Too Much Fiber??

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by TwoCrows, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    I have been making my own chicken feed for about one month now. Everybody is laying well and looking good so far. I fully expected to see some diarrhea at first due to the dietary change and have been adding probiotics to the feed daily as well. (Before the new diet, they had been getting probiotics once or twice a week).

    But after one month, the birds still have diarrhea to some degree. Rarely do they pass a firm solid stool. I am grinding my grains as small as my grain grinder will grind them, nearly to powder with some tiny bits of grain and seed. I add a tiny bit of water at feeding time to keep the powder down and bring all the ingredients together to make a very small crumble form. Also to make it easier for the birds to break down in the intestinal tract.

    My fiber content is 6.6%. I am unable to get that lower. My birds don't free range and I have been going very light on the treats during this entire experiment so I can monitor all conditions. I keep them on sand in the coop and run, so they have access to tons of stones for the gizzards.

    Do I have too much fiber in the feed?? Or possibly the feed is not highly digestible? If so, what can I add to make it easier to digest?

    Thanks so much!
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I have no idea what amount of fiber birds need, but I do wonder why you're grinding the grains so fine? Birds are meant to eat whole grains and seeds, and have a great digestive system to break them down.
     
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    I thought that by grinding the grains, they could not pick and choose. The grinding would make it so that each bite has 100% of the mix, instead of them picking out only what they want to eat and leaving things that they might not care to eat.

    I do however provide a scratch/sunflower seed treat before roosting time, which they have always received, for their entertainment and enjoyment factor. These are whole grains.
     

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