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#70677 - 03/15/04 08:32 PM poop eaters
Anonymous
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I have 41 chicks who have more than enough feed, fresh water, and space. I have one black orp chick that recently decided to start eating poop, wet/ dry it doesn't matter. I thought it might be the wood chips, no. They are almost 4 weeks old and have been in wood chips for almost that same time. I have removed poop when I can. I have added fresh wood chips to cover the poop. I keep all the feeders full. The waterer is changed twice a day minimally. I give them organic old fashion oatmeal which seems to stop the behavior for awhile. I have observed the behavior seems to increase when I fill the feeders with new feed. They all go nuts and try to eat at one feeder which is two feet long-trouph. They have a circluar feeder that is made for pullets/cockerels it hold a lot of feed. I am going to add another two foot trouph. Any suggestions....Please.

PS: They are being raised antibiotic and immunization free. I want to keep them healthy and parasite free.

Mike confused

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#70678 - 03/15/04 08:51 PM Re: poop eaters
Sally Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/15/03
Posts: 686
Loc: Florida
As disgusting as it sounds there seems to be a lot of protein in poultry poop, and, the disgusting part is, in the past I know of times when dairy farmers tried to increase their milkbase output by (augh) adding chicken poop to the feeds eek (I said it was disgusting). It may be that your pullet needs some sort of mineral. Have you tried adding any kind of salt ie. red pidgeon grit or something like it? Are they big enough to have a bit of cracked corn? One more thought is, have you any way to bed them in, or make an area of white sand or clay sand?
Good luck, I don't know if these are valid points but you never know what is "clucking" away in their minds...lol laugh
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sallyDIABLO

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#70679 - 03/15/04 09:10 PM Re: poop eaters
Anonymous
Unregistered


Sally:

Thanks for the great insight. Poop is never a good topic. I will try some of your suggestion. I have them in a space that will allow sand or clay with no problem. I am raising organically. I have just started adding kelp. Let's see if that helps, it is full of ammino acids, salt, minerals, etc. Have a great night....thanks again.

Mike smile

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#70680 - 03/16/04 03:16 AM Re: poop eaters
Anonymous
Unregistered


From the moment of hatching a chick is programed to peck at anything that looks even remotely like food. They learn by trial and error.

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#70681 - 03/16/04 05:12 AM Re: poop eaters
R. Okimoto Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/18/02
Posts: 1498
Loc: Arkansas
How old is your chick starter. If you are using feed that is old, the vitamins may have degraded. Watch out for rickets. Chicks normally eat some droppings, but if it becomes widespread it could be a sign of bad feed.

We had the vitamins left out of our feed by accident once and the first sign was all the droppings started to disappear and I'd see the birds literally attack new droppings as they were pooped out. 14 days on that feed and the quail chicks started to die. If you think it may be a problem put vitamins in the water.

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#70682 - 03/16/04 10:25 AM Re: poop eaters
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thanks everyone. The feed is fresh and organic. The company claims it is good for two months in summer weather and three in winter. I now have them on kelp too for minerals and vitamins. They get only 1% kelp per feed. I was told too much iodine is not good for chickens. It is only 4 chicks out of 41 that seem to be the poop eaters. I find them doing it more when I put down new feed in the morning and again at night. In betwee those times I am at work so I can't say what occurs. I have not been recording mentally the amount of poop they have been leaving behind. I put fresh wood chips down and that seems to reduce this poop eating behavior some.

Thanks,
Mike smile

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#70683 - 03/16/04 10:54 AM Re: poop eaters
Anonymous
Unregistered


Certainly one should trust Ron's experience. Tyson's "Integrated Confinement Facility" is actually a two stage confinement facility in which the hogs are fed the chicken poop. This is because the chicken manure is about 65% undigested feed. I'm not privy to the chicken poop processing that Tyson employs to treat it before feeding it to the hogs. I hope that there is at least some sterilization of it, and there probably is, since the growers don't want their hogs getting sick. But, again, most confinement poultry feed has antibiotics such as bacitracin at the rate of 25 mg per pound of feed. Much of this antibiotic would survive in the poop so the hogs are getting it too.

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#70684 - 03/16/04 07:20 PM Re: poop eaters
Sally Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/15/03
Posts: 686
Loc: Florida
Hi Leee,
Sorry to say it but at least with the cattle and hog farms here in FL., those that used the poultry poop to food program used raw fresh material harvested straight from the egg farms, feathers and all!!! It was so incredibly disgusting that our whole crew, after about 3 or 4 days of being subjected to the stench (not to mention the sheer THOUGHT of what we were being subjected to) threatened to walk out, quit and go to the press if they didn't stop immediately!!

Needless to say, they stopped and changed to, of all things, HOPS!! lol SO... now we had DRUNK stinking cows hahahahaha...it's a wonder I still love milk!!
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sallyDIABLO

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#70685 - 03/16/04 08:09 PM Re: poop eaters
Anonymous
Unregistered


I was first introduced to the notion of chicken poop = feed by a truck driver who stopped by our egg stand at Farmers' Market a couple of years ago. He said his son worked for a confinement layer facility where the poop was fed back to the chickens. He didn't mention any sterilization process. This truck driver' whole family swore they would never eat another egg from a confinement facility.

