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Can I feed chickens milk?

3 replies

RacingSnake · 21/11/2009 22:29

I have always fed our chickens gone-off milk, which they love. Then I saw on Autumnwatch last night that birds can't digest milk. Who is right?

Also, what is limestone flour? One of my chickens lays eggs with very bad shells, inspite of having free access to oystershell.

OP posts:
Owls · 26/11/2009 08:24

You know I've never heard of feeding chickens gone-off milk so bump this for you and sure somebody on here will know!

If they're got access to grit they should regulate themselves. Although I've found that when they get to around 2yo the shells tend to be softer as the laying slows down. Not sure if that's always the case but seems quite common. How old are they?

wearthefoxhat · 26/11/2009 11:04

Most chickens will be alright with milk, but it can make some very poorly - chickens aren't designed to have milk as part of their diet. If your's love it and have no problems, then they should be fine

Re. egg shell quality - what do you feed your chickens? Most layers pellets contain everything a chicken needs to lay eggs, and sometimes an excess of calcium can cause shells to deteriorate.
If it's just one hen laying softer eggs, I'd suspect that she is ill, as soft eggs is often the first sign of illness - could you give them all some Battles poultry drink or some poultry tonic or apple cider vinigar in their water (but not in a galvanised drinker) or a garlic clove in water to give them a boost, and see if it helps?

RacingSnake · 18/12/2009 19:37

Our chickens get layers' pellets and access to extra oyster shell. Some of them are just about two. Might try a tonic next season when they start to lay again - not one egg between them for weeks, after being overwhelmed all summer. Hey ho - no wonder people used to preserve eggs.

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