Sweet feed as a cold-weather treat?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by animallover505, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. I read on fresheggsdaily.com that a little molasses is good for chickens. So that got me wondering, would it be beneficial to give my chickens a bit of sweet feed mixed with scratch, instead of just straight scratch?
     
  2. BGMatt

    BGMatt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Technically scratch is a "sweet treat" for them. My mentor's taught me it's basically the chicken version of chocolate chips. Depending on what else is in the sweet feed though it should be perfectly safe, although to avoid unbalancing their diet I wouldn't let any treat (straight scratch or other) exceed 10% of their diet. Without seeing a label, ingredient list and preferably a nutrient analysis of both your regular feed and the treat feed it would be impossible to say for certain if there would be any benefit to the sweet feed over the scratch, although it wouldn't be difficult to have a benefit in comparison.
     
  3. I use this as their primary feed.

    DuMOR Poultry Layer Feed is a complete formula for all egg-producing poultry and non-laying mature birds. It is richly fortified with calcium to promote strong eggshell formation and contains all the necessary amino acids, vitamins, and minerals needed to maintain healthy, productive breeders and layers. Pelleted form makes less waste. Can be scattered on the ground.
    Guaranteed Analysis:
    Crude Protein (min.) 16.00%, Lysine (min.) .70%, Methionine (min.) .35%, Crude Fat (min.) 2.50%, Crude Fiber (max.) 7.00%, Calcium (Ca) (min.) 3.80%, Calcium (Ca) (max.) 4.80%, Phosphorus (P) (min.) .50%, Salt (NaCl) (min.) .25%, Salt (NaCl) (max.) .75%, Ruminant meat and bone meal free.

    I use this on cold days for extra body-heat

    Producer's Pride Scratch Grain is a blend of clean whole and cracked grains designed to serve as a supplemental energy and "environment-enrichment" feed for poultry. It allows poultry to engage in natural pecking behavior, thus providing a stress-relieving activity for confined or semi-confined birds. High in digestible energy.

    Guaranteed Analysis:
    Crude Protein (min.) 8.50%, Crude Fat (min.) 2.00%, Crude Fiber (max.) 4.00%, Ruminant meat and bone meal free.

    with some whole corn mixed in in under 40 degree weather or really windy days.


    I am thinking about feeding some alfalfa cubes mixed with warm water, as their run is bare.

    Standlee Hay Certified Premium Alfalfa/Timothy Grass Cube is an excellent choice in feeding animals that require maintenance levels of energy requirements. These hay forage cubes are moderate in level of protein (12%) and low in sugar content at 8%. These particular types of hay forage cubes contain a blend of 60% alfalfa and 40% timothy grass hay forages. Alfalfa/Timothy Hay Cubes are considered low non-structured carbohydrates. These cubes are certified noxious weed free.

    Ingredients:
    Sun Cured Alfalfa, Timothy Grass Hay Forages and Natural Bentonite.
    Guaranteed Analysis:
    Protein - Not Less Than 12%, Crude Fat - Not Less Than 1%, Crude Fiber - Not More Than 32%, Moisture - Not More Than 12%..


    do you think the alfalfa cubes would be a good idea? They get a lot of scraps, too. They get free-range time a few days per week in the afternoons, and have free-choice grit and oyster shell.
     
  4. BGMatt

    BGMatt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't see anything wrong with the scratch and alfalfa cubes. I would, as previously stated, limit it to around 10% of their diet so you don't inadvertantly unbalance their diet. From a purely nutritional point of view I'm really not sure where any benefit would be though. Cold weather ideally you'd want to increase protein and/or fat content, which neither of those do. So in an assessment that way I just don't see a benefit, nothin wrong with that at all though. Our birds are our pets and giving treats that they like is fun. :) Off the top of my head some tasty high fat treats for the cold would be stuff like flax seed or black sunflower seed.
     
  5. Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

    Mrs. Fluffy Puffy Fluffy Feather Farm

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    My chickens LOVE Sweet feed. Go for it.

    ~ Aspen
     

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