Is it possible to feed chickens to much bread, vegetables, and fruit?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mrswes1988, Oct 14, 2016.

  1. mrswes1988

    mrswes1988 Out Of The Brooder

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    Please help! We're having a terrible time with dying chickens this year and it's the first year I've feed them things other than there chicken feed. I've done everything I know to do to have healthy chickens to no avail.
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I'm sorry for your loss.

    Can you give a bit more information:
    What type of feed do you normally give?
    Any changes to their environment - new coop, new run, new chicks/chickens added to the flock?
    How old and how many do you have?
    Any signs/symptoms -- coughing, sneezing, runny nose/eyes, respiratory illness, lameness -- anything you see before they die?
    How many have died and have you sent any for necropsy?

    If the food/feed is the one main change/factor that you are seeing, it is best to go "back to the basics". Feed only their normal chicken feed, limit any treats to no more than 10% of their daily intake and give things like fresh greens, veggies and fruit. For the time being eliminate kitchen scraps, bread, etc., until you can get a handle on what is going on.

    Clean and sanitize all your water stations and feeders.
     
  3. mrswes1988

    mrswes1988 Out Of The Brooder

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    Not sure about the feed. I buy it at our local feed store and I believe it's good stuff. Just threw out the bag so I'm sorry I can't be more specific. I now have 22 chickens. 9 silkies approx 7 mo old (started with 30!) I have 4 hens and 2 roosters 1 1/2 yrs, 2 hens 9 mo (had 8) and the rest are approx 10 mo old. I'm lucky if I get 3 eggs a week! Nothing much has changed except feeding them people food. Primarily veg and bread. I have a feeling the bread maybe the culprit. Symptoms are usually droopy tail a bit lethargic followed by instability and eventually death. They seem to eat right up to the end but intake of water lessens and they loose weight. I've dewormed and given vitamins. I keep their two coops clean...for a chicken coop that is! I've dusted them for mites as well although I didn't see any evidence of mites. Thank you for your help!
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I agree with Wyorp Rock about going back to basics.

    When one buys feed, things to make a mental note of are protein %, calcium % and manufacture date. I don't buy any feed unless I check those three things.

    In answer to your first question, yes, it is possible to feed too much bread, veggies and fruit.
    Bread is too high in salt, too low in protein and may be deficient in other nutrients.
    Veggies and fruit have no protein. Chickens are omnivores so they need either animal protein or a complete feed with an appropriate array of amino acids.

    When losing lots of birds, it is necessary to have a necropsy done at a poultry lab to determine the culprit and appropriate course of action. Doing otherwise, one will just lose more birds while guessing at the cause.

    What state are you in?
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2016
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  5. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Without feed information from the OP, or even them knowing what they are feeding, I might look at kidney failure and gout if they are all getting layer feed.
     
  7. mrswes1988

    mrswes1988 Out Of The Brooder

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    I live in Georgia and I have treated them for cocci just Incase. I'm going back to basics for sure! And yes the young ones are having the most trouble. I ordered the 30 online and received them as chicks. They are silkies and I'm so sad they're dying off.
     
  8. mrswes1988

    mrswes1988 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you everyone for the advice!
     
  9. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Good point.

    If you have a mixed flock (different age groups, sex, different point of lay, etc.) then you may want to use an All Flock/Flock Raiser formula. This is higher in protein and lower in calcium, which non-laying birds don't need. Provide oyster shell free choice.

    Silkies are not known for their egg production, but at the age they are now, I would think you should have seen a few eggs from them. Are any broody? Are they all pullets?
     
  10. mrswes1988

    mrswes1988 Out Of The Brooder

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    NONE of my chickens have ever gone broody which surprises me too. And I didn't know there was a mixed age food! Great to know. I do give them oyster shells...keep them available at all times
     

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