can still hear them today cracking that coal.
  6. S0rcy

    S0rcy Songster

    Sorry I should have been more specific,

    The listing was "Antique Chicken Feeder"

    Steve, VERY close to home LOL I got to Oregon State and I live in Corvallis. OSU is just down the road. I see Dryden's name occasionally in passing here and there [​IMG] I am assuming a Bowel Regulator would act like fiber, pacify toxins before they hit the blood, or even helped aid in gizzard function.

    Thanks for the info all, I was wondering what it could have done that they gave it free choice to chickens!

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