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#73874 - 03/17/06 07:23 AM Re: Raw meat?
Joachim Dippold Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1823
Loc: Austria
Hello Jocelyn,

Of course due to adoption chicken living in aeras where they are confronted daily with salt in water can handle it. This can be seen as kind ov evolution process, happens all the time;-)

But we talked to different vet-docs and they all say salt in cat-food is the major cause for ruined inner organs, they canīt handle food anymore, they die a horrible death, that is not funny or only my opinion, that we see here often where thrifty people give cat-food because itīs cheaper! I didnīt blame any of you because i know folks overseas do it in "good believe", okay?

Dr. Tilc, a specialist on ducks and other puoltry, told us of many postmortem examinated birds who had symtoms of salt-overdoses due to "wrong" food;-( Other vet-docs too know about this and warn every chicken breeder/fancier when asked if they shall give cat-food, i guess they know what they do;-)

Of course there is salt in cat-food in a proper dosis for cats, plausible since it was originally made for cats. They need it, birds - generally! - donīt need it and canīt even handle it.

I also found out the reason why people here think itīs good for molting birds: thereīs brewers yeast in it! But again vet-docs told us itīs better to give brewers yeast pure over the food than in cat-food. Once again i noticed quite well that overseas fanciers/breeders in general care more for their birds than in Germany/Austria, sad but true!

I donīt want to upset people or quarrel, but i doubt that cat-food - dry or humid - is good for chicken, okay? All i want to do is help improve feeding plans for birds who have no choice what to eat because itīs their owners deciding what to feed, see?

So "sorry!" to all who feel offended but i still think: salt is NO GOOD for chicken - ad "in general" if you like so! I would have been happy if someone had told us about salt in cat-food back when we started into chicken mania, so i try to spread the news and inform as much/many as possible, see?

Best greetings,


gotta run for work, CU

#73875 - 03/17/06 08:42 AM Re: Raw meat?
Ozark Rose Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 11/17/05
Posts: 325
Loc: Arkansas
I love it! Can you get a photo of your hens on the shore? Being land bound, I dream of the ocean; it really makes me laugh to think of those hens runing back and forth to snatch things up before the next wave. Seems like so much more fun (and ok ... cute) than pecking at a dead possum!
By the way, too much IODIZED salt is a problem for any livestock on processed food. In large animals it's called Goiter and I've seen it when a few of my horses were going crazy over a loose mineral supplement.

#73876 - 03/17/06 09:06 AM Re: Raw meat?
Garden Chick Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/23/05
Posts: 447
Loc: Minnesota
Animal food makers add salt to get the animals to eat an otherwise unpalatable food. Like putting corn in dog food, they like it but it serves no purpose. Funny, but if you let animal eat according to instinct, that it will the right food. Like the bears, they have the main foods, but hunger and deprivation leads them to eating things they would not normally eat. Not to say that they don't acquire a taste for "bad" foods. My chickens won't eat cat food, but battle for a minnow.

#73877 - 03/17/06 02:50 PM Re: Raw meat?
Joachim Dippold Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1823
Loc: Austria
Hello again,

I honestly hope this isnīt getting boring, but this issue is SO important for us i carried on and asked further, here is another reason for adding salt espacially to DRY cat-food: renal insufficiency!

Cats donīt drink much, "wild" cats donīt need to: they eat mice, birds and other animals they can hunt, there always is enough humidity/water in their prey. But domesticated cats, espacially the ones that do NOT go out to hunt and have to stay indoors donīt get enough water, they simply havenīt "learned" it. So food-supliers though: lets add salt, when it works in restaurants for humans why not for cats?

They added salt to dry cat-food! Cats geeing fed only/mainly on dry food began to drink more. The # of cats suffering renal insufficiency in the major cities got fewer/less. So cats kinda "need" salt and they also have relativly little problems to use/absorb/whatever-the-term the salt in their food.

Good point Gardenchick, i thought of this but didnīt have prove. But of course it also makes the food taste better/acceptable. Indeed i also prefer to salt some of my meals;-) Thanks for sharing this!

Thank you Ozark Rose for reminding us that iodized salt is, well may be dangerous. I donīt have prove on this one but believe you. I heard and read enough to avoid it when possible - which is getting more complicated year by year. There are lots of websites dealing with iodized salt and the dangers of it, even for humans.

