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Totally ignoring their food...and a 'mice' question!!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by emeraldquill, Jul 5, 2008.

  1. emeraldquill

    emeraldquill Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2008
    Suffolk.England
    Quick question for all you 'old hands' ....
    Got 2 silkies who are out in the garden from around 7am until 9pm...I give them mealworms and fruit/veg etc....they eat the worms but rarely eat the fruit /veg and now never touch their own organic pellets.
    Is it ok for them to just be rummaging round the garden eating what they can find or will they become deficient in the things they require after time? They appear to be laying ok but what will happen in the winter? Do they ever go back to eating their own food again?
    Also...what, if any are the probs wth mice possibly getting into the run at night...are there health issues for chickens?


    Relying on you kind experts for knowledge!![​IMG]
     
  2. lurky

    lurky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    Mine eat less pellet in the summer and i am sure its not a big deal as they are getting so much bugs/greens and whatever else it is they find. I dont know about the mice. I close our coop up tight at night and i am not aware of anything but a few spiders in there.
     
  3. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Quote:Oh, the chance exists that yes they can lack nutrients by 'rummaging' around, as you put it. But if most people's experiences are any indicator, it isnt the worry it might seem. If their are lush grasses and insects and various such things about, then they normally do all right. Just keep their regular food available to them to choose as they wish and let them enjoy life outside.


    They appear to be laying ok but what will happen in the winter? Do they ever go back to eating their own food again?

    Well they ARE eating their own food now. The things which they rummage up combined with whatever feed they select is, by your own admission, working okay.
    If you mean will they go back to eating only bagged feed in time, yes. When the lean winter sets in, they will have little option.

    Also...what, if any are the probs wth mice possibly getting into the run at night...are there health issues for chickens?

    Mice harbor a number of diseases that can harm chickens. Insect pests such as lice are a possibility, fleas certainly, ticks and so on. Some complain that mice leave their 'yucky' droppings behind, and they do. But any creature that happily lives and eats in its own feces seems little bothered by that.
    They also attract predators like foxes and snakes... Oh I see you're in Jolly Olde. I dont think snakes are much of a worry, but keep the foxes on the hit list. Once they get in close, the mouse is soon given up in favor of a menu rich in eggs and birds.​
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2008
  4. emeraldquill

    emeraldquill Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2008
    Suffolk.England
    Thanks for the reply...going to re-vamp the whole coup to a flagstone base now so that nothing can get in. [​IMG]
     
  5. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Quote:And dont forget cats and traps.
     
  6. emeraldquill

    emeraldquill Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2008
    Suffolk.England
    Can I just thank you for the detailed reply, exactly what I was after...much appreciated.
    The mice issue bothers me greatly,although I have 2 cats and bait they are still around more than I would like. Foxes are my biggest worry but we have as secure a garden and chicken run as we can make it...lap of the gods that one.
    As for snakes, we do have some but thankfully I haven't spotted one around here.
    I always keep their food available for them and I guess like you rightly said...when they have no choice they will have to return to eating it!
    Like I mentioned we are now going to completely re-do the whole coup (along with soundproofing we have just bought)...another story!
    I can't do any more than that I don't think.
    Thanks for taking the time to educate me [​IMG]
     
  7. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Quote:Anything for a stalwart Brit. Hail Brittania!
     

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