MILK and Hay

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Warthog, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. Warthog

    Warthog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2009
    I have some milk replacer left over from bottle feeding a goat, can this be mixed up and fed to the chicks.

    Also the small pieces of hay which goats don't/won't eat can that be fed to chicks.

    All in addition to their normal food and not in replace of it.
  2. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    I'm pretty sure milk is ok, but it would be better to feed yogurt or buttermilk because the bacteria in them help the chickens digest the milk. Chickens really can't digest plain milk very well, dunno about a milk replacer supplement it's probably not really milk anyway....

    hay is probably NOT. Causes impacted crops too easily for my comfort.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2009
  3. DO NOT feed milk to chicks under 12 weeks of age.

    When you DO feed, feed ONLY ONE DAY. Milk is GREAT for probiotic starts, even though it is pasturized, but it has to be done in one day steps. Keep your days about 4 days apart at least, give them time to feed and drink their regular.

    Young chicks need chick starter, water and when they get about 5 to 6 weeks a small amount of poultry grain.

    Hay is not a good thing except for litter and I have not seen any of my birds eat it.

    Alfalfa hay can be detrimental to chickens, avoid it, they certainly seem to.

    Chickens are not stupid. They ingest exactly what they need during free range. They will gladly scarf up your poultry grain in the morning, yet go out and eat all they other things their little bodies need.

    Plenty of fresh, clean and replenished water every day is essential to health and appetite.

    Do not just "top off" your waterers, exchange them everyday. Clean out the slime if it is present. Doing this ensures that bacteria and viruses are keep to a min. . Foul water keeps your birds away and they find alternate places for water.
  4. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 8, 2008
    Fleetwood, PA
    I feed alfalfa hay all winter as a treat. They only eat the leafy parts. Never had a problem with crops.
  5. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    You make it sound like these are very young birds receiving the milk replacer and hay. Use real caution in feeding foods different than their starter when they are small.

    Don't give chickens too much credit for being "smart" and knowing what they should eat. Certainly, they aren't as intelligent as a dog and the vets are busy every day with dogs that have eaten something they shouldn't have.

    Chicks are suspicious of new foods and that is probably a good thing but they experiment. As they grow older and a little experienced, they become somewhat "wiser" about what to eat. I think that we often miss the fact that they've given themselves a "tummy ache" because of something ridiculous that they've eaten.

    The only problem I have ever had with an impacted crop was from stemmy grass hay - no fun. And, yet I've had chickens around hay a lot, including grass hay. Alfalfa meal is a common ingredient in poultry feeds.

  6. txchickie

    txchickie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    Quote:Me too. I throw several flakes in the run and keep a supply of it for them.

    They do NOT eat the stems, only the leafy green leaves. I should know as I've been raking out runs all morning and now have a big pile of alfalfa stems [​IMG] [​IMG]
  7. Warthog

    Warthog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2009
    Thanks everyone, my chicks are just over 5 months old and have just started laying. I will give the hay a miss, but try a milk replacer.

    Just trying to avoid waste.[​IMG]

    They are doing really well, they get layer food, corn scratch, leaves, grass and weeds, and at the moment they are having their eggs fed back to them, we had to worm them on Monday and on Tuesday we had our first egg, the vet said not to eat them for a month so we feed them back. [​IMG]

    I used to give them total free range from first thing in the morning until dusk, but because they have started laying and seem to be laying between 9 and 11am, I am just letting them out for 1 or 2 hours late afternoon, and they come back to roost as the light is fading.

    I would like to give them total free range, but apart from the immediate garden, its all bush and weeds, I would have no chance of finding the eggs.

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