Chickens are vegetarians
What are chickens not allowed to eat? | Unsuitable food
Of course, if you want to keep chickens, you also have to think about what the animals eat. Basically, chickens are omnivores. However, that does not mean that they should eat everything. Because there is food that is simply not good for them. It usually leads to physical problems or illnesses or to behavioral disorders.
Chickens are not vegetarians. They eat meat as well as plants. Earthworms that they pull out of the ground, for example, are a real delicacy for the animals. Food containing meat is a conceivable source of protein for chickens. A balanced chicken diet is not possible without protein. The proportion of crude protein in chicken feed should therefore be in the range of 17 to 19 percent - regardless of whether you are feeding a grain mixture or kitchen waste. In principle, the diet of chickens should also be as balanced and wholesome as possible. An unbalanced diet or the lack of certain nutrients can lead to significant problems. Ultimately, egg production is also related to proper nutrition. Chickens eat just about anything - including the foods that are not good for them. For example, you cannot tell whether plants are poisonous or not. When it comes to feed and feeding, chicken farmers therefore have a great deal of responsibility.
Chickens like to eat meat and animal protein in general. They can also meet their protein requirements with vegetable protein such as soy. However, they seem to like animal protein a lot better. However, this is not entirely unproblematic. As a result, there are a number of meat products that chickens should not eat as they can lead to digestive and behavioral problems. This includes:
- Dog Food
- cat food
- raw poultry
- cooked poultry
- Meat meal
In general, you should be very careful with raw meat. Under certain circumstances, this can lead to the animals picking and injuring each other. Keyword: cannibalism. Dog and cat food, on the other hand, usually contains additives that are not good for the digestion of chickens. And feeding poultry to poultry is almost a bit of a perversion.
Note: Feeding meat meal to chickens is not strictly forbidden, but then the eggs may not be put into circulation. The legislator expressly forbids this - regardless of whether the eggs are given away or sold.
Other feeds and foods can also be problematic for chickens. The reason for this is usually that certain ingredients have a negative effect on the digestive system of the animals. The following should therefore under no circumstances be fed to your chickens:
- Avocados and Avocado Peel
- raw potatoes
- Citrus fruits
- Sweets of all kinds
- strongly flavored food waste
- already moldy food waste
- Muddy, already decomposing clippings
- Long blades of grass
Citrus fruits are extremely dangerous for chickens. Their high proportion of vitamin C can lead to significant intestinal bleeding, which often means the death of the animals. Food waste and leftovers can generally be fed, but they should still be as fresh as possible. In addition, it is essential to ensure that these are not too salty or too spicy.
Tip: It is best to feed leftovers and food waste immediately after they have accumulated. If they are not eaten within 24 hours, they should be removed again.
Chickens should definitely have a separate area in the garden that they can use as a run. In this run they will mostly come into contact with the plants there. And of course the animals will eat these plants too. There are a number of plants that are not good for them. They should therefore not be planted in this area. It is definitely important to remove wild growth. The most important of these plants that chickens should not eat are:
- Broad bean
- Christmas rose
- Autumn crocus
- Dog parsley
- Corn wheel
Some of these plants are highly toxic for the chickens. However, the same applies here: It depends on the dose. It is best not to take any risks and remove them from the animals' run-out area.
As mentioned earlier, chickens are unable to tell what is poisonous and what is not. Free-roaming animals in particular often eat plants that are not good for them. Poisoning can then occur, which is fundamentally problematic. They usually show up when the animals have diarrhea, become lethargic or show behavioral problems. Such dangers also occur when sweets or citrus fruits are eaten. For the chicken farmer, of course, the question arises: what to do? First aid with chickens is not an easy endeavor and usually not possible. Regardless of whether it is caused by plants or something else: If the problems described above occur, usually only going to the vet or the veterinary clinic will help.
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