1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Feeding my birds and food allergies

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Its Just Us Chickens, May 27, 2010.

  1. Its Just Us Chickens

    Its Just Us Chickens Songster

    Nov 24, 2008
    I hope this is the right place to talk about this?

    My chickens free range, and forage for most of their food but I do offer them layer pellets as they like. I have children with food allergies and it recently occurred to me that if the birds are eating food with soy and wheat in it, that it's probably in the eggs and may be causing some problems for people in my house who need to avoid those foods. What would be a better solution for feeding them?

  2. Siler

    Siler Songster

    Jan 25, 2010
    Central Indiana
    This would be interesting to learn. I read on here that some children with egg allergies can eat eggs that come from the backyard flock without a problem. I too would like to know in case any of my customers have questions.
  3. emys

    emys Songster

    Nov 19, 2008
    This is an OK place to talk about it. It isn't an easy answer though, but I will give it a stab in the dark for you. (I also suggest you search on here for homemade feed recipes.)

    There are feeds out there formulated without soy, although they can be expensive compared to commercial feed. I don't think there are any without soy and without wheat.

    Since it is generally not the protein, but the gluten in wheat that people react to - and the hens will break that down for you- I think that is not as much of a concern.

    The soy is for protein, so if you choose to buy a feed without soy, or mix your own (lentils or split peas are what I've heard used in place of soy), you may want to start up some meal worm bins for extra insurance. (Mealworm bins are a great idea anyway - makes you very popular!)

    Good Luck!
  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    You could try a food that has a different protein source, like field peas, fish meal or animal protein, in place of the soy. It's a little harder to find non-soy foods, but they are becoming more popular and I see them becoming more available.

    There are lots of different grains that can be used in place of wheat. There's nothing magical about wheat, but it is a very common ingredient for chicken feed. That might be a little harder to avoid in a pre-made feed. All I can suggest is that you check around and read labels.

    Now, if you want to mix up your own feed, it would be quite easy to avoid wheat, as well as soy. It usually just takes a little while to come up with a recipe and source the ingredients, if you want something special. Some of the Fertrell products can be helpful. We used to have our sheep feed for winter feeding mixed up at the feed mill, out of ingredients they had. There's a minimum order that they will mix, though. Sometimes people just mix chicken feed up at home, for smaller amounts.
  5. Its Just Us Chickens

    Its Just Us Chickens Songster

    Nov 24, 2008
    Quote:Gluten is a protein. My dd that is allergic to wheat is allergic to gluten, but is also allergic to wheat and most grasses/grains. A friend said well what good are grass fed chickens going to do you then? LOL I don't know! It's gotta be better than the eggs we buy in the store [​IMG] We also have to avoid the entire legume family.

    Mealworms might be a very workable option. I know they need protein (bugs in the yard), and calcium (we feed them egg shell), what else is in feed that they need?
  6. harewizard

    harewizard Songster

    Apr 5, 2009
    What a great question![​IMG]

    [​IMG] Hmm..

    Are the family members eating or have they eaten eggs from the grocery store? I would imagine that the feed commercial set-up's provide for the chickens has soy& wheat in it. As a person that must remain 'gluten free' I have had no problem eating my own eggs. I feed Purina Flock Raiser and actually never really gave it a second thought as to the ingredients affecting me. I also eat grass fed beef and have had no problems. (i'm sure there is wheat in the grass somewhere?)

    If the allergies are not severe, maybe try an egg??

    I will be watching this thread.......[​IMG]

  7. cybercat

    cybercat Songster

    May 22, 2007
    Greeneville, Tn
    There are a couple of thread here on soy free and corn free feed. They list a company that make chickens feed without them. Not sure if it wis a problem or not since you might not have experianced any problems right now since free ranging. I think you will see a problem in the winter though since that is when they eat more feed than grass.

  8. emys

    emys Songster

    Nov 19, 2008
    Sorry, spoke to soon on the wheat gluten. Well here is another stab in the dark...(why? eh, why not.)

    I kept thinking about the no grass thing. I think you could substitute dandelion greens for grass pretty darn easily. I mean, what could be easier to grow?!?! They are very nutritious and the seeds sprout readily - could even be sprouted year round indoors.
  9. AZKat

    AZKat Songster

    Apr 7, 2009
    Do they currently have a problem with eggs or chicken? If they don't, I wouldn't worry about it, I'm sure that commercial chicken feed has wheat, soy and goodness only knows what else in it. You could try doing a 'food challenge' and feed the chickens a soy and wheat free diet for a month or so and see if it makes any difference.

    For what its worth, my friend's daughter is allergic to eggs (as in, she has a actual diagnosis from a doctor) and she is able to eat my eggs with no problem. My birds are fed Purina Flock Raiser, along with table scraps, grass and weeds.
  10. BriteChicken

    BriteChicken Songster

    Feb 23, 2010
    Huntsville, Alabama
    IJUC's it is a hard question to answer and so many people will have different opinions about this... but when I first did research into making my own feed for my chicks/chickens I did it because even with all the lengths I've gone to, to exclude Gluten from my diet I was still having killer migraines and intestinal pain. You see I have Celiac and that means that whenever I ingest Gluten (a byproduct of WHEAT, RYE and BARLEY) my my intestine sees it as a foreign object and attacks itself! which can cause malnutrition, infertility, and even death in undiagnosed cases. But back on topic, my theory was if I was going to the length of raising chickens in my backyard then why shouldn't I go the next step and mix my own feed for them that excludes everything that makes me sick so off I went to research... and then a wonderful person on BYC introduced me to an amazing site:


    She has tested everyone of her recipes on her own chicks and chickens so they are tested and proven I have also used her recipe for over a month and my chicks are doing awesome! Of course I did a lot more reading but this is the recipe I chose I just add another cup of corn meal to Chick starter recipe #3 substitute Buckwheat instead of Wheat and leave out the barley now that my chicks are bigger I also mix it up by giving them small crickets, worms and scrambled eggs I just sort of rotate each day depending on what I feel like giving them.... She has a pretty self explanatory recipe but if you have anymore questions just PM me HTH's!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by