Sweet feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Briggadane, Feb 24, 2016.

  1. Briggadane

    Briggadane Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 11, 2010
    Ok, ive been trying to find others who actually use this as a food source as i do for chickens. I cant locate anything. That being the case, i felt a new thread was a good idea.

    Ive been feeding this to my ADULT birds for about 6 months now. I live in northern Ohio where we get freezing tedmps and snow for weeks on end. So know that sometimes there is no outdoor time for birds to forage.

    Also know that i use a mixture of 1\3 or 1\4 of cracked corn or scratch in the sweet feed.
    I expected deficiencies to show up, and expected runny fecies.
    The first is not present after 6 months. The second is. This is making deep litter method a challenge, but also is keeping the coop warmer in cold stretches. A wash to my thinking.

    Ive also noticed that since the fall molt new feathers appear very glossy and healthy. I did have thin shelled eggs at one point, but dis├žovered that free fed oyster shell had run out. No telling how long, as prior to change over they seldom used it. Now they go through it rapidly. Even in winter my eggs yolks are rich yellow\orange.

    Birds are in good weight. Currently my summer chicks are just starting to lay, no shell problems there. Fertility could be better, but all my males were 6-9 months old. Fertility is getting better now, based on my incubating.

    Now understand i feed table scaps 3-4 times a week, and ive got over 60 birds. Birds also have large mulch piles to go through daily.
    And i feed a couple hand fulls of cat food when its too cold or snowy for birds to venture out. Probiotics afre also given on occasion.

    I think the key to using alternate feeds is to monitor flock and anticipate needs.
    My chicks are all fed regular poultry starter feed until they are big enpough to join the flock.

    Anyone have any experience with any of this?
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2016
  3. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    It really helps to know your climate for discussion on feeding and housing....

    ONly have experience feeding it to horses. Sweet feed has molasses in it with most of the sugar removed. Its an excellent source of minerals and yes promotes a very healthy coat. But its an out dated feed. There are better products out there for horses. Adding sugar to a diet invites problems such as incresed gut biotics obesity and sometimes behavior issues. Obesity will lower egg production.

    What you may do is analyze the amount of sweet feed you are using percentage wise. Reduce that percentage some in increments till you achieve less loose poos. But to be honest I wouldnt feed it.

    IF you are trying to keep it warmer in the coop though have you tried plain old Alfalfa as a supplement. I feed year round a Flake of alfalfa for about twenty birds every month or so. They love to disassemble it and eat the leaves. Its loaded with calcium and minerals as well. And gives those eggs a nice color.

    My birds dont have any greens to forage on most of the year. Right now is my green season which lasts probably through march then it all dies off. High desert gets cold in the winter time but my coops are open air. dont do deep litter because its too dry here. The best I can do is a roof and wind break...

    By the way I do supplement one scoop in five with Cat fish chow. Its a pellet and provides the animal protien that my Guineas crave. It was recommended by a person who raises exotics for zooos. She said it was a very controlled way to supplement.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2016
  4. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Hi ... [​IMG] @ChickenCanoe probably had forgotten more about chickens than I will ever know


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