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do chickens eat paper?

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default do chickens eat paper?

Post by Dandelion on 18th January 2010, 9:40 pm

Our two chickens live in an eglu on bark chips - we use shredded paper in the nesting box (seasonal paper - it's all the Christmas round robin letters at the mo!) They lay quite happily in the nesting box, but the paper gradually disappears - are they eating it? No signs of any rodents large or small which was another possibility. The chickens are fed layers pellets, and free range around the garden when we're not at work. The thing reason I think they're eating the paper is that they ate quite a bit of the straw which I put down in the bad weather when the bark chips froze - I'm a bit worried this may lead to problems in their crops.
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default Re: do chickens eat paper?

Post by Compostwoman on 18th January 2010, 11:25 pm

I have noticed my lot eating all sorts of stuff which looks highly unsuitable...If you recall I use Aubiose rather than paper in the boxes with straw in the nestbox...

IF you have pellets left in the feeder and the hens look OK it is probably just what they like doing..but yes I would be a bit concerned about them eating long bits of straw as it could cause an impacted crop in the same way that long grass can do.

I must admit, I would also be a bit concerned about the ink they were eating as well, if they are eating your shredded junk mail etc...!

So...maybe chop the straw up a bit? and maybe replace the paper with something else? and make sure they have lots of insoluable grit available.

If you want to try them on Aubiose I am happy to let you have a bit, to try out?

S

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default Re: do chickens eat paper?

Post by Dandelion on 19th January 2010, 4:45 pm

I think I'll use the rest of the straw around the strawberries (nice thought!) in the summer - hopefully it won't be cold enough to need to use it in the run again. Thanks for the tip about grit - will make sure the bowl's topped up. I must admit - some of those Christmas letters stuck in MY throat when I read them....didn't want them to cause the chickens problems too!!
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default Re: do chickens eat paper?

Post by Nick B on 23rd January 2010, 1:39 pm

Hi Dandelion what about Hemcore, We have been using that for the inside of the chicken coop for the past few years and straw in the nest boxes,
We used to use shredded paper and a little straw on the floor and under the perch. But now with this Hemcore it's nice and clean and our ladies like it ??? I Think Wink
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default Re: do chickens eat paper?

Post by Dandelion on 23rd January 2010, 2:11 pm

Hemcore and Aubiose are certainly things I'll try - I've also discovered that the chickens like to be let out before it's light (they have both laid before 7.30, which is brilliant as I have to leave the house just after to get to work) - I think they were getting fed up with being kept in, which was why they were eating the paper. I'm still getting used to their ways, and (like children!) they don't always do what the books say!
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