Best greetings,


#73878 - 03/18/06 12:49 PM Re: Raw meat?
Bill Ludwig Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 2582
Loc: Ohio
My 2 cents.

From the "Chicken Health Handbook" by Gail Damerow
Page 32.
Chickens are more likely to get too much salt than too little. The result is increased thirst, inability to stand, weak muscles, convulsions, and death. A lethal dose of salt is 0.06 ounce per pound of body weight.

It is my understanding that the reason salt is a serious issue with birds is because they don’t urinate or perspire to remove salts from their bodies.

I started reading about the salt issue right after this thread was started. I got busy with my own dilemma and was not able to post my reply until now.
I would like to add to what Bill has pointed out from The Chicken Health Handbook, same page, next paragraphs: "Chicks are more susceptible to salt poisoning than adults. Salt poisoning can occur when a flock's sole source of drinking water is saline water, although chickens can tolerate salt in water up to 0.25 percent. Poisoning can also occur when chickens pick in rock salt used for de-icing sidewalks and driveways.
Salt poisoning can be caused by a normal amount of salt in rations during summer, if chicken run out of water, and during winter if drinking water freezes. Obviously, the way to avoid salt poisoning is to be sure your chicken have fresh, clean water at all times."

Just to help clarify this is what D.Caveny posted in 2002. I would suggest that bearing in mind the qualification of the author it perhaps might be an idea to accept it as extremely good advice.

"As a formulating poultry nutritionist with more than a quarter century of practical experience, I STRONGLY urge you NOT TO GIVE BIRDS OF ANY KIND extra salt. Birds produce uric acid (mammals produce urine and can flush some excess salt from their system) and a small excess of salt CAN CAUSE ACUTE RENAL FAILURE and death! Ducks and seabirds have a supranasal gland which secretes salt and allows them to drink sea water...which will kill you and me. I have seen several cases of feed mills making mistakes in formulation and instead of having the proper amount of sodium in the diet placing an excess in the diet which resulted in large numbers of DEAD CHICKENS and many with great morbidity which had to be killed because of the severe effects of excess salt. DON'T GIVE SALT TO BIRDS...PERIOD".
(D.Caveny Aug 30th 2002).

Bill L

#73879 - 03/20/06 11:55 AM Re: Raw meat?
Garden Chick Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/23/05
Posts: 447
Loc: Minnesota
Joachim, I also have no proof and what manufacturer would admit that? It's just what I've heard in the years. Maybe they do add salt to get cats to drink more, it makes sense.

Too bad there isn't some safe thing that they could add to layer ration to make chickens LIKE that more!!! Maybe RAW MEAT!!

Bill, thanks for the very good information. I don't use sidewalk salt at home so I've never even THOUGHT about the hazard to chickens from it.

Uno's customers must surely realize that her chickens are very, very far from the factory.
And Jennifers original question was regarding frozen rabbit meat, which I assume was not purchased from a supermarket??

#73880 - 03/20/06 07:23 PM Re: Raw meat?

Gardenchick, no supermarket rabbit meat here. My husband hunts with beagles and so this is from a surplus hunting trip. I'm assuming it's organic meat...who knows anymore...

#73881 - 03/21/06 03:02 PM Re: Raw meat?
Glenda L. Heywood Offline

Registered: 12/12/05
Posts: 101
Loc: South Dakota
too bad some of you didn't live in the old days
the use of wild meat to hang in the hen house was common as it kept them from fighting, eating feathers and they loved to pick the meat from the hanging caruse
held about 12 inches above thefloor.

The original chicken mash was made from meat by products and yes chickens love meat, they are not picky

if you are selling free range eggs your birds are eating insects an what ever mice run thir way

Better yet I would love to have osme barbqued
Glenda L Heywood
click on pet forum for articles
Glenda L. Heywood

#73882 - 03/22/06 12:53 PM Re: Raw meat?
Jocelyn Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/02
Posts: 1467
Loc: Canada
OsarkRose, as soon as the ice goes out and the clay road hardens so I can drive on it, I'll send pictures. Do you want to e-mail me at so i will have your address to send them to? You can post them anywhere you like, how's that?


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