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Ok to give them cooked porridge?

(8 Posts)
LaurieFairyCake Tue 12-Jul-11 19:32:27

I'm out of pellets so I gave them cooked spaghetti for breakfast but they ate that in two minutes flat !

So tonight I made them a large pan of porridge. They are yumming it up - please tell me its ok?

Punkatheart Tue 12-Jul-11 20:27:06

As long as it has got no salt in sugar in and is made with water. If milk, chickens are lactose intolerant, so they might get squitty bots.

Spaghetti and porridge cannot be a diet for very long. They need pellets or mash.

Hens love new things - so be prepared that now they had yummy treats they will look really disgusted at the pellets and they may even refuse to eat 'em. But you hang tight!

LaurieFairyCake Tue 12-Jul-11 20:45:00

Thanks for that. I assumed a lot of people just fed them kitchen scraps but I've only fed them pellets so far - my last lot of chickens died a few years ago but from memory they ate everything.

Punkatheart Tue 12-Jul-11 23:14:23

Also technically Defra guidelines now say no kitchen scraps - mainly because it could attract rats. Some food are also poisonous to chickens: avocadoes, for example.

mummymeister Tue 12-Jul-11 23:33:59

We give ours cooked left over pasta, rice and potatoes as an occasional treat as well as the toast crusts but agree that they need a proper diet in the long term. my sister feeds hers veg peeling, stale cake and all sorts but they have had this since she has had them so seem ok on it. defra guidelines hmm why should food scraps be more attractive to rats than pellets or corn? agree that you shouldnt just scrape your plates out into the yard but as long as you are careful and keep away from meat, fish and things like avocadoes don't have a problem personally. Can you not buy your pellets in huge bags and store in a metal lidded dustbin so you don't run out? just a suggestion.

Punkatheart Wed 13-Jul-11 09:00:37

The trick is to buy two bags, then as soon as you open the second - it's time to buy another.

I agree that the Defra guidelines appear odd, but they are in place. All of us do it though - I am not an angel! But I only give in late afternoon/evening. They need the nutrition in pellets/mash. Yes people used to feed their chickens scraps but then they laid for a short time and usually were killed for meat. I want a long life for my girls, laying or not.

Some foods in excess can cause complications though. Rice can ferment and cause sour crop. Of course, most chickens won't develop it - but it puts them at risk. Uncooked potato skins are poisonous too. Bread is not great - it bloats their crop and like wild birds, it is not recommended. If you give it, soak it in water first.

hiddenhome Thu 14-Jul-11 22:53:58

I give my hens porridge every morning in the winter. I add a handful of raisins and they love it. Just make it with water instead of milk.

NearlyHeadlessnickelbabe Fri 15-Jul-11 14:44:30

we buy bags of 25kg, and always replace when it's got about 1/4 left.
cheaper that way too.

you can in theory feed them anything (defra guidelines being ignored)
they will eat anything you give them.

they need protein, so you can feed them meat, and even scrambled egg (that's the clue - always feed it in a form they don't recognise otherwise thy'll start eating their newly-laid eggs)
bready stuff- like breadcrumbs, but avoid fresh bread because it's a bit hard to digest. porridge is fine as long as it's made with water, as someone else said.
fruit and veg - banana, apple, grapes, sweetcorn, etc leafy veg especially, they love cabbage and cauliflower
we do give ours cheese, but very rarely because of the squits thing (it is good calcium, but then so is broccoli!)
any vooked veg scraps are fine, rind off bacon, that kind of thing.

but do get the new pellets as soon as possible!

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