salt free chickens!


11 Years
Apr 23, 2008
A lady calls me recently about my meat birds. Asks if they have salt in their diet. I said "yes, their food contains salt." She has thyroid cancer and her treatments are not going to allow for any Iodized/Iodine products. She said her doc told her if she eliminates iodized salt from her diet for 2 weeks it will be out of her system. So, I am going to pull 7 birds aside for her and feed them only ground corn and water for 5 days (processing June 6). I am certain by then the salt will be out of their system don't you think? I am so excited to do this for her.
I guess the birds would live but I think the Doctor meant for her to not add iodized salt to her food. All animals need some salt, check your feed and see if it has iodine or iodized salt in it if it does see if you can find feed with plain salt (non iodized) in it. I know you said it was short term but I had a friend that would not eat salt in any way shape or form and ended up in the hospital for severe dehydration because of it. The doctor told her her organs were "drying up".
If they are going to be processed in five days I wouldn't think it would matter (chicken health wise) to not have salt although I wonder too if she misunderstood.
I said Iodized salt, she can have salt. The animals she eats can not have iodized salt and since I can't be sure about the salt that is in the feed, I am feeding 7 of my birds mashed corn only so there will not be any salt in them. The treatment she is taking reacts to iodine some way and can do damage instead of help her situation.
I think it's more the chicken in the store with it's sodium whatever bath and basting of other stuff.

Honestly, I'm not sure what the levels of iodine would be in actual chicken meat, regardless of diet....

Still is a nice thing to do. A week or so of straight corn won't cause harm to the chickens, and it will make her feel better about her food.
My mom has gone into cardiac arrest twice....due to the iodine in salt. That was 20 years ago and she has had to learn to watch what she eats and what she is served etc. I asked her and she said that this shouldnt be an issue (animal eating salt in its food) but that everyone reacts in a different way. I would say the corn and water would be a good step and hopefully you will have a waiver signed protecting you incase this lady codes out and blames your chicken!
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Ok, here are some FACTS for you.

The "Salt" used in the manufacture of livestock feeds is known as "Mixing Salt" it contains roughly 98% salt and NO added Iodine.

Iodine is added as an essential Trace Mineral in livestock diets as a separate ingredient, typically as EDDI (ethylenediamine dihydriodide).

So for this customer simply removing the feed will accomplish the goal of no added Iodine, but not because of the removal of Salt from the chickens.

You can check the ingredients list. If there is iodine it will be listed.

I wasn't quite sure if they would list iodized salt serparately or not. My feed does say "salt" so she was concerned. Thanks though!

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