It’s OK to add some sweet feed to your hens’ regular feed, but remember that chickens need a specific diet.
Chickens may get sweet feed sometimes, but it should be avoided as much as possible.
That’s why in this article I’ll go into the nitty gritty of chicken feed, why some people mix chicken feed with molasses, and how much sweet feed you should give your chickens.
But first, let’s start with the basics.
You might be wondering, What is sweet feed?
Well, in short, molasses and a number of different cereal grains are combined to create textured meals (which is why it is often referred to as sweet feed).
A balancer pellet, which often contains minerals and vitamins, is typically included. Other components, such as rice bran, beet pulp, and powdered fat, could also find their way into the mix. The majority of horses want their feed to be sweet. This food is specifically designed for horses.
Sweet feed is normally sold in a pellet form, which makes it easy to store and handle. The pellets are pressed into blocks and then put into bags that, depending on the size of the animal being fed, usually weigh between 25kg and 50kg.
Additionally, goats, sheep, and cattle all consume sweet feed.
Can chickens eat sweet feed for horses?
It is possible for hens to consume sweet feed, but this should only be done on a sporadic basis. It is important to know that sweet feed is not a good substitute for chicken feed because it does not have the nutrients that chickens need to grow and develop properly.
To stretch their dollars even further, I know some chicken keepers who add some sweet feed to their chicken feed.
Sweet feed often includes grains with a variety of vitamins, minerals, molasses, and supplementary protein, nevertheless, this varies by brand.
Even though it’s perfect for ponies and cows, feeding it in high quantities to poultry might cause health problems.
The common misconception that chickens need a high-protein diet is incorrect.
Also, remember that hoofed mammals should never be fed chicken food since this is very harmful to them.
Is molasses good for chickens?
Molasses can be an excellent dietary supplement for chickens. It is rich in essential nutrients, such as calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium, and can aid in weight gain and health improvement. However, it should be fed in moderation, as excessive feeding can cause digestive issues.
Chicken Feed vs. Other Types of “Animal Feed”
You should always stick to chicken feed, no matter what.
Chicken feed is one of the most important things you can provide for your flock. Chickens are omnivores, which means they need a balanced diet to stay healthy. A good chicken feed provides all the nutrients your chickens need to thrive.
Generally, 90% of the feed is chicken feed, and 10% is other treats. Stick to this rule, and you’ll have a healthy flock!
Why Stick to Chicken Feed?
If you’re wondering why you should stick with chicken feed when feeding chickens, here are some reasons:
Buying commercial chicken feed is easy and convenient. There are many varieties available, so it’s easy to find something that works for your situation.
And if you want to make sure your chickens get everything they need, there are even formulated blends that contain vitamins and minerals as well as protein from grains, fruits, or vegetables like corn or alfalfa hay.
Is alfalfa good for chickens?
Yes, chickens love eating alfalfa hay or alfalfa pellets; however, they shouldn’t be replaced with regular chicken feed.
A commercial blend gives you consistency in terms of ingredients and nutrition levels over time — which is important because chickens need the same thing every day.
If you have a good brand of chicken feed on hand, you’ll know exactly what’s in it and how much protein or calcium it contains at any given time, so if there’s ever a problem with one of your chickens (like malnutrition or health issues), you’ll know exactly what needs to be changed.
Is milo good for chickens?–
Yes, Milo (also known as Sorghum) can be fed to chickens as a part of their diet. Milo is a type of grain that is often used as a feed ingredient for poultry and livestock. It provides a source of carbohydrates, energy, and some essential nutrients. However, it’s important to note a few considerations:
- Balanced Diet: While Milo can be included in a chicken’s diet, it should not be the sole source of nutrition. Chickens require a balanced diet that includes a variety of grains, proteins, vitamins, and minerals for optimal health and egg production.
- Supplementation: Depending solely on Milo might lack certain essential nutrients, so it’s recommended to mix it with other grains, such as corn, wheat, and soybeans, as well as providing access to a commercial poultry feed or supplement.
