chickens eating horse feed....

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Chik-N-Crazy, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. Chik-N-Crazy

    Chik-N-Crazy Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 4, 2009
    Currie, NC
    Hi, can someone tell me if horse feed will hurt chickens? I mix scratch and layer pellets in one can for my feed. I was trying to find a cheaper way to cut the pellets. A lady at the feed store asked me if I had thought about feeding horse feed. I was not sure so I thought I'd ask you guys!!
    My gut says they have lived together on farms for years, so it's probably not a big deal, but I'd rather ask.
    Thanks for any help!
  2. cw

    cw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2009
    green co.
    i dont belive it will, dont see how it could,
  3. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    I put sweet feed in with my chickens feed all the time. [​IMG]
  4. Soccer Mom

    Soccer Mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2009
    West of Crazy
    If it was harmful, my next door neighbors chickens would have been dead ten times over. The little mooches have always come over to scratch around under my horses buckets after feeding time.
  5. lilmouthy

    lilmouthy Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 15, 2009
    I too put sweet feed in with my chickens feed also. I also ad a bit of Alfalfa pellets in with their feed. Then,after they are done with their feed,they go stand under the horse and gobble up anything they drop.
  6. Chik-N-Crazy

    Chik-N-Crazy Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 4, 2009
    Currie, NC
    Thanks so much for the quick answers! I didn't think it would hurt, but it's always nice to hear it from someone that's tried it! [​IMG]
  7. SC_Hugh

    SC_Hugh Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    Santa Cruz, CA
    I give my chickens a small amount of horse feed (mix of pasture grass, alfalfa, wheat hay), whatever falls off the bale stacks. They don't eat all of it, but they do love the seeds pods. I hadn't thought of feeding them sweet feed.

    My chickens are 17 & 19 weeks old, eating grower crumbles and an offering of grit on the side, then oyster shell when they start laying.

    Anything else that I should be offering as a supplement?

  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    They will just about eat anything and be able to survive. Only risk is that over time, if their diet is not balanced, they may not be as glossy in the feathers and may not lay as many eggs for as long.
  9. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 25, 2008
    Northern KY
    We have horses and while our chickens don't get at the horse feed (the electric poultry netting keeps them out of the horse pasture), the guineas eat the horse feed every day with no ill effects.

    That being said, I don't think that horse feed would be an appropriate diet to feed to poultry full-time. Chickens have different nutritional requirements than horses, particularly when it comes to protein and amino acids.

    Personally, I would attempt to find a good layer feed that fit my budget before I'd switch to feeding my chickens horse feed. Perhaps you might consider downsizing your flock rather than trying to economize on feed this way. Birds who don't receive adequate nutrition won't produce properly, and aren't worth feeding, IMO. A smaller flock fed proper feed would be more efficient than a larger flock fed feed not meant for them.

    But that's just me...
    1 person likes this.
  10. PeepsInc

    PeepsInc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    NY Tri State region
    I just got 50 50# bags of sweat feed for free. It was out dated,but there is nothing wrong with it. I feed it as a treat to my birds. I spread it as a scratch feed. They love it.

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