Is dry dog food very bad for chickens?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ima57boomer, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. ima57boomer

    ima57boomer Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 23, 2011
    My ten 12 wk. old pullets free-range around our farm, but don't really go out too far from the house and their little home. We have two big dogs that also call this farm home, and I keep the dog food barrell out, with a big pan next to it. The chickens have discovered the dog food and peck around at it. My instincts tell me this probably isn't the best food for them. I'm guessing too much protein? I know cat food isn't supposed to be good for them. The dog food is dry, usually from Rural King or Farm and Fleet. Not the highest protein, but higher than 18%, I'm sure. The chickens have access to their own food at all times, as well. It would complicate my life to ensure the dog food bowl stays empty during the day while the chickens are out, or to find a dfferent place to place it where they couldn't get to it, but if that's what I need to do to protect their health, I would do it. Experts...what do you say?
  2. BunsNChicks

    BunsNChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2011
    I wouldn't worry about it, I have heard of ppl throwing a handful of dogfood out for their flock....but just think about what quality of dogfood you are feeding, I would not be throwing them alpo, beneful ect.
  3. dretd

    dretd Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2009
    Ft Collins, CO
    My rule of thumb is to feed no more that 10% of the diet as a treat whether it be scratch or dog food. I wouldn't stress if its a smallish amount relative to the rest of the diet.
  4. greenfamilyfarms

    greenfamilyfarms Big Pippin'

    Feb 27, 2008
    Elizabethtown, NC
    As someone else mentioned, it's fine as a treat. I know that before a show, some breeders will give their birds a little cat food as a treat as a source of extra protein and oils.
  5. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

    Aug 3, 2009
    They're fine. It won't hurt them.
  6. ima57boomer

    ima57boomer Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 23, 2011
    Thanks for all the replies. I'm sure this has been talked to death through various postings, I just hadn't seen them.
  7. BrokenRoadFarm

    BrokenRoadFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 10, 2011
    North Central NC
    Do you need to crush up the pieces? Seems to me they would be rather large for them to try to swallow...though my girls are only 13 weeks old, so everything seems to be large for them to swallow!
  8. KenK

    KenK Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2011
    Don't know about the chickens eating the dog food but I think it is better for dogs to just be fed what they will immediately eat as opposed to having free choice of food all the time.

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