What are bad treats?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by elizabethbinary, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. elizabethbinary

    elizabethbinary Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    I keep seeing this 'too many treats stops laying' thing as well as some people commenting to just give them healthier treats.... so what exactly is a bad treat?

    In my house we eat all-natural and organic. No potato chips, no bread from the market, no sweets or candies or lollies.. there's nothing packaged in my home and nothing I eat has preservatives unless I put them in myself (and organic still like Vit C tablets to keep bread fresh). If my chickens get pasta from scraps, they get handmade pasta. My chickens, other than when they're broody, seem to lay pretty alright too - I don't right now if I can up it because I never honestly put a huge effort into it.

    So they're not eating snacks that I would consider snacks. They're not very fat - if anything Mother's chickens on the farm are much much fatter - but they stay in a pen most of the day and are let out at 2pm so I think that's why - not the food. Mine are 24/7 freerange and let themselves into their respective beds to sleep.

    A basic bucket of 'treats' for my twenty so birds would be something like: 1/2 avocado, cup of leftover beef stroganoff, the ends off all my tomatoes from my salads, lettuce bottoms, celery tops, 1/2c barley, quinoa or oats depending on my breakfast, some pieces of leftover roast chicken, a couple nearly-rotten strawberries, some green cherry tomatoes from my garden, a sliced peach, little chunks of banana, a tablespoon or two of slightly off parmesan, and possibly a crusty slightly green end to some homemade bread.

    To me it seems healthy - but to a chicken is a bucket of treats like that too much? I would say that this bucket comes around every 1.5-2 days about for 20 or so birds.

    When people mean 'bad treats' do they mean a lot of high fat treats like avocados and cheese.. or are they referring to things like chocolate and potato chips?

    Am I overtreating my babies?
     
  2. kla37

    kla37 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2010
    Hillsborough, NC USA
    Do not give birds avacados!!!

    "The avocado tree, including the bark, leaves,avocado fruits,pits, and skin, all contain a chemical called Persin. The chemical is known to cause a severe toxic reaction in birds because ingestion results in myocardial necrosis, which is essentially the death of the heart muscle cells. A very minimal amount such as 1 gram will result in agitation in a budgie- sized bird, and an amount such as 9 grams or more will cause death within 2 days.
    It's unknown why Persin is so toxic to birds, but it's recommended that bird owners avoid avocados at all costs. and even take care to select perches , and any wood the bird comes in contact with, that do not contain any wood or products from the avocado tree."

    Don't give them moldy food either, like the rotting strawberries. A lot of molds are toxic.
     
  3. elizabethbinary

    elizabethbinary Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    My birds only eat the flesh not the skin or the pits and they eat them quite often because we have avocado trees on the farm.... they never seem to have any problems. I think it's because of the type of avocado? I heard that was it once. (Though I don't give avocados to my parrots for those reasons, my chickens seem okay with it.... hm.)

    I did however not know that about the strawberries!

    I had to throw out some cheese and one was a King Island Blue... is that kind of mould bad?
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2011
  4. Pet Duck Boy

    Pet Duck Boy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    Quote:Birds are birds, and avocado is considered poisonous to ALL birds. If yours are fine, good for you. But why risk it when your feeding something that is well known to be bad for birds? Everything else sounds good, though.
     
  5. elizabethbinary

    elizabethbinary Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Quote:Birds are birds, and avocado is considered poisonous to ALL birds. If yours are fine, good for you. But why risk it when your feeding something that is well known to be bad for birds? Everything else sounds good, though.

    Mostly because I actually heard from quite a few sources locally that these particular avocados don't have this particular toxin in them. They grow these on the farm with about 100 odd chickens and they just eat them right off the ground in mass quantities up there. As well as mango and pawpaw the lucky things.

    Because of the avocado trees I get something like 20 avocados a week and really, there's no good way to keep them... and I figure if they're missing this thing and all the farm chickens have them all the time, the should be alright....

    I just never gave them to my parrots because I never associated it with them as well.
     
  6. kla37

    kla37 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2010
    Hillsborough, NC USA
    Myocardial necrosis can take time to do enough damage to be fatal, it's not always quick. I'd stop to be on the safe side. If you process any of your birds, or any die on you, it would be interesting to look at the heart muscle.
     
  7. Pet Duck Boy

    Pet Duck Boy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    Quote:Birds are birds, and avocado is considered poisonous to ALL birds. If yours are fine, good for you. But why risk it when your feeding something that is well known to be bad for birds? Everything else sounds good, though.

    Mostly because I actually heard from quite a few sources locally that these particular avocados don't have this particular toxin in them. They grow these on the farm with about 100 odd chickens and they just eat them right off the ground in mass quantities up there. As well as mango and pawpaw the lucky things.

    Because of the avocado trees I get something like 20 avocados a week and really, there's no good way to keep them... and I figure if they're missing this thing and all the farm chickens have them all the time, the should be alright....

    I just never gave them to my parrots because I never associated it with them as well.

    Oh...what kind of avocados are these?
     
  8. elizabethbinary

    elizabethbinary Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Quote:Will do anyhow. Sorry to sound like I was arguing - I actually agree with you - I will cease that particular treat. The farm birds just do SO well and eat these things like lollies... and really, what DO you do with avocados except guacamole and eating them raw? I once ate an avocado a day for 31 one days in a different way each day and I just got sick of the darned things...

    anyone want avocados?

    As for the strawberries... is mushy okay? They're not like rotten rotten... but mushy.

    But as for my original question: Is 'bad' treats like potato chips and chemicals and packaged things or is 'bad treats' an excess of natural organic type foods?
     
  9. elizabethbinary

    elizabethbinary Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Quote:Mostly because I actually heard from quite a few sources locally that these particular avocados don't have this particular toxin in them. They grow these on the farm with about 100 odd chickens and they just eat them right off the ground in mass quantities up there. As well as mango and pawpaw the lucky things.

    Because of the avocado trees I get something like 20 avocados a week and really, there's no good way to keep them... and I figure if they're missing this thing and all the farm chickens have them all the time, the should be alright....

    I just never gave them to my parrots because I never associated it with them as well.

    Oh...what kind of avocados are these?

    Not quite sure. Some cross-breed thing, I think. I'll ask Mother for you! [​IMG]
     
  10. Ohhhdear

    Ohhhdear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 15, 2010
    West Michigan
    Quote:I believe treats become "bad" when you skew the proportions of protein and carbs and other nutrients so much they're not getting enough of the right kinds of foods to keep laying or developing into meat birds.
    For example, I normally feed my girls a 16% protein laying crumble which is supposed to be a "complete" feed. If I give them so many veggie treats they fill up on yummies and don't eat their crumbles, they won't lay as well and their health will decline because they're not getting the right nutrition.

    A lot of chicken folks are much more scientific about this than I am. I just try to give the girls some protein based treats to balance out the veggies, like a leftover chicken carcass, pork chop bones, oatmeal mash, gravy made with meat drippings, etc.
    When I make them a supplemental hot mash, I make sure about 75% of it is their 16% laying crumble, plus some horse sweet feed, some scratch grains, alfalfa pellets soaked into a mush, plus some treats from last night's dinner. My dog is begging for this stuff, and the chickens mob the dish every morning!

    Of course, there's also treats that are bad nutrition to start with, like the aforementioned potato chips, etc. It's like your own diet; a restaurant meal once in a while isn't going to kill you, but it is an enjoyable treat.
     

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