Is it safe for chickens to consume food coloring?

Discussion in 'Nutrition - Sponsored by Purina Poultry' started by lizkhalifa, Oct 28, 2015.

  1. lizkhalifa

    lizkhalifa Hatching

    Oct 24, 2015
    I was thinking if you could provide chickens with crushed eggshells dyed with food colouring to replace oyster shells and possibly lowering the chance of the chickens becoming egg-eaters if offered free-choice.

  2. nchls school

    nchls school Songster

    Apr 22, 2015
    I feed both oyster shell and crushed egg shell/boiled egg. There are some that believe that egg shell is not a good substitute for oyster shell-I do not know, so I use both. I would think food coloring would be safe. However, I think your worries about egg eating resulting from eating boiled crushed shell is needless. I have been feeding boiled egg and crushed egg shell for decades and have never had an egg eater as a result of eating shell. I have never had a chicken egg eater, but have had other bird species become egg eaters but as a result of eggs being broken accidentally. Birds do no seem to connect the boiled crushed egg and shells with the raw eggs in their nests. Birds being exposed to broken raw egg repeatedly does result in eat eating. When feeding boiled egg and shell I crush and mix thoroughly as a precaution that the birds not recognize what they are eating as, "egg.
  3. beginnergirl

    beginnergirl Songster

    May 25, 2015
    Pacific Nortwest
    I baked the shells and ground them in a coffee grinder. Two of the pullets love them and so far no egg eating. I also have oyster shell available.

    Food coloring can have side effects in people. Maybe try beet juice.
  4. appps

    appps Crowing

    Aug 29, 2012
    I don't know they are that smart you would need to bother. As long as the shells are crushed up I doubt they would work out it's egg shells.

    I try not to give my kids food colouring because of side effects, I wouldn't give them to my chooks on a regular basis, you might end up with chooks with behavioural problems!

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