or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Care & Grooming › Chicken Feed As Litter
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Chicken Feed As Litter

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
I thought I would just start a new thread with this. To those that use or have used chicken feed as cat litter I have a couple of questions:

1. What type/kind of chicken feed is best to use (specific brands/companies etc..)

2. I read somewhere that it will form weevils if not stored properly, so how do you store it?

3. Does it have clumping properties? And can you flush it?

4. How does it compare to WBCL

5. Is it dusty? And tracks?

Thanks!!
post #2 of 36
I have used it...
1. What type/kind of chicken feed is best to use (specific brands/companies etc..)

I used layer "granules / crumbles" I think by KLM (or other initials). Any layer "granule/crumble" should work but make sure it is NOT medicated. You can buy in a smaller 10lb bag to make sure it works before committing to a 40lb bag. I have heard that purina Layena (unmedicated) is the best, but can't find it in my area.

2. I read somewhere that it will form weevils if not stored properly, so how do you store it?
Yes... made of corn (and possibly other grains) so VERY condusive to bugs. That said I was able to keep mine bug-free in the south east during summer, and in a room off of the garage. This is how I did it: Store excess in mega ziploc storage bags in a chest freezer. Store 1 months' worth in an airtight bin (i.e. those you get with clay litter or food containers). this way, if bugs were in it to start with, they get frozen / killed and the air-tight container will prevent them from growing.
Also, keeping clean is important. I swept around the box two times a week..you could use a vaccuum, just to make sure none was lying around.

3. Does it have clumping properties? And can you flush it?

Yes, but not as tightly as WBCL. If your cat produces major pee clumps, might be a problem. Not sure on the flushing...I'm pretty sure that it would dissolve/break up the clumps in water, but I wouldn't do it on a septic tank system...On city water, should be ok. I would also let the clumps "soak" in the toilet for a while (to break up) before flushing.

4. How does it compare to WBCL

clumps aren't as solid / rock hard. Odor control is not as good (but I added baking soda for that). BUT I paid $10 for 50lbs....verses $34.99 for 35lbs of WBCL. If you've used WBCL, I'd get a small bag of the chicken feed, test it out, and see if you like the results. You might be able to get good results by mixing the two, but I never tried that.

5. Is it dusty? And tracks?

No dust other than when I was pouring it from the big bag (50lbs) into the various ziplocs and air-tight container. No dust when scoop into the box (I use a feed scoop to add extra to the box instead of pouring). Tracking...about the same as WBCL.

HTH,
Art
post #3 of 36
I am not sure about brand, you just have to get the feed they feed to baby chicks. It has no antibiotics or anything else in it. tell then you want the laying crumbles.

It clumps as well as any other litter I have ever used, and I am sure you can flush it, but I don't.

It is very much like the WBCL. I just keep it in its bag, until the plastic trash can I have it in, needs to be refilled.
A kitchen size trash can with a pop up lid. I keep it next to the litter pan for easy refilling of the pans.

the odor in the summer is "corny" . In the summer I mix it with swheat, and that keeps down the odor. I never had a problem with bugs in it. One time though, I had the litter pan in the basement, and it got moldy from the moisture in the basement, so keep it upstairs.

I love it, but the price is going up. I paid 16.00 for 50 pounds last time.
post #4 of 36
Thread Starter 
I think i am going to try this as my next choice for litter..hopefully my kitties won't be allergic to it... i live in a tiny studio apartment so I also just really hope it doesn't make the place smell like corn all over.. or worse.. like a farm!! Are they're certain ones that smell less strong?

I'm going to try a small bag first for sure.. I live in a major city and doubt that there would be a feed store anywhere near me.. but maybe i'm wrong.. is this stuff not sold in Walmart etc.. and i never thought about freezing it. that's a good idea if u buy in bulk.

The feline pine i'm using now is ok.. but with two older kittens and one litter box, the stuff breaks down fast. I got a 7lb bag to try it out and it says its supposed to last 4 weeks.. but I don't think mine will make it past more than 2 weeks.. i maybe can stretch it out to 3 weeks max.. but i doubt it! Hopefully this stuff will last longer.
post #5 of 36
SOME walmarts carry it (mine doesn't) you have to be in a demographic area where walmart thinks it can sell it regularly (i.e. a rural state like wyoming, etc.)