- Digestibility: The digestibility of Milo might be slightly lower compared to other grains. To enhance its digestibility, it can be processed through techniques like grinding or cracking.
- Age and Purpose: The suitability of feeding Milo to chickens can also depend on the age and purpose of the birds. Young chicks might require a different feed composition compared to laying hens or meat birds.
- Quality and Storage: Ensure that the Milo you’re using is of good quality, free from mold, pests, and other contaminants. Proper storage is important to maintain its nutritional value.
- Consultation: If you’re unsure about including Milo in your chickens’ diet, it’s a good idea to consult with a poultry nutritionist or a veterinarian who can provide guidance specific to your flock’s needs.
In summary, Milo can be included in a chicken’s diet as a source of energy and nutrients, but it should be part of a well-balanced feeding plan that takes into account the specific nutritional requirements of the birds.
What about Commercial Grain and Pellet Mixes?
Though it may say “poultry” or “chicken” on the packaging, these rations aren’t designed to nourish chickens. In case your hens get their beaks into some of the feed intended for your other farm animals, don’t fret.
It won’t kill them, and if you stick to the general rule of 90/10,” as we mentioned above, you won’t have any problems.
Crumbles layer feed vs. Pelleted layer feed
Crumbles and pellets are two types of layer feed. The difference between them is how they are formulated and fed.
Crumbles and pellets are made from the same ingredients. However, because crumbles are loose, they can be fed to layers on the ground. This is often done in free-range systems, where chickens have access to the outdoors. Pellets come in small blocks that can be fed to birds in a chicken coop or house.
Both pelleted layer feed and crumble layer feed are formulated as complete feeds for poultry. This means that they contain all of the nutrients needed for proper growth and egg production. Crumbles have more roughage than pellets, so they hold moisture better and may keep their shape better during storage if not protected from moisture by packaging or other means.
Best Crumbles Layer Feed–Manna PRO!
What pellets are best for chickens?
Best Organic Pelleted Layer Feed-SCRATCH & PECK FEEDS
Crumbles or pellets—which is a better source of nutrition for chickens?
Crumbles, like pellets, offer a diet that is comprehensive and balanced in terms of the many nutrients it contains.
Because hens instinctively explore smaller feed particles to consume the portions they choose, some people find that their flock wastes a little more crumbles than pellets as a feed source.
When to switch from crumbles to pellets?
Baby chicks have been fed crumbles constantly from the day they were hatched, but if you want to feed them pellets instead, we need to transition them to pellets in a slow and steady manner. And a smart way to do this is to combine the layer crumbles and the pellets when the chicks are around 20 weeks old.
What foods should chickens avoid?
It is important to feed your chickens a balanced diet that contains all the nutrients they need. Some foods are not good for chickens and, if fed in large quantities, will cause serious health problems.
Some of the foods that should be avoided are:
–Avocado: The toxin persin, found in avocado pits and peels, is fatal to hens.
Chocolate: Chocolate contains caffeine, which can damage a chicken’s heart, nervous system, and digestive tract. It can also cause epileptic seizures in birds that have consumed it in large amounts.
Onions: Onions contain sulfur compounds that break down into hydrogen sulfide when digested by birds. This compound is toxic to birds and can cause damage to red blood cells, leading to anemia and other health problems.
Raw potatoes: When raw potatoes are fed to chickens, they may cause constipation and diarrhea. If given frequently, this could cause dehydration or even death because the pancreatic enzymes produced by the animal’s digestive system are unable to properly break down the potato starches as they pass through their system.
Sweet feed is designed to be fed to cattle and horses, not chickens. Although chickens can eat sweet feed, their digestive systems are geared toward eating grains, bugs, and vegetables, not the sweetened corn kernels found in this type of cattle feed.
Next to read: Can chickens eat cat food?
Shannon Stansberry has been engaged in the business of raising chickens for more than 12 years. In 2016, she accomplished the Agriculture & Natural Resources program at Mt. San Antonio College. At present, she tends to more than 80 chickens on her 4-hectare farm. Shannon regularly shares her insights and experience on how to raise healthy and contented chickens on the platform Typesofchickens.com