1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Chickens eating moldy food?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by KOchickens, Feb 26, 2017.

  1. KOchickens

    KOchickens New Egg

    6
    1
    9
    Feb 25, 2017
    Fresno, CA
    Noob here. We very recently got 4 chickens. My plan, in addition to being family pets, is to use them in conjunction with organic gardening. Mainly pest and weed control, fertilizer and eggs are definitely a bonus! I'm looking forward to them turning and pooping in my compost. However, I've read in a few places not to feed chickens moldy food. If they get in my compost pile, they will have access to moldy, rotting produce and yard waste. Can this pose a problem? I know that lots of people do this, but I'm curious about the potential issues. Thanks[​IMG]
     
  2. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,419
    203
    171
    Sep 25, 2015
    Chickens shouldnt have moldy or bug infetsed foods.Down the road,it will cause health problems.
     
  3. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    It shouldn't cause a problem if your compost pile is well aerated. Chickens have been eating rotten and moldy chicken scraps since the beginning of time, no problems.
     
  4. BantyChooks

    BantyChooks Turtle Rock Poultry Premium Member

    39,212
    9,940
    636
    Aug 1, 2015
    I feed my flock mouldy stuff all the time, and they ain't dead yet.
     
  5. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

    781
    253
    126
    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    I personally would not feed them moldy food, however rotting or decomposing plant matter doesn't seem to bother them at all. I would avoid anything that actually has outright mold on it, I just don't think mold is healthy for most animals.
     
  6. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    A few years back I had my feed can spring a leak and the feed at the bottom was getting moisture without my knowing it. When I finally started hitting the extremely moldy feed at the bottom third of the trash can it was fully green and moldy from there on down, most of it tacked together with mold. I emptied that feed out in the woods where I thought my free range flock wouldn't find it. I was wrong...they found it. What was left of it, I upturned a large rubber feed pan on top of so they could not access the feed. Even put a weight on top of that pan so they couldn't knock it to one side.

    Guess what...they just kept working the sides of the pan until they worked feed out from under it. I didn't know that because the pan was still in place and such. One day a couple of months later I went to check on that feed to see what it looked like now and remove it for good. Lifted that pan to find the feed was all gone...every last particle. They had worked the ground around it so much that feed would spill out from under the pan like a gravity feeder. I'm guessing rodents had their share of it as well.

    I've had them eat moldy bread, moldy pumpkins, moldy corn and just about every other kind of moldy things removed from the fridge or garden. Don't know if there is a particular KIND of mold that's supposed to be bad for them, but I expect they've been eating mold spores in these woods and in their diet since they were chicks on the land. Maybe it's just penned up city chickens that get sick over a piece of moldy food, but mine seem to thrive on it.
     
  7. KOchickens

    KOchickens New Egg

    6
    1
    9
    Feb 25, 2017
    Fresno, CA
    Thanks for the input. While I won't be actually FEEDING them moldy foods (why take chances), they will be getting in my compost pile, where food naturally gets moldy. I guess there won't be a problem with that then.
     
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,681
    2,617
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
  9. KOchickens

    KOchickens New Egg

    6
    1
    9
    Feb 25, 2017
    Fresno, CA
    That's good to know. I'm also wondering if, like people, chicks are MUCH more susceptible to toxins than adult hens. I turn my compost often-ish, and use aerator bars as well. Stuff still gets moldy though, it's just a part of the decomposition.
     
  10. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,681
    2,617
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by