Rhode island and sussex chickens keep dying
by Brenda Baron
(Redwater Alberta Canada)
I had 5 bantams, 10 Rhode Island reds and 10 Sussex chickens. They are in a warm barn with ventilation they have clean water, whole wheat to scratch and crushed wheat and peas for food they also get oyster shells.
About one every week or every two weeks we lose another one. They just seem to get lifeless and stand in one spot and make a faint noise, then the next day the are gone.
I now have no Sussex left and only 3 Rhode Island Reds. We still have all the bantams.Answer
I think you need to rethink your feed. The peas are good food quality, but whole dry peas need a lot of water to break down. I would suggest feeding a standard layer mash or pellet or crumbles.
It may be that the chickens are eating too many peas and can’t or don’t drink enough water to thoroughly hydrate the peas and their digestion is getting blocked. This may not be the problem, but might.
Possibly due to the larger size of the peas, the bantams aren’t eating them or as many, sticking to the smaller wheat, and doing better.
Your chickens need a good balanced diet, that most prepared chicken feeds contain. That’s all I can think of from what you have said here.
I’m so sorry for these losses. If you feed the peas, I would suggest soaking them, and possibly mashing them, first and feeding them as a treat and not a main staple of their diet.
Just wheat and peas aren’t a balanced diet, even if they free range. I recently fed some fresh shelled peas to my chickens and they didn’t seem to like them much.
Judging by that, and knowing my flock likes variety and healthy foods, I’m thinking peas just aren’t the right food for chickens.Return to Raising Chickens Home Page