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#16930 - 05/16/05 04:53 AM Can Cat Food Turn a Chicken into a Monster

Hi, Guys I have a similar problem to another post where chickens have turned on their own. My story is a little different, as I believe mine has to do with giving my chickenís cat food. I do not have a rooster for those who know me - I have now three chickens one, which is more debeaked than the others are.

My chickens are SUSIE - who is the only one who lays an egg I am not fussed of who lays eggs. ROSIE - Susie sister - the more debeaked one and the weaker one. Penny or as I call her FATSO she was one of the first we were also picked on ROSIE from day one - does not let her eat.

I too need some HELP PLEASE - as I mention one of the first chickens I received passed away and the two I got later are sisters SUSIE & ROSIE as I see it - BUT the SUSIE One has turned on her - and I mean turned on ROSIE. SUSIE does not let ROSIE eat - we have to separate SUSIE AND PENNY to let ROSIE - eat - she seems ok. IN ADDITION, HANGS AROUND PENNY A LOT - DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY _ HOWEVER NOW KEEPS RIGHT AWAY FROM SUSIE.

Lately (actually a little every day) I have been giving my chickens CAT FOOD - only SUSIE and ROSIE Love it PENNY does not like it - I wonder if this has turned SUSIE INTO A MONSTER.

I donít believe ROSIE is ill, but I know she is JUST WEAK also - for those who saw a picture of her saw her in her prime - she does not look as good then now is moulting (how long does that go for) when mentioned last time and her NECK NOW looks THIN. In addition, ROSIE does not look as FULL as BIG as the others do.

I would like to send a person a recent picture of her for advice.

Anyway I need some advice please in what to do with SUSIE'S behaviour to ROSIE - with PENNY she is mean but not BAD like SUSIE - SUSIE Is her sister they came together. DID the CAT FOOD DO THIS TO SUSIE MADE HER A MONSTER

Can I put SUSIE in another place to sleep at nights on her own - to each her lesson? Hoping that might wake her up. In addition, I am in the backyard most of the day watching them but now I am afraid for ROSIE from SUSIE as Bill states it can bet UGLY.

DID the Cat food have anything to do with it? - DID I create SUSIE into a Monster especially to her sister ROSIE?

They are BACKYARD CHICKENS all day in the Backyard - only SUSIE attacks ROSIE when there is food or tires to impress me I think - not sure - But I tell her off and carry a stick and try to smack her bottom gently mind you.

Tomorrow I need to take mum to the doctors I do not like the idea of leaving them in the house for long even if there is a cabbage.

Please advise - Also SUSIE stills is Naughty and Flyís and even FLYíS on top of ROSIE - I must take your advice of before and get SUSIE'S WING CLIPPED - but I am scared that I will hurt - - DOES it HURT A THEM.


#16931 - 05/16/05 06:34 AM Re: Can Cat Food Turn a Chicken into a Monster

I found out how to add pictures I will add a picture Of Rosie when I first got her and One of Rosie now - see the difference.

#16932 - 05/16/05 06:43 AM Re: Can Cat Food Turn a Chicken into a Monster

Wont work tried it 10 times and cant get a pick up

#16933 - 05/16/05 06:49 AM Re: Can Cat Food Turn a Chicken into a Monster
Mr. Magoo Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 11/20/04
Posts: 397
Loc: Southern Pacific
you could keep them separate and not let them back together ever. or you can leave them together and let rosie get pecked on.

i dont know what is in austrailian cat food that would change a chickens behavior? most likely the birds have a pecking order and rosie is at the bottom. never heard of anyone being able to change birds pecking order?

i had 3 rir hens and they had a strange pecking order- there was no 1 hen that was on top of the other two, each hen pecked one but got pecked by the other, they were all equal it was amazing to see chickens in that situation.

normally chickens have a top bird and a bottom bird and the bottom bird gets pushed away from, nest box, dust bath, roost, etc. if you have a rooster then the pecking order can change when a hen goes broody. also i have read here in the coop that when a hen molts the pecking order can change too.

last word,
if rosie is so pecked on that she will not survive then remove her, if not leave her. far as i know you cant change chickens behavior.

#16934 - 05/16/05 06:51 AM Re: Can Cat Food Turn a Chicken into a Monster

I cant get this to work with the pictures it is driving me crazy

#16935 - 05/16/05 06:55 AM Re: Can Cat Food Turn a Chicken into a Monster


Pecking is not completly bad to an extreme - However I am an over protected Mother as I see them as all my girls _ I adore Rosie the most because she is the yougest and weakest. However Susie is the only one who lays the Egg and My Mother would priortise her.

