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Feeding chickens walnut crumbs with shell pieces mixed in. Will they choke?

 
Travis Philp
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I've been cracking black walnuts and saving the shells and nut-meat crumbs that were too small to bother with.

I'd like to set this mix in a bowl in the chicken coop but I'm worried about them choking on some of the shell pieces. Do any of you have experience, or know somone else who's fed chickens something like this?
 
Dale Hodgins
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If something disagrees with a chicken they spit it up. When they free range they try everything under the sun. Although it is said that chickens seldom die of old age ,that has more to do with foxes and owls than with walnut hulls.
 
Julie Helms
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I could be wrong about this, but I believe birds cannot choke. I think their nasal passage does not connect anywhere with their esophagus, so food cannot block the flow of air. Besides they eat grit and stones all the time for their crop so I don't see how it could be bad for them in a physical sense.


EDIT: Well, after googling it, it appears many people have had their chickens choke so ignore what I said.
 
Faith Smith
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My son had a pet rooster that inadvevtantly swallowed a necklace of pea sized beads. Fortunately I was in school for medical & asked my advisor what to do as the rooster was a bit cyanotic(faint blue tinge feet & beck) a bit of mineral oil & he passed & interestingly inceremently dissolving string of beads. So I think as long as the pieces are broke smaller than a pea, then mineral oil handy for blockage...
 
Leila Rich
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Choking wouldn't be my major worry: walnut shells are really sharp and I can imagine chickens lacerating their throats.
Unless I was getting seriously large amounts of crumbs, I'd just chuck the lot on the compost.
Also, maybe experiment with putting the lot into a bucket of water and seing if one or the other floats?
 
Cj Sloane
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Julie Helms wrote:I could be wrong about this, but I believe birds cannot choke. I think their nasal passage does not connect anywhere with their esophagus, so food cannot block the flow of air. Besides they eat grit and stones all the time for their crop so I don't see how it could be bad for them in a physical sense.


EDIT: Well, after googling it, it appears many people have had their chickens choke so ignore what I said.


I haven't googled it but I would still agree with everything Julie said. Perhaps they could choke on a necklace as one person posted, but necklaces aren't part of chickens natural environments, nuts are. When you slaughter your first chicken and check out the glass and gravel in the crop, you'll realize you had nothing to worry about.
 
Travis Philp
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Thanks for the input all.

I ended up putting a small amount of the walnut bits into a 'horse feed bowl' and putting it in the chicken house. Just checked it and they pretty much picked it clean of nut meat. I was surprised. And no dead chickens!
 
Faith Smith
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Great! I figured they were handy =) Just to clarify; the rooster wasn't choking on the necklace, it was gradually blocking his oxygen uptake. His body was digesting the beads. A few were totally dissolved,then smaller,smaller-just too many to process. Knowledge that transfers. Often if you can support as the body corrects. Fai
 
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