Feeding dog food and cat food

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by mustangsaguaro, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. mustangsaguaro

    mustangsaguaro Chillin' With My Peeps

    684
    5
    161
    Nov 30, 2007
    San Martin, Ca
    Is it ok for chickens to eat cat food? I have some feral cats on my property (3) that I feed. I actually keep a container out for them and fill it once a week. Well, my chickens have managed to find where I keep the cat food container and once a day they go over there and are eating the cat food. I'm not to thrilled about it, but don't want to keep them penned up. I have 1 rooster and 5 hens that go over and eat the cat food.

    Today I got 3 new chickens (RIR,Barred Rock and Silver Phoenix). All are hens about a year to year and a half old. The guy that I got them from feeds all his chickens dog food all the time. Is this good or not? Are there any health risks that I should watch for in these new hens? Now that I have these guys they will be getting organic grains along w/ organic layer pellets. All 3 of them are big and healthy, but moulting right now so they are pretty scraggley. The RIR is actually larger than the other RIR I have.
     
  2. lacyloo

    lacyloo Cooped Up

    May 26, 2007
    north florida
    You can give them catfood, but too much all the time can be bad do to the amout of protein in it. But catfood is good to give hens for egglaying but only a small amount.
     
  3. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    It's ok if they have a little bit, but you should probably put the food up high where they can't get to it. It has too much protien in it so they can't be eating it as often as they are.
    Is there someplace you can put the food that the cats can get to but the chickens can not?
     
  4. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

    4,617
    20
    264
    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Cat food in small amounts won't likely hurt them if it's a good brand and if their main source of food is balanced food for chickens. The extra protein in cat food can help with feather regrowth during molting. Not the perfect balance of things - high protein - so it just shouldn't be their mainstay.

    Are the little thieves leaving anything for the cats?! (I had this same situation [​IMG] and ended up feeding the kitties before the chickens were out for the day and after they went in for the night. Though they still managed to get some cat food that a neighbor put out! And hen Betty was so proud of herself too!)

    JJ
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2008
  5. mustangsaguaro

    mustangsaguaro Chillin' With My Peeps

    684
    5
    161
    Nov 30, 2007
    San Martin, Ca
    Are the little thieves leaving anything for the cats?! (I had this same situation and ended up feeding the kitties before the chickens were out for the day and after they went in for the night. Though they still managed to get some cat food that a neighbor put out! And hen Betty was so proud of herself too!)

    I have one of those huge self feeder containers. I guess you could say it's equivalent to maybe one of those 5 gallon water jugs or slightly smaller that I do fill all the way up and refill once a week. I am sure not only the chickens are eating it but skunks and possums too seeing that we live out in the country on 7 acre. I do have it up fairly high, but my chickens fly up and get to it. I don't have their wings clipped since I do allow them to free range. Plus some of them used to fly up in the trees at night to roost (they don't do that anymore). But when they get locked up in the coop at night they do have a roost that is about 5-7ft. off the ground that they fly up on. The only one that sleeps down low is my RIR in which when I got her the previous person did clip her wings.

    I suppose what I could do is remove the cat food during the day and put it back out at night for the cats. I don't see the cats out to often during the day, but once in a while they are out.

    Thanks for the suggestions.​
     
  6. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

    4,617
    20
    264
    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    You are such a good person [​IMG]
    And you have determined chickens [​IMG]
    It's so funny but whenever hen Betty used to steal some cat food she's run off with a mouthful at the speed of light when she saw me coming - she knew it wasn't meant for her. It made me laugh.
    JJ
     
  7. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    12,685
    53
    331
    Jan 11, 2007
    PA
    I have read that excessive protein can lead to gout in birds. However, I had a hen years ago who survived a dog attack and enjoyed daily cat food dish raidings for over 10 years. Sometimes science just doesn't make sense to me. [​IMG]

    Jody
     
  8. Pine Grove

    Pine Grove Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,028
    12
    184
    Jul 18, 2007
    Lakeland, Ga
    Let's say they are eating 2 oz of 28% dog/cat food, 2 oz of 16% layer and 1 oz of 9% scratch per day.Thats only about 19% protein per day..I would be more concerned about the salt content
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2008
  9. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    4,871
    23
    251
    Jan 11, 2007
    agree... the salt and some of the vitamins
    cat and dog food is formulated for ... cats and dogs and not birds. The mycotoxin level allowed is also higher than is allowed for birds ...
    How it affects the individual chicken would depend on the specific nutritional and health status of the bird...
    Personally I won't let my birds near it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2008

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by