The Question I asked earlier could I let Susie sleep a night on her own - would that do anything.

#16936 - 05/16/05 08:50 AM Re: Can Cat Food Turn a Chicken into a Monster
CJR Offline
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8501
Loc: Montana
Bella, Why are you feeding chickens food for cats? (I know, it is okay,as a treat, but why??--I would never feed my chickens food designed for another kind of animal.) A good Poultry Ration is all that chickens need for feed, especially if you have them free in your back yard daily, but their feed needs to be available there, also.

Are your chickens hungry? Is this why the most aggressive of the 3 won't allow the others near the food? Do you have feed available for them ALL the time? This is the only reason I can wonder, why one bird will never let another eat or get near the feed. And do they have fresh water also available all the time. This means feed and water both outside during the day and in the house when they are inside.

Separating them may only make it worse, when she rejoins the others. I do not understand "weakest". Chickens are usually quite active and strong (unless she is ailing or just not getting enough to eat?) Are your debeaked hens, rescue hens from a commercial egg farm? This could make it harder for the hen to eat enough. But offering commericial Layer Ration, water added, and mixed to make like a soft muffin dough, can be very appealing to hens and might be easy for your Rosie to eat more.

But if the hens were not raised together, some hens never like some others and just do not get along kindly together. So do the best you can, but do see that they are all getting enough to eat whenever they want it (you might have to feed Rosie in a separate place, while the others are eating)--and see if that won't help. Good luck. CJR

#16937 - 05/16/05 02:02 PM Re: Can Cat Food Turn a Chicken into a Monster

CJR, Thank you for your advice with regard to Cat Food - I read it was good - the protien all I wanted was to make sure enough nutrients are always their for them.

With Food and Water I make sure there is plenty fresh water I even change it 2 - 3 times a day and there is 3 bowls. I do think Susie was getting greedy over the cat Food - But I wont be feeding them anymore.

Yes I got Suise and Rosie from a commercial egg farm - as I was to beleive bought from a produce store so Yes they grew up together.

Susie does let her eat but it seems we need to watch - it seems in the last day Her sister Susie has been meaner to her sister Rosie.

With Food from now On I will make sure there is some wet mash always for Rosie making it easier for her to eat more - I dont think she eats enough. With Weaker I mean not in health but strenght in character - I suppose. I do appreciate your advice as your highly regarded on here for your knowledge.

I too was not keen on seperating after reading many things how hard it is to reunite them.

With this comment yesterday I was doing this and it worked out well - "you might have to feed Rosie in a separate place, while the others are eating)--and see if that won't help. Good luck. CJR"

Howver my conceren is leaving in the Hen house in the Day now when I need to like taking mum to the doctors - that is all - do I have lots of food in the Hen house to give them choice.

Thanks again

#16938 - 05/17/05 11:55 AM Re: Can Cat Food Turn a Chicken into a Monster
Smoky73 Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 01/14/05
Posts: 697
Loc: Colorado
My experience with this is cat food doesnt do anything to turn chickens mean. My chickens right now are getting cat food all the time in one pen, as I had a cat give birth to her kittens in the nesting box. So, I have to have food in there for her and the kittens, and of course, the chickens eat most of it. I have fed my birds canned cat food before when I wanted the extra protein for feather growth, but never daily until the kitten thing. If you want them to have higher protien, try finding some game bird feed, or maybe feed mill can mix you up a special blend. We get game bird for my breeders with 20% protein, and also have a mix done that is like a scratch that is also 20% with alot of soy, corn and wheat.
You can correct pecking order by removing the agressive one for a period of time, and then reintroducing her. I have done this only with roosters however. I had one terribly aggresive rooster to the new ones and so I removed him for a few days. When introducing him back, he is now no longer top of the pecking order and the pen is more peaceful as the head roo is a nice bird. It may not correct it, but you could give it a shot.Or you could keep them seperate all the time or feed the one seperately. I have a runt delaware, she would be the weakest in my coop, and eats tons, but only eats from inside the large hanging feeder. She also likes to swing on it. I think she feels safer in there.
Also, what breed of birds are these? If they are of different breeds that could have something to do with it.
I had buff orpingtons that the pullets would pick on everyone till they were near death practically. It was like a pack of wild dogs attacking prey. But in contrast, certain breeds are very passive and will always be bottom of pecking order. Examples for me were polish, and dorkings.
I think debeaking birds is terrible, I know alot of commercial places do it, and even some private people. Its a good thing that you saved them.
Cara Smith

#16939 - 05/27/05 03:53 AM Re: Can Cat Food Turn a Chicken into a Monster

Smoky I know it is late response but thank you My bird s are reds and a bantam


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