Feeding leftovers to the hens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by NiceHens, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. NiceHens

    NiceHens New Egg

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    Sep 2, 2014
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    A friend gave me some old, leftover, stale Christmas cookies (store-bought, I believe) to give to my hens as a treat/snack. I'm a bit hesitant because of the large amount of sugar, white flour and butter (or other type of fat) in the cookies. There is no chocolate in them, perhaps some nuts (which is fine).

    Anyone ever done this? As long as it's just a treat and doesn't replace their regular feed, and I don't do it too much at a time, is it OK?

    Erika of NiceHens in Northern Colorado
     
  2. lovemy6hens

    lovemy6hens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wouldn't.
     
  3. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!

    I feed lots of different scraps to my flock. While some are better/worse for them I keep them at a low enough overall percentage of their diet that negative aspects of those foods are overcome by the base diet I use (I also use a higher protein feed by feeding grower ration instead of layer ration so I have already gained in overall protein content there). How many cookies are we talking about and how many birds? If it's a lot of cookies and only a few birds you'd need to be more cautious about how much you give at any one time. For something like this that has little value but would be very attractive to the birds I would use it as a "special treat" such as if I wanted to be really desirable to them (ie trying to tame a bird/make friends).
    At the end of the day, since they were given to you there is nothing to be lost in just tossing them out if you aren't keen on feeding them.
     
  4. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Pretty much any people food in moderation, not to upset their balanced diet, won't hurt them.
     
  5. TamiHunter

    TamiHunter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I used to give my birds all our table scraps and never had a problem. They always had their regular feed as well. Welcome to the BYC! [​IMG] Glad you decided to join our flock!
     
  6. Aust1227

    Aust1227 Out Of The Brooder

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    Part of the reason I have chickens is to reduce my wasteful impact on this earth.

    I will feed the chickens and pigs just about anything before I will send it off to a landfill. Chickens are omnivores, they can process fats, proteins, and carbs very effectively.

    Think about a town like Key West.. Hundreds of chickens running all over the place. Healthy and loud! What do you think they are eating? Certainly not a "balanced diet" from your local TSC..

    Chickens are more hardy then we give them credit for!
     
  7. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Just like us humans, a chicken will need a balanced diet to stay healthy, and keep egg production up.
     
  8. NiceHens

    NiceHens New Egg

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    Sep 2, 2014
    Wellington, Colorado
    Thank you all for responding. Yes, the cookies are a very small part (less than 10%) of what I would have them (six, total) eat in one day. But I might still throw them into the compost pile (which the hens ultimately will get into, anyway).

    Yes, just like people, they need a balanced diet - not too much junk food!

    Thank you, Ol Grey Mare, for mentioning that you give your hens grower ration rather than layer ration. I switched my girls over when they hit four or five months of age, but was considering doing half and half of each of the two. I'll certainly implement that here soon.

    Yes - they're hardier than many folks give them credit for. My co-workers who have hens think they need supplemental heat in the winter, and this being my first year with them (got them in October when they were only three months old), I did my research. Found that being allowed to go out, keeping humidity level low, and providing fresh water and perhaps a bit of scratch before they went to bed was the much better way to go! Extra bedding made them happy, too. No supplemental heat source, no frostbite, they're all happy and not pecking at each other. Here in Northern Colorado, we had one night at -20F, a few other nights pretty cold too.

    Get this - the first pullet (a lovely Red Star named Lucy, after Lucille Ball) started laying on December 21st - the shortest day of the year! She has been laying reliably ever since, and two more have started as well. I've identified one as Titi, the Black Australorp (Titi is short for Tahitian Pearl), but have yet to figure out which of the six is the third one laying.

    I, too, do this partially to reduce my wasteful impact on the earth, also to promote sustainability and local food sourcing in my corner of the world. My regular full-time job can be very stressful, and the hens do more for my state of mind than any therapist or pill ever could have.

    Cheers!
    Erika
     
  9. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Absolutely!!
     

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