Before they bought our eggs, they asked how they were produced. They've been back many times since then, but I still don't know them by name.

We buy as little meat (and no eggs) as possible from the grocery store. I don't want to ignite another round of personal attacks on me, but Sandra and I have seen some amazing things since we've been going into stores as a supplier. Last week Sandra saw the meat dept. of one of our commercial outlets grinding hamburger, only they were grinding hard-cooked eggs in with the meat. After it came out of the grinder, you couldn't tell it had egg in it. And the label didn't say anything about the 'hamburger' being 15% hard-cooked egg. What else was in there? The owner of that small chain of stores brags about buying all the eggs that a local colony of Hutterites can produce. I see why - he boils those Hutterite eggs and sells them as hamburger, which is pretty expensive around these parts.

We buy all our beef from a local grower of organic beef and I know the man that runs the locker.

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#70686 - 03/17/04 06:12 AM Re: poop eaters
R. Okimoto Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/18/02
Posts: 1498
Loc: Arkansas
Chicken poop does make a decent animal feed. I don't know how farmers treat it, but I think they are supposed to heat treat it. I'd think that Salmonella would be a problem otherwise, but I've heard that the cost of heat treatment puts off many potential users. I don't see studies on these kinds of things. All I hear are ancedotal stories.

We took care of a couple of dogs and we had trouble keeping them out of the chicken coop. Not because they wanted the chickens, but because they liked to eat the chicken manure. They'd follow me into the coop when I collected eggs and would chow down until I finished. I'd have to block their way and close the coop door behind me to keep them out. I needed a latch on both sides of the coop door. I don't know how they ever got into the habit, or what they found appealing about it.

I don't know about antibiotics in the feed. Feed is the greatest cost for broiler production and they only put what they absolutely have to into it. It is something that I really don't know one way or the other. Some guys claim that antibiotics are routinely used, but others claim that it isn't part of the normal diet. What I do know is that our feed doesn't have antibiotics in it and we try to simulate industry practice. This doesn't mean that industry doesn't do it. Antibiotics are known growth promoters, and cattle feed lots or any operation that wants to put pounds on an animal would be tempted to use antibiotics if it were cost effective. If antibiotics are given to layers there is a withdrawal period before they can sell the eggs for human consumption, so I wouldn't expect it in layer feed.

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#70687 - 03/17/04 09:22 PM Re: poop eaters
Sally Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/15/03
Posts: 686
Loc: Florida
in case anyone has been folloeing this conversation: There has been an article published in the University of FLORIDA Extension Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. In it the new FDA Rules on Feed are as follows:The FDA, to try to bolster prevention from BSE, among other things, has prohibited the use of poultry litter and restaurant scraps to cattle....It went on to other stuff but that is what we were discussing.
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sallyDIABLO

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#70688 - 03/18/04 06:34 AM Re: poop eaters
Anonymous
Unregistered


I'm out of my league here but will post anyway.
I have heard the 65% undigested statement before and asked a person in the business about it.After getting a 35 min. ,way over my head answer,I asked him to dumb it down for me."No not true,your most unefficient bird will pass about 1/3 undigested matter."The dog story was interesting.We have a opposum that has been visiting us for yrs. now.Every day ,about an hour before lockdown ,he'll climb out of his tree,walk to the coop,feast on the poop and then walk off into the pasture.

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#70689 - 03/18/04 09:03 AM Re: poop eaters
Anonymous
Unregistered


Ron, I believe you are wrong about that. My feed mill accidentally sold me some medicated lay ration some time ago. The medication was the antibiotic, bacitracin. It was a layer feed, not a broiler feed. You can do a web search on "bacitracin layer feed" and find several examples of antibiotics in lay ration.

Jeff, my reference for the 65% figure is from Damerow's book. I don't see it right away, but on page 247 of "A Guide to Raising Chickens" (G. Damerow, Storey Books, 1995 ISBN 0-88266-897-8) is the statement: "Poultry manure is made up largely of undigested feed." Somewhere in the book is the 65% figure.

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#70690 - 03/18/04 11:04 AM Re: poop eaters
Anonymous
Unregistered


It amazes me how a simple question about poop eating has gone to a more complex discussion. I like how this website sparks neurons. I have a question. If chicks eat poop will this increase coccidiosis? I would think it does, but if eaten right away the oocyts have not developed. How long does poop stay potentially infective. If dried out by brooder lights and woodchips does this decrease the odds of the chick getting coccidiosis. I read it takes several days for the oocyts to develop to a more infective stage. It affects chicks between 3 to seven weeks old. I am not medicating my chicks. They are no other older chicks or hens with this batch. But I do have a new batch of chicks that will in a couple weeks or 3 weeks take over the older chicks brooder space when I move them to the new coop. Answers, information....anything!!! Thanks.

Mike smile

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#70691 - 03/19/04 09:21 AM Re: poop eaters
Anonymous
Unregistered


All our dogs (one at a time!) have always gone for the chicken poop our free range birds leave lying around - mostly near the kitchen door , of course, and we have 5 acres for them to roam in. It doesn't matter how often one tries to stop it, chicken poop to dogs is like caviar, or maybe chocolate, to us!!!

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