My chickens are eating bird seed off the ground

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by melinda653, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. melinda653

    melinda653 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My two little chickens roam the yard and one of their favorite places is the in the neighboring "woods" where I happen to put my wild bird feeders. They both like to eat the seeds but I am noticing that one of them seems to be eating quite of bit of seed, or so I think. When I feel her crop I can feel lots of little pebble like bits in there which feel like the little millet bird seeds on the ground. Is this harmful to them?
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013
  2. Veer67

    Veer67 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I don't think so, my hens love eating the seeds from the birdfeeder, as long as they have grit to digest the food they should be fine. Although I've read that cracked corn can puncture their crop.
     
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    I don't think it is harmful at all - they are afterall, birds. Not saying it is the best for them for laying down the line but eating it isn't detrimental.
     
  4. jenifry

    jenifry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No. Chickens are cute little pigs with wings, they will eat (and successfully survive) almost anything.
     
  5. melinda653

    melinda653 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was just wondering if too many seeds at one time wasn't good. She seems to be eating a lot of them lately. They are both being tube fed right now because they have been very sick and the medicine they are on makes them not really hungry, except for bird seed apparently. And bugs. They like bugs.
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    If they're eating bugs and bird seed, why are you tube feeding them? My thought is if they're healthy enough to range and find/eat their own food, they're not that sick.
     
  7. melinda653

    melinda653 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are not eating their regular food at all and they are not eating enough bugs and seed to even maintain their weight. Even with the tube feeding I am barely able to maintain their weight. They were on antibiotics and are still on a powerful antifungal medicine. They have lost 1/3 of their body weight. They have been through quite a bit and were very very sick.
     
  8. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    There a lot of disconnect in what we are reading here, to be frank, and it is a bit confusing to us who are trying to answer the questions you posed and the advice you sought.

    I guess you might consider confining them for awhile. If they need to gain weight their feed should come from their normal feed, neither the feeding tube nor the wild bird formula out in the woods.

    Once they're are back in shining good health, then the occasional trip to the bird seed is likely harmless. The wild bird seed has been picked through by the wild birds. What is the dietary quality of the left overs? Unknown. Another issue with wild birds is coccidiosis, but that's another subject. Will chickens pig out on something and create an imbalance in their diet? You bet they will. Will kids eat nothing but junk food, if you let them, and mess up their healthy diet? Seems so.
     
  9. melinda653

    melinda653 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My vet told me to let them out more to let them get grass and bugs. What is coccidiosis? I am building them a new chicken tractor right now that will give them more outside/confined space so that I could keep them away from bad areas while still letting them have ample moving area. Oh shoot. I seem to keep messing everything up. So I guess I will keep them away from the wild bird food area, even though it is their favorite place because it is in the woods with the good bugs and dirt for rolling.
     
  10. Rich386

    Rich386 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't worry about it they are just doing what comes naturally. As they say it will all come out in the end.
     

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