How bad and why is whole wheat bread given as a treat bad for flock?

natyvidal

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Mar 1, 2018
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Hi everyone. I have a question that is important since I am getting mixed messages and it doesn’t seem to affect my flock. The amount of bread I give my flock is minimal. One slice of whole wheat bread divided between 38 layers, 13 guinea hens and several young chicks. I use the wheat bread as a training tool to get them back into the coop when I am ready and to give the flock an incentive to return to the chicken run every day after free ranging the property. I shred it into tiny pieces and swing it to different areas of the run.

Having said that; why is wheat bread bad for them? Aside from the fact that it should not be used as the main diet for them since bread lacks the nutrition, is there any other health reason?

I do have an African goose that when I bought him he was already 5 years old and was being fed white stale bread and cracked corn only. That was it. I changed that, he now eats good quality scratch, mixed with cracked corn and all flock feed. But, he still loves his bread! He will come up to me and start pecking at me in my behind to remind me to give him some. 😂. He is really a carácter. He gets his piece as does the rest of the flock. He looks beautiful!

I just want to know what would be the consequences from eating the bread and is that only if being fed as part of the main meal or in tiny quantities like I just explained for training purposes is it ok? Thank you for your help.
 

BlueBaby

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Mar 21, 2016
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I give my flock stale bread when I have some, but they aren't fed that every day and they still eat their feed. I break the bread up into smaller pieces though for the younger one's in the grow-out pen. In the winter I feed the adults a scratch mix that has cracked corn, wheat, and milo seed's in it that is meant for them from the feed store, so why would wheat hurt them?
 

natyvidal

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Mar 1, 2018
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I give my flock stale bread when I have some, but they aren't fed that every day and they still eat their feed. I break the bread up into smaller pieces though for the younger one's in the grow-out pen. In the winter I feed the adults a scratch mix that has cracked corn, wheat, and milo seed's in it that is meant for them from the feed store, so why would wheat hurt them?
That is why I am asking the professionals. I want to know what is the risk. Thank you. 🤗
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
Apr 9, 2016
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in tiny quantities like I just explained for training purposes is it ok?
My understanding is that folks are worried about it causing sour crop from the yeast used perhaps?? Really yeast in and of itself can grow seemingly with any starch.. I've seen it growing on top of feed when I used to ferment.
https://the-chicken-chick.com/chicken-anatomy-crop-impacted-crop-sour/

I have a hard time imagining 1 slice of bread being enough for that many birds to even get a crumb each! I wouldn't worry about it as you describe using it... personally.

Wheat is also a fun thing to sprout or fodder for the birds!

Most things are fine as a treat.. which is typically defined as less than 10% of the total daily intake.

Well meaning fear mongers... get their concerns validated and/disproved with this amazing community of support and collective knowledge! :highfive:

ETA: please understand I am NOT a professional.. just an avid fancier with about 10 years under my belt.. and learning something new still EVERY day!

ETA: some feeds are made with wheat instead of corn which could impact the yolk color due to different feed stuff but the end nutritional analysis should be accurate. White corn can cause platinum colored yolks. Wheat itself is not an issue. Excess bread would be. :)
 
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Red-Stars-in-RI

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Mar 24, 2014
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I think the argument is that a large quantity would dilute the nutrients they'd get from their "regular" feed. The quantity you're feeding would not do that, so you're good.

If anyone has another reason that a small amount of bread as a training treat would be bad, please speak up...but I can't recall hearing any.
 

Kiki

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One piece of bread for that many birds...I find it impossible that all of the birds even get a piece.


This sounds like a problem: (not a balanced diet)
I do have an African goose that when I bought him he was already 5 years old and was being fed white stale bread and cracked corn only. That was it. I changed that, he now eats good quality scratch, mixed with cracked corn and all flock feed. But, he still loves his bread! He will come up to me and start pecking at me in my behind to remind me to give him some. 😂. He is really a carácter. He gets his piece as does the rest of the flock. He looks beautiful!
The bird would live longer if you didn't mix these things.
 

natyvidal

Songster
Mar 1, 2018
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Mix these things? What is the right diet for my Gladstone? I appreciate any input on this. Thank you.
 

natyvidal

Songster
Mar 1, 2018
215
221
132
I think the argument is that a large quantity would dilute the nutrients they'd get from their "regular" feed. The quantity you're feeding would not do that, so you're good.

If anyone has another reason that a small amount of bread as a training treat would be bad, please speak up...but I can't recall hearing any.
Thank you
 

natyvidal

Songster
Mar 1, 2018
215
221
132
I think the argument is that a large quantity would dilute the nutrients they'd get from their "regular" feed. The quantity you're feeding would not do that, so you're good.

If anyone has another reason that a small amount of bread as a training treat would be bad, please speak up...but I can't recall hearing any.
Thank you.
 

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