Despite its name, “all stock feed”, people aren’t so sure about feeding it to all of their farm animals. While few may be reluctant about offering this feed to a goat, more of us backyard farmers are more concerned about their chickens nibbling on it.
All stock feed is rich in protein and is supposed to be well balanced, as it caters to all stock from goats to cattle to sheep. But, chickens do have very different needs.
So, can chickens eat all stock feed or not?
Can Chickens Eat All Stock Feed?
There isn’t anything in all stock feed that would be harmful to a chicken to consume in regular doses. So, chickens can eat all stock feed, just keep in mind that this type of feed isn’t modeled to their needs. Therefore it shouldn’t be the sole source of the chicken’s food but can be given as a treat, whether you feed it to them or they find it themselves!
In fact, there are numerous benefits of all stock feed that will provide a good boost of energy and nutrients for your chooks. But remember, diet is all about balance and too much of any one food group is likely to neglect other important nutrients. After all, poultry feed is very different from goat feed and horse feed
The Nutritional Benefits Of All Stock Feed For Chickens
All stock feed is well balanced as you’d expect since it’s able to be consumed as a staple in most stock’s diets, from sheep to goats to cattle. Let’s take a look at what specifically out of all the nutrients will be of most benefit to your chicken’s health and wellbeing if consumed in limited, treat-sized, amounts.
High in Protein
One of the greatest things about all stock feed is that it’s rich in protein, which should make up 16% of a chicken’s diet. As you know, protein is essential for egg production and healthy body growth.
Still, you should pay attention not to give your chickens more protein than the recommended amount. If a chicken consumes too much protein, it might face respiratory distress, damage to the eyes, and increased water consumption. This is one reason why chickens can’t solely have other animal feeds.
Contains Healthy Grains
Sure, it varies from one brand to another, but all stock feed comprises a beneficial blend of grains. These can include anything from corn to oats, which are both good candidates to offer to your chickens.
See, corn is pretty high in calories, which is important for keeping these chickens from getting too cold in the winter. Plus, it’s easy to digest and matches the stomach of a chicken perfectly! Cornmeal is also healthy and warming for chickens, which is why you can feed your chickens grits.
Oats have even more advantages since they’re packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They help keep chickens energized and refreshed, which is the main goal of an avid chicken keeper.
Rich in Molasses Content
Feeding chickens molasses on an occasion can be a wonderful source of energy since it includes a generous amount of sugar, without being too much.
In addition to that, molasses has high levels of potassium, iron, calcium, and magnesium. These minerals are important for your chickens’ health because they:
- Boost blood cell production and fight anemia
- Reduce poor hatchability and improve eggshell quality
- Increase bone and feather strength
How Often Can Chickens Eat Other Animal Feeds
To keep a happy and healthy chicken, they should consume 85-90% of their food from a dedicated chicken feed, whether it’s an all-natural seed mix or layer pellets. These feeds have been specially formulated to cater to all the needs of a regular, egg-producing, happy, backyard chicken.
The other 10% can be made up from other various sources, such as foraging, finding leftovers, and the feeding of safe and nutritious table scraps. Throwing a handful of all stock feed or other safe feed, like game bird feed, into the yard once a week is perfectly safe. In fact, it may even provide a short boost of energy and different nutrients for your chickens.
If you have young chicks or pullets, you should never substitute their chick starter or grower feed with other animal feed as this is a vital time in the chicken’s development.
Chickens will eat anything that you drop at their feet and they are meticulous when it comes to finding scraps. This is why we often find ourselves asking questions like “can my chickens eat all stock feed”:
Thankfully, chickens won’t face any trouble if they consume all stock feed every once in a while. Some people even mix their high-quality chicken feed with sweet feed to save some cash and give their birds an energy boost.
As long as it’s not their main source of nutrition, all stock feed is okay to give your chicks and add into their rotation of treats. They might even love you a bit more for it!