Art
post #6 of 36
I wanted to try it so I just bought a 50lb bag for $15 at the feed store. I got the Broiler crubmle. Just ask for crumble and they should be able to figure it out. My cats were eating it so I mixed half of the regular litter in with it and now theyre using it a tiny bit. Doesnt seem dusty, not sure if its tracking, havent rememberd to check yet. Im leaving it in the bag for now, five feet of snow outside I dont think bugs will be a problem. I am storing the stuff Im using now in an empty litter container (the plastic buckets). The feed/clay litter mixture clumps great, not sure how it is on its own. Good Luck!
post #7 of 36
Quote:
I am not sure about brand, you just have to get the feed they feed to baby chicks. It has no antibiotics or anything else in it. tell then you want the laying crumbles.
You actually shouldn't get chick feed. Most feed for baby chicks is medicated.

Anyway I've never personally used this for cat litter because I like perfumey Scoop Away, but most layer feed comes in either 16% or 20% and has to do with calcium levels in the feed among other things. Buy whatever is cheapest and tell them you want crumbles [not pellets]. Most chicken feed is the same, it all looks similar anyway. I don't have a brand to recommend because the feedstore I go to makes their own.
post #8 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plebayo View Post
I like perfumey Scoop Away.
I looove Scoop Away but the last three tubs I got have been suffocatingly dusty and my cats have started sneezing
post #9 of 36
Quote:
I am not sure about brand, you just have to get the feed they feed to baby chicks. It has no antibiotics or anything else in it. tell then you want the laying crumbles.

Quote:
You actually shouldn't get chick feed. Most feed for baby chicks is medicated
It is not medicated, the feed store explained that it has no additivies or antibiotics, and babychick feed(crumbles) is what is used, not regular chicken feed.
I live in phila and have a feed store. I am sure you will find one in your area.
Never looked for it at walmart. I don't think you can buy it in a smaller than 50 pound bag, but my store will sell it by the pound out of a bag, for more per pound, of course. So you could buy 5 pounds and try it.
post #10 of 36
I live and work near downtown Portland, Oregon (just across the river from downtown) and believe it or not, there is a feed store 4 blocks away! I never knew it was there I haven't tried this as litter but like hearing how it has gone for others.
post #11 of 36
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the replies!! So I finally found a feed store near where my parents live (and luckily I am going up there tommorow) so I will stop by. I called the store and the smallest bag they said they have is 25lbs which is said was sold at about 7 dollars (hopefully my kitties take to this litter, otherwise I don't know what I'm going to do with all the chicken feed). I had read before that people recommended the Purina Layena chicken feed and this store sells them so I think I will get that. They have both pellets, crumbles, and mash... and guessing from what I've read, I think I will be buying the crumbles.

However, is there a certain specific Purina Layena crumbles type I should buy????

I am going to store the extra stuff once I get it in one of my old large clay litter jars so hopefully I won't have any problems with it getting infested by anything or it rotting etc... and since you guys have said that it is clumping that will be really good, but I am going to attempt to flush the waste and pee clumps and hopefully they're will not be any clogs..
post #12 of 36
I'd just get the standard crubmles, I dont think brand matters, its all the same! I think I said Im mixing mine with the regular because they were just eating it. If it doesnt work you could always use it for bird feed!
post #13 of 36
Quote:
It is not medicated, the feed store explained that it has no additivies or antibiotics, and babychick feed(crumbles) is what is used, not regular chicken feed.
Then your feedstore is way different because all baby chicks should be started out with medicated feed, all of the feed we ever bought for our chicks had antibiotics in it to give them a boost.

