Given two options, will chickens prefer the healthier food?

Discussion in 'Nutrition - Sponsored by Purina Poultry' started by adamdport, Oct 9, 2015.

  1. adamdport

    adamdport New Egg

    Oct 4, 2015
    A friend of mine works for a food manufacturing plant and dropped off 150lbs of extra cereal. It's mostly granola and caramelized almond slices. My hens love it. I'm considering offering it to my chickens in a separate feeder from their over-the-counter chicken feed and letting them eat what they want. I'm concerned that they will eat more cereal than feed and not get the balanced nutrition that the feed offers.

    Are chickens smart enough to eat their chicken feed primarily, or will they eat what tastes good despite it laking balanced nutrition?
  2. chiques chicks

    chiques chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Chickens will eat what they like best, not what is best for them. They are like kids, junk food first, lol.

    Make sure they get a balanced diet and feed other stuff as a treat. I would be concerned about the amount of sugar in these treats and limit them to just a little after they finish dinner.
  3. RonP

    RonP Overrun With Chickens

    Wow, like giving a baby a choice between candy and vegetables...
    1 person likes this.
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    When I offer something like that, I make sure the chickens fill their crops with chicken feed in the morning before giving the other later in the day.
  5. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 14, 2015
    Northern Colorado

    Yep, me too.. They get their feed pans filled in the morning, then they get kitchen scraps at the end of the day, right before bedtime. That way, they get their good stuff first, cookies and milk before bed ;)
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2015
  6. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013
    I agree with the other posters...healthy stuff first, treats later. I know when I give my girls a choice between cracked corn and their feed, they'll eat the corn first. They really are like little kids, they want their junk food more than their nutritious food.

    Eating too much junk can make them overweight (just like people) and that will interfere with their egg laying and overall health. That's why it's recommended you limit treats to no more than 10% of their daily food intake.

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