Vegeterian Chickensgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I was reading the egg carton on Egglands Best eggs at the grocery store. Their big claim about healthier eggs was that their chickens were vegetarians. My feed dealer is quite sure that no animal feed contains animal products after all the mad cow scares. Does anyone know if their is a difference in what they feed their chickens that makes the eggs healthier for you? Aside from regular layer feed is anyone feeding anything special for healthier eggs?
-- Emil in TN (email@example.com), April 01, 2002
ohhh, to believe it is true ... no , the mad cow disease has stopped feeding cow remains to cows , but now they are being processed into food for pigs, and yes chickens, animal products can still be fed to animals, the gov just altered things a bit, in fact feather protien is fed to cows quite often , ground up and added to feedlot rations. as is pig waste, and blood is still fed to cows too.....
-- Beth Van Stiphout (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 01, 2002.
Used to get $10, or a pair of free gloves, when they picked up a dead cow in the old days. Then it cost $10 for them to pick it up. Now it costs $100, and there is almost no one left in the rendering industry to do the pickup! There certainly are a lot of legal & paperwork hassles on that industry.
Some of it's good tho. You can't feed a processed critter to it's own type of animals. What can be fed needs to be processed a lot, lot more than it used to be.
Chickens do well on bone meal & the rest. With current processing, there shouldn't be much to be concerned about, but that's up to the consumer to decide.
-- paul (email@example.com), April 01, 2002.
Emil, I am not certain that it actually makes "healthier" eggs, but I feed my layers fresh cut alfalfa all summer and give them a flake of good alfalfa hay in the winter and I get wonderful dark yellow yokes.
-- diane (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 01, 2002.
Chickens are NOT Vegeterians, if left to roam they eat bugs, worms, baby mice and will dine on the carcass of dead animals. Pigs will also eat all of the above and more. Yes they will also comsume much vegtable matter.
Cattle, Goats and Sheep if left to roam and find their own feed will never eat any animals, sure they probably suck up a few bugs and worms now and then when eating grass, but they would not eat them as part of their reguler diet.
Your Feed Dealer is misinformed, their is still Animal By-Products in many feeds, such as Chicken, Hog, Dog and Cat Feeds. I do not think the U.S. Goverment has banned Animal By-Products in Feeds, but has recomended that feeds inteanded for Rumnint (SP?) Animals should not contain or a limited amount of Animal By-Products (I may be mistaken as if this has become a law yet). Feed and Farmers Trade organazations have also recomended this.
-- Mark in N.C. Florida (email@example.com), April 01, 2002.
A vegetarian poultry ration isn't necessarily better than one that has animal proteins in it. There's a good many variables that go into these kinds of things. Chickens by their nature are omnivorous and are designed to eat both animal and plant proteins. Just like us humans it's possible for them to go wholly vegetarian but it takes some careful balancing of the ration to be sure they get what they need in the amounts they need.
It does seem that the USDA no longer allows ruminants to be fed to ruminants but they do still allow chickens to be fed to chickens because the poultry feed I presently use contains "poultry byproducts" which could be a number of different poultry pieces parts.
-- Alan (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 01, 2002.
Emil, we give our chickens a homemade mix which doesn't contain any additives such as animal byproducts, rendered animal lipids(fats) or such. I don't think poultry needs those things if given a chance to range;they'll find their own bugs,worms & slugs.:) We do use diatamaceous earth, a natural shell of a diatom sea creature from eons ago. We add that to their feed for worming since we use no antibiotics or chemical wormers with our livestock. By the way if fed to your animals the fly population is less also. It only works on soft bodied creatures; it has minute sharp edges that pierce the outercovering of the parasites & they dehydrate/die. Paul, I have to disagree with one part of your post- it's not anything bad! :) You commented 'You can't feed a processed critter to it's own type of animals'. The local bagged chicken feed available in KY manufactured for Tractor Suppy Company does contain poultry byproducts, so I'm not sure if you meant that the govt. won't allow cattle & other ruminants to be fed animal byproducts of their own species or if all animal feed should now be following these new rules. These are just my opinions; I can only speak for the local feed that's available and my choice not to feed that to my animals & make no judgement on what others choose to feed their animals. Springtime Blessings, Kathy
-- Kathy Aldridge (email@example.com), April 02, 2002.
"Cattle, Goats and Sheep if left to roam and find their own feed will never eat any animals"
Umm - not so. They won't hunt down and kill other animals for food. However, it's possible they'll hunt down and kill other animals; and it's certain that they'll chew up and swallow old bones - quick easy calcium and phosphorus supplement. If there happens to be six or eighteen months or so between one and the other, or if they didn't kill the animal they're now eating, but it just died .... well, it happens anyway.
-- Don Armstrong (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 02, 2002.
Thanks for the correction, Kathy. I am most familiar with cattle, and other grass eating 4 legged critters. Sorry I just did not think of poultry when I typed! My mistake.
-- paul (email@example.com), April 02, 2002.
Don's right about the bones. Don't know specifically about sheep and goats doing it, but most herbivores will lick and chew old bones for minerals. Cattle probably get some of the worst feed, like the litter from broiler houses. I'm all for recycling, but that's a little excesive ; )
-- Elizabeth (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 02, 2002.
My wife has the job of cataloging for the university library the multitude of publications that the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences publishes. One afternoon I got an e-mail from her with a URL to a couple of their online documents, one of which proved to be on using broiler litter as a dairy cattle feed supplement. In the e-mail she said that perhaps we really ought to get our own dairy animals and did I think it was feasible?!
Grosses me out too but in this instance it got me over an important obstacle without even having to bring up the subject myself. : )
-- Alan (email@example.com), April 02, 2002.
If anything, those commercially produced eggs are LESS healthy. You're talking about birds that never see the light of day for crying out loud. How healthy would any of us be if we lived like that?
We mix our own feed ration using grains along with things like kelp meal, fish meal and probiotics. Our birds are allowed to range and harvest their own grass, bugs, etc. (Check out my website at www.grazeyacres.com) The eggs are excellent. Way better that anything you can get in the store.
I personally think the biggest difference is the fact that they eat plants. As I understand it, the chlorophyll is what produces the richly colored yolks.
-- Stacey in Indiana (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 02, 2002.
We mix our own feed for our chickens and use soy meal for the protein content because I know that diseased cattle etc go into commerical layer ration. Our egg production has never been better. But I wouldn't call our chickens vegetarians since they are allowed to free range for bugs etc.
-- susan banks (email@example.com), April 02, 2002.