Switching feed brands

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by KaityRoseChicks, Mar 10, 2016.

  1. KaityRoseChicks

    KaityRoseChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 9, 2016
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    I'm going to be getting some chicks soon, and this question also includes adults I was wondering if the birds will have any adverse reactions if i were to switch brands? Like dogs and cats do if you change their food too quickly?
     
  2. Alexandra33

    Alexandra33 Chillin' With My Peeps

    That's a very good question! [​IMG] As a cat owner, I at one time might have wondered that myself. Actually, though, I don't think the same concept is the case with poultry given my experiences. We first started out feeding our girls Purina Naturewise, then abruptly changed to Kalmbach organic feed when we started getting damaged bags of it for free from the company. Thank goodness, there were do adverse side effects to the sudden switch.

    -Alex
     
  3. KaityRoseChicks

    KaityRoseChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay cool! I'm not sure how chicken digestion compares to dog/cat/horse. I know the latter will have some serious GI issues from a sudden food change.
     
  4. Alexandra33

    Alexandra33 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Honestly, being a novice, I don't know the exact details of how a chicken's digestive system works, but I'm going solely upon experiences. [​IMG] I guess they're really not all that sensitive. Best wishes with your flock!

    -Alex
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2016
  5. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Digestive upset can happen in chickens with abrupt diet changes, but they tend to be milder when/if they occur. I think this is because of two main reasons:

    1) While the different diets may differ in ingredients, the overall macronutrient composition (protein, carbs, fats) tends to remain very similar. Dog/cat food varies tremendously in its composition so their digestive systems may have to up/down regulate the production of certain enzymes and digestive aids to handle the new food...there is a lag while everything readjusts and during this lag not only can improperly digested food components draw water into the gut on their own, they can also severely upset the established gut microflora.

    2) Chickens have well-developed ceca designed to create an ideal environment for the growth and reproduction of those beneficial bacteria to ferment the food for the chicken. The colon is constantly reseeded with this reservoir of good bacteria via "cecal poops". The cecum of a dog or cat is much more rudimentary and more susceptible to imbalances.
     
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  6. KaityRoseChicks

    KaityRoseChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    So while it's not life threatening (?) it can be avoided by slowly switching food? Thanks for explaining it [​IMG]
     
  7. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Honestly, I wouldn't hesitate to do an abrupt switch in an otherwise healthy chicken. The poop may be a bit looser, but it is unlikely that you will notice much change in the chicken themselves. Should correct itself quickly too.
     
  8. KaityRoseChicks

    KaityRoseChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Awesome [​IMG] thanks
     

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