Horse and Chicken feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by smk2010, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. smk2010

    smk2010 Out Of The Brooder

    79
    0
    39
    Jan 25, 2010
    I live on a small hobby farm (19 acres) with all kinds of 4 and 2 legged critters. To cut back on the number of feed barrels that I use, I was wondering if it would be safe to feed my hens a high protein no molasses horse feed instead of layer feed and scratch?? They have pretty much the same stuff in them and the chickens clean up after the horses anyways. Does anyone know if this is an OK feed substitute for chickens??
     
  2. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    7,951
    283
    331
    Aug 20, 2010
    Colmesneil,TX
    They will need more protien to do best than horse feed supplies, plus a calcium source such as oyster shell. Other than that, they are pretty similar feeds. I personally wouldn't feed them horse feed as a sole source but I'm sure someone does it.
     
  3. pawtraitart

    pawtraitart Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,725
    245
    218
    May 30, 2007
    Idaho
    Horse feed is pretty expensive to be feeding to chickens, but I guess you could do it if you are feeding them just for eggs and supplement them with feed that contains what the horse pellets are missing.
     
  4. smk2010

    smk2010 Out Of The Brooder

    79
    0
    39
    Jan 25, 2010
    Horse feed and chicken feed cost about the same in this area and I have a bunch of coupons for free horse feed. If I can't use straight horse feed with oyster shell on the side, I figured I'd mix 2 bags of horse feed, with a bag of layer feed, and a bag of cracked corn... along with the oyster shell I always feed.
     
  5. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    7,951
    283
    331
    Aug 20, 2010
    Colmesneil,TX
    Doesn't the horse feed already have corn in it? Why add more? You really need to know the protien content of the food you're going to get. For instance if it's 9% protien then mixing 2 bags with one bag of 16% layer would get you a lot of 11% protien food. Not enough. They need 16% minimum to thrive.

    Horse food, like chicken food, comes in a variety of formulations. Some is really high in protien, some really low. Usually it's pretty low since horses are herbivores. Chickens eat meat and need more protien across the board.

    They'll survive and lay on just the horse food though, even on the mix you propose. Just don't expect great laying.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by