Is there such a thing as too much "other" food?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by horsewishr, Aug 6, 2007.

  1. horsewishr

    horsewishr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My garden is overflowing, and I've been giving my girls samples of zucchini, tomatoes, watermelon, and cucumbers. I'm sure this is all good for them, but I don't want to feed so much that they're not eating their regular food. They're just 17 weeks, so I know the grower food is important.

    But when they get older, can I over-do the table scraps and veggies? I'll only give them healthy stuff. But how much is too much?
     
  2. chickonaroost

    chickonaroost Out Of The Brooder

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    I give them piles of scraps, mostly tomatoes. They walk away when they have enough.
     
  3. FamilyOfChickens

    FamilyOfChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's very easy to give them too many treats. Try not to! Especially once they start laying, they may have problems with their egg shells if they're not getting enough calcium from the layer food. Only give them a handful or two a day, if you can.
     
  4. horsewishr

    horsewishr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is all so intriguing. I asked a while back about chicken feeding patterns--whether they tend to eat small amounts constantly (like horses), or whether they eat several times daily (like dogs and humans). The only answer I got was to make sure food was always available. I would love to know how chickens really eat--left to their own devices.

    And just for the sake of arguement. . . if a chicken is free-ranging, how is that different from giving nutritious "snacks" several times a day? In both cases the chickens would get a significant amount of calories from something other than commercial feed, right?

    To continue in my argumentative mood ( [​IMG] ), are we really that certain that commercial feeds are the best thing for our birds? You know, dog and cat people make their own food all the time. It's not because they're trying to get rid of left-overs. It's becuase of all the CRAP that's in commercially produced pet food (even the "good" brands). Commercial feed companies make feed out of what is CHEAPEST, not what's best. I have no doubt that chicken food is as questionable as "pet" food. The mills may get their nutrient ratios right, but how they arrive at those ratios is often questionable.

    The biggest concern I have about feeding table and garden scraps is that I won't get the nutrient ratios right. For the sake of arguement, if I got the nutrients right, and fed free-choice oyster shells, would everything be OK??
     
  5. MayberrySaint

    MayberrySaint Chillin' Out

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    Quote:I try not to get in arguments on this board, but your comment about commercial feed companies is one of the most ludicrous I have read on this forum. Have you ever been in a commercial mill or worked for a commercial feed company. I would really be interested in having you list all the "so-called crap" that is put into commercial poultry feeds.
    FYI...commercial feed companies utilize PhD nutritionists that formulate the rations for optimal performance. These ration specifications come from University research as well as research trials from their own research farms. Do you think they would spend millions of dollars a year on research to not formulate the optimum-performing rations? Once the specifications are set...the cost of all available commodities is entered into a program and the computer solves the ration and provides the mill with the least-cost, best-performing ration that is available. The ration ingredients change weekly as commodity prices change but the specifications of the ration do not. Any commercial feed company that does not practice the above processes will not be in business for long. They make their money on the volume of feed produced and if their large, commercial farming customers are not profitable by getting the best available, lowest cost feed then the feed company is doomed. Next time you decide to slander an industry (feed companies), I would suggest you get your facts straight.
     
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I can't answer any specifics but my hens free range, always have food in their feeders, and walk away from treats to eat their pellets when they feel like it.
     
  7. horsewishr

    horsewishr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Do the United States Department of Agriculture's facts satisfy you???

    http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/petfood.html

    Slander?? Hardly. If you haven't heard about all the recent pet deaths and pet food recalls, you've been living under a rock.

    Yes, the Ph.D.'s know how much protien needs to be in the food. But the CEOs buy tainted CRAP (containing toxic melamine--and solely intended to boost protien content without increasing production costs) from china, and put it into pet food. Is it possible that chicken feed is different? I suppose so. But I'm guessing it's not likely.

    edited for spelling.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2007
  8. horsewishr

    horsewishr Chillin' With My Peeps

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  9. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Yeah, I would say that the problem is what finally ends up in there... There was a case maybe 15 years ago in Canada, where there were children's first teeth coming in poorly... turns out the formula company was not putting in enough calcium and the food contained too much sugar! Luckily though since my cousins have grown up, they now have teeth [​IMG]
     
  10. Agilityscots

    Agilityscots Chillin' With My Peeps

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    To any semi-educated pet owner, it's not news that pet food contains the byproducts of the slaughtering industry that we're not allowed to eat, including 4-D animals (dead, dying, disabled/downed, diseased). Ann Martin's Food Pets Die For exposed the pet food industry's dirty little secret of using euthanized DOGS and CATS in pet food.

    I was well aware of the problems with the pet food industry long before the recall problems appeared this year. So yes, the word crap adequately describes the pet food industry and its product. I don't care how much money they spend on PhD's and nutritionists--they're just like every other corporation that exists, in that their goal is to make money. While the original post referred to chicken feed, it's not much of a stretch from pet food to chicken feed. It's a well-known fact that factory layer hens eat cow waste (yes, manure) and cow parts, and that cows are fed chicken waste (thank goodness for Mad Cow...now they're not allowed to eat their own waste any more, but other poop is still okay! Woo hoo!)

    Some fun miscellaneous tidbits off the top of my head, after nearly ten years of research on the pet food industry:

    Science Diet uses ethoxyquin, a Monsanto-developed rubber stabilizer also used to make tires, as a preservative in their food. It's a known carcinogen, approved for use at MUCH higher levels in dog food than in human food. Hills Science Diet also favors healthful ingredients like peanut hulls (insert sarcasm here).

    The well-known pet food brands--Purina, Waltham Pedigree, Hills Science Diet, Iams/Eukanuba--all use corn and corn byproducts in their foods, even though corn has very little nutritive bioavailability and is a top allergen for dogs and cats (think skin and ear problems, lots of poop because it goes undigested, etc). Oh, and it blocks serotonin absorption in dogs (and children, incidentally), which means that dogs (or children) with ANY kind of behavioral problem will be inhibited in recovery due to diet. Why, might you ask, do dog food companies use so much corn? Hmmm...maybe because it's cheap and overproduced in this country, thanks to heavy federal subsidies (this is also why we have high-fructose corn syrup...where else might we put all the corn we produce? Into soft drinks! Of course!)

    Finally, before I get off my soapbox, I have to say that anyone who trusts the government and its woefully inadequate regulatory agencies to determine food safety hasn't been paying attention. Mayberry, you might want to do some reading before you slam someone for stating what you feel is "slander" toward an industry. I know, I know...capitalist America here, we're NEVER allowed to slander industry or profit ventures of any kind.

    For some information on what pet food actually contains, see the following links:

    www.dogfoodproject.com

    http://www.api4animals.org/facts.php?p=359&more=1

    Amy
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2007

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