House chicken prefers dog kibble

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by RMo2, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. RMo2

    RMo2 Songster

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    I have a question! We have a house chicken with a large hernia. She seems to prefer eating the dog's kibble now, instead of her feed. Is this an issue? I try to encourage her to eat her feed and scratch grains, but she snatches bites of kibble every chance she gets!
     
  2. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Crowing

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    If my chickens wander into the house, they head straight for the dog food bowl as well. If the house chicken is a layer, than you could have problems, if she's just a pet than though not ideal, it's not the end of the world.
     
  3. RMo2

    RMo2 Songster

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    She is a layer-- and is absolutely not eating her feed or scratch grains! I don't know what to do with her. I give her egg shells for the calcium, but she has lost weight. She has a large hernia and the vet recommends keeping her indoors. He recommended a diet that was "soft" so I tend to give her organic baby food too. Desperately trying to get her to gain weight again, but not sure that she will. We love her very much and want her to be comfortable and happy as long as possible. Any insight is appreciated!
     
  4. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

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    Mine are horrible about going after dog food also, especially the leghorns for some reason. I don't know how you could stop her from eating it if it is available to her. I think you are going to have to figure out some way to keep her separate from it. About the only way I can think of to keep the kibble where they both are but where the dog can get it but the chicken can't eat it is to have a kibble size that is really large (how strict a diet is your dog on)? Any kind of treadle feeder for the dog would probably be too dangerous for the chicken.
    Besides dog food obviously not being balanced as a diet for chickens, I would worry especially about protein intake if it is a high protein or also high fat one in a chicken that has problems anyhow. By "soft", did your vet mean that she should be eating a wet food / something that was finely ground, not whole grains etc? Where does she have a hernia?
     
  5. BarredRockMom

    BarredRockMom Songster

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    Hi RMo2:
    I don't have the same issue with my girls, however, I agree about keeping the dog food away from the chicken. I know the dogs would find it most inconvenient to not have it out to graze on, but perhaps you'd consider just having set meal times for them instead, even if it's just a temporary thing. It doesn't have to be a firm 6am & 6pm kind of a thing, but just whenever breakfast and dinner times work for you & your schedule.

    As far as soft but nutritious foods go, why not feed her scrambled eggs? Mine go CRAZY for them, especially when I mix in a little fresh garlic. If she likes them, that could help her nutrition intake and with weight gain. I've also found that getting some white fish fillets from the store on occasion (cod, tilapia, whatever) & cooking them up in a skillet (just poaching with garlic, not frying with oil or breadcrumbs) is a nice treat. And my girls love tofu, as well. I get the organic extra firm, drain the liquid, cut off a portion, leave the rest in it's container & pop it into a ziploc in the fridge. I mash the tofu with a fork into small bits, add a mix of chia seeds, flax seeds & sesame seeds, stir it up & watch them go to town. There is a lot of protein in the above "treats", but they also have their regular food. It may just be my girls, but I found that eggshells didn't provide enough calcium for them. I give oyster shell & they take what they want/need. Same with grit. Even though your girl is on a soft diet, grit would probably be a good idea.

    In any of the above, I don't see why you couldn't "trick" her into eating her own food by sprinkling some into the eggs, fish and/or tofu. I'm assuming that you (are trying) to get her to eat mash & not layer pellets. Regardless, if she gets a taste for something other than her food, it might be difficult to get her to eat later. That's why I'd sprinkle some into the above, just to make sure that she's familiar (& reacquainted) with the taste of her own food. You can adjust the proportions later.

    I hope your chicken baby is well on her way to being healthy enough to rejoin her flock! You're a good Chicken Mom to let her stay inside while you tend her. Way to go![​IMG]
     
  6. RMo2

    RMo2 Songster

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    Thank you so much for the ideas. Over the last few days I have been putting her in her crate with only her food and water. She has been eating a bit more that way. I will have to try the scrambled eggs for sure and see if that doesn't help. She is a good girl and I want her to do well. Thanks for the advice!!
     

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