Feeding Layers Pellets to Wild Birds

Discussion in 'Wildlife Corner' started by Dan Dollin, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. Dan Dollin

    Dan Dollin Gardener

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    Does anyone else feed the wild birds with layers pellets from their chickens? I noticed that the robins and blackbirds were always happy to sneak into the chicken enclosure whenever I let the chooks out to free-range. So I've started to put a handful of pellets out for the birds in a dish in the morning and evening. They are now so keen for it they barely wait for me to be more than a few feet away before they are eating it.

    I assume it's OK for them, it's fortified with vitamins and minerals for the chickens so probably better than eating grain or bread etc. It also has the benefit of being incredibly cheap... about £3.50 for 5KG or £7.99 for 20KG. That being said, the blue tits aren't interested in it. But that may be more due to the fact it's on the floor.
     
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    • "M"

      "M" Total Gardener

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      Not as a matter of course, no.

      But, you are quite right, robins, blackbirds, magpies, rats, mice ... they will all sneak in to take it if given the opportunity.
       
    • Scrungee

      Scrungee Well known for it

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      A neighbour used to have a cat regularly get in the run and eat the layers pellets. When my daughter was about nine years old she decided to try some and said they were "quite nice". Given an opportunity, dog will stick her snout in an open sack and snack on them. I think we pay £7.95/20kg for layers pellets and £8.95/20kg for mixed corn/seeds for poultry which is also far cheaper than the stuff sold for wild birds.

      P.S. Mrs Scrungee ate some cattle cake on her Uncle's farm when she was four years old and said it was gorgeous!
       
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      • honeybunny

        honeybunny Head Gardener

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        it never occurred to me to feed chicken feed! i cant see why it would be anything other than beneficial to them....may have to put out a few handfuls of the chick crumb i get in for the quail on the birdtable & see what the wildies make of it:):)
         
      • lazydog

        lazydog Know nothing but willing to learn

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        Last year I was paying £12 for a 20kg bag of 'polished' corn for the chucks and £10 for a 25kg of 'unpolished' for wild birds the only difference was a bit more husk in in the wild birds and the chucks never complained when I started giving them the cheaper stuff,this year it has gone up £4.00 :cry3:
         
      • Jiffy

        Jiffy The Match is on Fire

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        Be carefull, some animal feed is not aloud to be fed to other animals ie cattle food not to be fed to sheep etc because of thing being added to the feed which is harmful to other animals
         
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        • Dan Dollin

          Dan Dollin Gardener

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          Yes, it was sheep being added into the cattle feed. Absolutely disgusting. You don't have to be an advocate of organic produce to realise that was going to be a bad idea. A vegetarian animal being fed meat = BSE.

          I don't think the same applies to wild birds and the chicken feed :)

          They do suggest that you feed wild birds away from your chickens to avoid your chickens catching their diseases. But our chooks have always been around other birds, I'm a great believer of building up a resistance to these bugs.
           
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          • Scrungee

            Scrungee Well known for it

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            I'm confident that chicken feed is much safer to feed to wild birds that all sorts of stuff that some people put out, some of which is chicken scraps (complete with bones) that gets dropped in neighbouring gardens for hens, dogs, rats, etc. to eat.
             
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