“I have been feeding my chickens, amongst other food, ‘Dog food’ and they love it, do you think this is OK or not? Regards” ~ Colin.
Thanks for the question.
Because I don’t know the formulation of the dog food you have been feeding your chickens, I can’t answer your question specifically.
There are great variations in the ingredients of dog food from one brand to another.
However, commercial food for animals are specifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs of that particular animal.
It’s the reason there’s no brand called “Four Legged Food” or “All Purpose Animal Food”.
So while it would be okay to give your chickens dog food one day because you’ve run out of chicken feed and the feed store is closed until tomorrow, I would not give it to your flock for an extended period of time.
Just as our bodies are designed with nutritional requirements, and if those requirements are not met, our health will suffer, a flock that is not getting their nutritional requirements will likely experience a decline in health and appearance.
You might very well see a decline in egg production also due to a stress induced molt caused by nutrient deficiencies.
However, if you’re still interested in feeding your flock dog food, you’ll need to compare the labels. If the dog food is lacking something that is in the chicken feed, you’ll need to supplement.
If the dog food includes an ingredient that is not in the chicken feed, or has levels that exceed those of the chicken feed, you run the risk of your flock’s health suffering.
This would also be the case if the ingredients are not proportional.
If it were me, I’d just stick with chicken feed.
Thanks again for the question Colin.