chickens eating straw/hay

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by annie3001, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. annie3001

    annie3001 My Girls

    Jun 11, 2009
    yesterday i noticed my rooster had a string of hay from his beak. i went right into the run to free the hay peice. i had a hard time chasing him, once i finally got him, he had already swallowed the peice of hay. is eating this safe? i have read that others here on byc have had chickens with a full crop. do they mean full crop of unusal stuff, or hay?
    is eating hay okay? could a chicken choke on a peice of hay? i watched him, and he seemed fine. i checked with him later that night, he was acting normal. your thoughts here are appriciated!! thanks in advance!!!!!!!
  2. scbatz33

    scbatz33 No Vacancy, Belfry Full

    Jan 23, 2009
    South GA
    Chickens eat all kinds of stuff. I had a group of chicks eat the styrofoam insulation off the inside of the brooder before I knew what they had done! The best way to help your birds digest all the weird things they eat is to always provide free choice grit. Without grit, they can not grind up what they eat and therefore digest it.

    Hay, straw, grass, greens, plants, etc are all on the chicken "things to eat list".
  3. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

    Apr 18, 2010
    Quote:x2 (though mine haven't had a chance to eat Styrofoam!

    Mine love it when I restock the nest boxes with the free hay I got. They scratch through it all, eat some, and then rebuild their nests with it.
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Chickens normally consume a fair amount of vegetable (leafy) matter. They have ceca (functional versions of our appendix) were microbes breakdown cellulose / chitin components of their intake. The usuable by-products are fatty acids an vitamins where the former can repressent a significant portion of the birds energy budget. My birds and likely yours typically consume at least some vegetation to keep this process going even though it is not needed when birds are fed a complete high quality diet.
  5. jeslewmazer

    jeslewmazer Songster

    Nov 24, 2009
    I agree that this is normal. I do however think that if the hay is to big and the chickens eat too much, then it could be a problem. I got free hay one time and the individual pieces were huge. This was before I found sites like this with so much information. I lost two roosters to what I knew as crop bound (on here I seen it referred to Impacted crop which is probably were I messed up searching for it. [​IMG] ) Now if I use hay I get it from the feed store (it is always composed of thinner pieces). I also use leaves and (love) pine straw from my own yard (free except for the labor. [​IMG] ).
  6. brenda56

    brenda56 In the Brooder

    Jun 16, 2016
    I've just had to help 1 of my girls vomit as she seems to have sour crop I noticed hay hanging from her mouth I picked her up and she was sick so I hung her upside down until she brought it all up I'm keeping an eye on her until shop opens tomorrow and I can get what i need for her

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