To many treats?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by smeegle, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. smeegle

    smeegle New Egg

    Aug 3, 2015
    We are first time chicken raisers so we don"t know much, except what we can gather from the computer. It would
    be so great if someone could help us. In the last week we have had two chickens die and another doesn't seem to be doing very well.
    We have feed available for them 24/7 that hangs in the pen outside. We keep vinegar and garlic in their drinking water (we read it keeps them from getting worms). Every day around 4pm or 5pm I chop up leaf lettuce, sometimes with kale,and once in awhile I just cut up cabbage. Then I either add some apple or peelings and rinds from melons and fruit. Then the next day I add vegetables peelings and leaves to the leaf lettuce. Once in awhile I use iceberg lettuce if I run out of the other. We have 2 plastic troughs I put all the mixed greens and stuff in them and put the troughs in the pen.
    I chop everything up for them and if I give them carrots I grind them up small. My husband says that so many greens is not good for them and it also gives them diarrhea. They have an indoor coop for night and a fenced
    in pen. Is there something that we have been doing that is wrong? We could use all the help we can get.
    Thanks to everyone that took the time to read this.
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    The more you can tell us about what is going on the better we can guess what might be the problem. How old are they, what are the symptoms, how long after the symptoms show up do they die, how are they housed, are they eating grit, what regular chicken feed are you giving them, you never know what bit of information might be a clue.

    As CT said, treats (which means anything other than commercial Chicken Feed) should be limited. Their feed provides everything they need to thrive as long as it is age appropriate. They don’t need treats to get a balanced diet, but many of us feed them other things. As long as you keep the treats to less than 10% or so of their daily food intake their feed will still provide them a balanced diet. A rough rule of thumb is to only feed them enough treats so they can clean them up in about 10 to 15 minutes.

    Why grit may be important is that chickens don’t have teeth to chew their food, they grind their food in their gizzard and eat small rocks that act as teeth. Regular chicken feed, even crumbles or pellets, have already been ground up so they don’t need grit for that, but a lot of the stuff you are feeding them needs to be ground up, even if you have already chopped it.

    I don’t know enough about how you are keeping your chickens to even be able to guess what might be the problem, but how you are feeding them is not usually at the top of my list when they start dying. How you are feeding them might be a problem but tell us some more about them and how you are managing them so maybe we can help better. Age and how you are housing them could be really helpful.
  4. Hybridchucks

    Hybridchucks Flock Master

    Jul 13, 2016
    My Coop
    This question is hardly related, but do you by any chance give them AVOCADO?
    Ps it sounds like you really love your babies! xxx
  5. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK

    So sorry to hear that you have lost two birds.

    I would add to the above about limiting treats (edited to add....and providing grit) and say that chopping things like greens and carrots is not always a good idea because unless you chop it all uniformly small there is a risk that some of the pieces will be too big, but will get swallowed anyway and clog their system further down. Leaving lettuce and cabbage heads whole and hanging them up so that the chickens can peck bits off and either grating carrot and apple or again, leaving it whole or maybe cutting in half, so they can peck at it, is better both in the sense that they will peck off the appropriate size pieces but also it gives them something to do to entertain themselves.

    More information on the symptoms, ages and time scales of sickness will help us pin point what the problem might be.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2017
  6. Hybridchucks

    Hybridchucks Flock Master

    Jul 13, 2016
    My Coop
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    Are you washing those fruits? Many fruits and vegetables are loaded with insecticide, I think specifically of the melon rind. Are you giving them grit? They need that IMO no matter what their diet.

    You might consider switching them to fermented feed. An other consideration is this: are you offering them plain water? They should have access to plain water as well as the ACV water.
  8. Noreaster Egger

    Noreaster Egger Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2016
    This is what I want to know, first and foremost.

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