Suet for chickens?

chesapeakechickens

In the Brooder
8 Years
Oct 26, 2011
28
0
22
Suburban Maryland
still new at the chicken thing here...just wondering if the ladies can eat a little suet (meant for birds) once in a while? I guess you wouldn't want them to have much so they get fat. So, if the answer is yes then the next questions are - how much, how often, is there a homemade recipe/version? Sorry if this is a totally amateur question, but I guess since I am an amateur then it would be dumber not to ask! *also can they have some black oil sunflower seeds in the shell? if so, what are the limitations there?
 

henney penny

Songster
10 Years
Nov 21, 2009
1,730
34
221
Northern Maine
I use it in the winter,I put it in a suet holder and and put a sting on it and hang it from the ceiling that way they don`t get a lot at once and gives them something to do.
 

superchemicalgirl

HEN PECKED
10 Years
Jan 10, 2010
11,782
14,805
691
Vacationland, Maine
Quote:They can have suet but it's not very good for them, as it's just plain fat. I feed it very rarely, maybe 2-3 times a year. I feed it to them the night before it's going to be very sub-zero and again in the morning. I have about 40 birds and do a quarter cake each time.

They can also have black oil sunflower seeds, shell and all. This is actually a bit better for them than suet as it has fat and protein in there. I feed mine a cup in the morning sprinkled in their shavings and some on the ground outside, and then again at night when they go to bed. Less in the summer, more in the winter.

All of these things are considered "treats" and shouldn't make up a large part of your birds diet. If you're in a colder climate they can have more calories in the winter to keep warm. I consider cold below freezing for long periods of time.
 

Frost Homestead

eggmonger
8 Years
Jul 9, 2011
1,451
20
148
Lago Vista, TX
they can definitely have black sunflower seeds in the shell, they LOVE it. and it's got a lot of good oils and stuff, I hand feed mine BOSS as a treat. I don't know about the suet, I know birds are given flock blocks, which is basically a giant suet, but it's held together with something else, like molasses. I'm also wondering about the suet, hope someone has experience with it and will let us know. not that mine need to be *more* spoiled!
 

chesapeakechickens

In the Brooder
8 Years
Oct 26, 2011
28
0
22
Suburban Maryland
Thanks for the great responses...keep them coming if you have anything else to add. I know that our ladies will be just fine as we have read about so many of you who have much colder temps than we do. However, when I went out there this morning and it had gotten down to somewhere around 19 last night (our coldest so far this year I think) I just got all sappy about those little cuties! Just wanna keep them happy....but also healthy and still laying! I can't believe how cold it gets where some of you folks live!
 

superchemicalgirl

HEN PECKED
10 Years
Jan 10, 2010
11,782
14,805
691
Vacationland, Maine
Quote:First I love that 3 Mainers answered...



And chesapeakechickens... with your name I'm assuming you're in Maryland? That's where I'm originally from. The winters aren't bad enough temperature wise to be too worried, as long as your girls have somewhere to go away from wind (like a nice draft free (but well ventilated) coop). If you get snow, just shovel it out where you want your birds to go and then add shavings or hay on top of what you shoveled by the chicken door, and they'll come out. If they're still hesitant to come out, sprinkle some of the black oil sunflower seeds on the hay/shavings. Also on cold mornings mine get some of their food mixed with hot water in a bowl. That way they get some fluid and something to warm them up.

You should check out the following cold weather thread:

https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=5145374
 

chesapeakechickens

In the Brooder
8 Years
Oct 26, 2011
28
0
22
Suburban Maryland
Quote:First I love that 3 Mainers answered...



And chesapeakechickens... with your name I'm assuming you're in Maryland? That's where I'm originally from. The winters aren't bad enough temperature wise to be too worried, as long as your girls have somewhere to go away from wind (like a nice draft free (but well ventilated) coop). If you get snow, just shovel it out where you want your birds to go and then add shavings or hay on top of what you shoveled by the chicken door, and they'll come out. If they're still hesitant to come out, sprinkle some of the black oil sunflower seeds on the hay/shavings. Also on cold mornings mine get some of their food mixed with hot water in a bowl. That way they get some fluid and something to warm them up.

You should check out the following cold weather thread:

https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=5145374

Thanks so much for the snow advice! The girls haven't had to venture through any just yet, but if my kids snow-wishing efforts have any effect they will be in over their heads! Yes, we are from Maryland and our chickens have a nice coop that is always a work in progress. We would like to do a little more "buttoning up", but they seem to be doing quite well. I'll check out that thread for sure. I think they would love some chicken feed "oatmeal" in the morning! We'll have to try that out.
 

DFCottage

Songster
11 Years
Feb 17, 2008
285
0
139
Montpelier, Virginia
My scratch consists of basic bird seed, a little BOSS, raisins, veggie scraps (if they are on-hand) wheat bread, oyster shell, some cracked corn, rolled oats, 1/2 a suet cake, and if its really cold, cooked oatmeal. Of note, all the ingredients that are listed before the suet cake comes up to about the 1/2 way mark in a 4 gallon bucket, so the suet is fairly widely dispersed. In the summer time, the corn is cut down and the suet comes out, and I kick up the BOSS just a little bit.
 
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AngelaB

Songster
8 Years
Sep 4, 2011
363
1
101
Michigan
Mine love it. Especially on days they can't go outside and it's cold. I have it in a feeder hanging in the coup.
 
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