HELP- Vegetarian Feed???

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by kplchicken, Aug 6, 2007.

  1. kplchicken

    kplchicken Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 26, 2007
    I have three teenage chicks. I just purchased grower crumbles for them and realize that it has animal protien in it. Does anyone know what protein it is? Please tell me that it isn't chicken protein. Does anyone know of any way to keep chickens on a vegetarian diet and still get the nurtients they need. I can't seem to get my hands on organic feed here in Arizona.

  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Personally I would say that chickens need animal proteins to be fully healthy. All vegetarian diets aren't so natural to me since chickens are omnivores. If you look at the ingredients tag, it should give some clue to the type of animal protein is in. I am a full believer that soy protein can't completely suffice for protein in one's diet. Proteins are made up of many types of amino acids, and you need some of each for a good diet.
  3. blue90292

    blue90292 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2007
    Rosharon, TX

    chickens are omnivores. is making them vegetarians good for them??

    oh, SC, you beat me to it.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2007
  4. Bubba

    Bubba Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2007
    Kplchicken regardless of how you feel about eating animal protein that is the way of NATURE! Certain animals NEED it, others don't.

    Brings to mind horror stories about people feeding their cats vegetarian diets. It kills them. Chickens need animal proteins to, if you must try it beans have alot of protein. You really need to THINK that its not just proteins, its amino acids, lipids, Omega3 fatty acids among other things that they need.

    Please don't make your birds suffer, they chase insects for a reason.

  5. kplchicken

    kplchicken Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 26, 2007
    ok- so they are omnivores- I know they eat insects and small mammals but would they eat a dog or another chicken? I am just wondering what type of protein is in the feed. I guess that I am not so much worried about vegetarian feed as I am organic. I don't like the notion of feeding them dead chicken or cow that comes from some feedlot and was likely pumped full of antibiotics and hormones. Or euthanized cats and dogs which I know end up being fed to cows.

    I am new to this- just trying to understand.
  6. MarkR

    MarkR Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2007
    Ivy, Virginia
    As silkiechicken said, chickens are omnivores and need meat protein in their diets. Not sure what the source is in commercial feed. I'd think it would depend on the producer. That being said, I wouldn't doubt that some producers use chicken in their chicken food. Theoretically, it should be listed in the ingredients. Of course, I've found that my hens are not unwilling to pick at one of their deceased compadres when a predator has gotten into the coop. [​IMG]

    AND, even if you find a vegetarian feed, I'd bet all the money in the world that unless you somehow rid the area around your coop of all animal life, your chickens will never have a completely vegetarian diet. Mine love to go around a eat slugs on a dewy morning. Japanese beetles, I've found, are a treat, and just about anything with 6 or 8 legs (with the exception of some kinds of ants) had better say its prayers before trying to cross my coop. [​IMG]

    On interesting side note. I had a conversation a few months back with someone here about the eating habits of some animals. They were saying that dogs were strictly carnivores in nature. I was saying they were, like chickens, humans, and bears, omnivores. Anyway, I was poking about some fox scat out in the woods last week (it's amazing what you can find out by poking through other peoples' sh*t [​IMG] ) and found choke cherry pits (just ripening around here) among the small bones, exoskeletons of bugs and other unidentifiable ick. Hmmm, last I heard, cherries were not meat. Just food for thought.

  7. blue90292

    blue90292 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2007
    Rosharon, TX
    LOL. if i gave my chickens a dead dog, they'd probably eat it. at least try it, anyway.

    my chickens free range so i see them eat the weirdest things. the first time i saw them eat a mice, i was horrified! i couldn't eat their eggs for a couple of weeks thinking, what if that mice had rabies!

    i accidentally dropped a chicken mcnugget once from the picnic table and the girls gobbled it up.....

    and i feed them wet cat food when i want them to lay better.

    anyway, i would check out local harvest and punch in arizona. its a website that has ALOT of organic growers. i'm sure there's someone on that site that is from Arizona around your area who can guide you to where they purchase organic feed.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2007
  8. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Chickens will eat other chickens. They will also eat rats, lizards, frogs, insects, etc. Nutritionally deficient birds improve rapidly when fed high protein wet cat food - i.e. meat, chicken and fish etc. They need the animal protein to be completely healthy. Long chain amino acids are only complete when animal protein is present.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2007
  9. MayberrySaint

    MayberrySaint Chillin' Out

    Mar 7, 2007
    Mount Airy, NC
    Chickens do not need animal protein to be healthy. It is not the source of the protein that is important but rather the amino acid make-up of the feed. If a feed is formulated as vegetarian, the feed company will increase the amount of synthetic amino acids necessary to balance the diet. This is the reason these feeds a re a bit more expensive. Synthetic lysine is more expensive than using meat & bone meal which is the animal protein source in most poultry feeds. Meat and bone meal is usually a mix of beef, pork, poultry. It is completely safe in the US and any antibiotics are destroyed in the cooking process of the MBM.
    However, MBM has been banned in the EU because of the prevalence of mad cow disease.
  10. kplchicken

    kplchicken Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 26, 2007
    I suppose my first post was incorrectly written- it is not a problem for me that they require/enjoy animal protein. I am just concerned about the nature and quality of the animal protein that they consume. I was wondering if anyone knew any specifics of the general feed store products.

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