Quote:
However, is there a certain specific Purina Layena crumbles type I should buy????
It really doesn't matter what brand you buy, the feedstore might even make their own and it might be cheaper. Since you aren't buying it to feed chickens, brand isn't a huge issue But definitley go for crumbles, pellets is pelleted[obviously hahaha] and sometimes even the pellets aren't that broken down, the mash I think is more like what you'd feed ducks, and is probably more broken down so you can make a 'mash'.
post #14 of 36
Quote:
Then your feedstore is way different because all baby chicks should be started out with medicated feed, all of the feed we ever bought for our chicks had antibiotics in it to give them a boost.
I did some research on this and "starter feed" can be medicated or not. I asked my store if there is any medication in it, and the answer is no, plus there is none listed on the bag. When you buy your feed, make sure you get the unmedicated kind. Might want to check out what the Purina has in it.
post #15 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by NinaBaby View Post
I thought I would just start a new thread with this. To those that use or have used chicken feed as cat litter I have a couple of questions:

1. What type/kind of chicken feed is best to use (specific brands/companies etc..)

2. I read somewhere that it will form weevils if not stored properly, so how do you store it?

3. Does it have clumping properties? And can you flush it?

4. How does it compare to WBCL

5. Is it dusty? And tracks?

Thanks!!
Today, I bought a small bag of both chick starter (much finer texture and less crumbly), as well as Chicken Crumble from a local feed store. I decided to try this after finding out that my cats 'love' the Arm and Hammer Essentials, which is a similar concept. However, in reading reviews of that product, I came across the chicken feed option.

So far, I have noticed that the cats (I have two) both used the chick starter right away. I added a bit of baking soda to it to assure they did not want to eat it and to help control odour. (Not sure though if they would have eaten it anyway)

I tried 'trial piles' on plates by simply pouring water on both samples first, and found that the finer textured chick starter seemed to bond together much better probably due to its finer texture. I am not yet 100 percent sure how it will hold up when scooped though, as even the finer textured chick starter seems a little less 'tight' than the Arm and Hammer variety; maybe I just did not wait long enough. My cat peed and pooped in the larger container right away (I am only sampling the finer textured baby chick starter in the litter box after the experience I had with the plates), and I could not help but immediately attempt to remove it (well maybe it was about 5 minutes after). It was a clump, but a softer clump, if you know what I mean. I do think I should have more in the litter box, as there is only about 1.5 inches when dumping the sample in, and that might help too.

I was assured it was not medicated, and the price will be, for a 25 km bag, about 13.00 at a local Purina farm supply store here in Ontario, Canada.

I noticed that this blog topic was a little dated, so if anyone has previously read this blog and has more experience than myself using chick starter as litter, please do let me know.

By the way, on another topic, I was also tired of having my dog's ears treated very often for infection, and came across the Blue Power Ear Treatment online, used my poor dog as a Guinnea Pig, but I must say, it is AMAZING, and so cost effective. It is good for both regular maintenance, but when I was bad and neglected more routine cleaning and an infection developed, it cleared it RIGHT UP. You can google the term. I did use Witch Hazel instead of Isopryl Alcohol though, as I thought it might be nicer for the ear.
post #16 of 36
Crumbles or laying mash work great! I sometimes add Arm&Hammer Multi-Cat UNSCENTED, for stronger clumps. I did have a problem with storage because I allowed a stray cat to take residence in the garage & the coons were going after it
It also is good to have on hand as emergency birdfeed - when I kept chickens, all kinds of birds, including songbirds, raided the hens' feeders.
post #17 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimeForAction View Post
I am not yet 100 percent sure how it will hold up when scooped though, as even the finer textured chick starter seems a little less 'tight' than the Arm and Hammer variety; maybe I just did not wait long enough. My cat peed and pooped in the larger container right away (I am only sampling the finer textured baby chick starter in the litter box after the experience I had with the plates), and I could not help but immediately attempt to remove it (well maybe it was about 5 minutes after). It was a clump, but a softer clump, if you know what I mean. I do think I should have more in the litter box, as there is only about 1.5 inches when dumping the sample in, and that might help too.
I put at least 3"+ in my boxes. To scoop the pee clumps out I tilt the box until the loose stuff falls away from any pee clumps that may have stuck to the bottom, then just scoop. You can't shift (shake) the scooper like you do with clay, especially if the pee clump is still moist.



I hadn't thought about putting a little in the bird feeders before, I'm sure the birds would love that (and any other free handout).
post #18 of 36
Hi all, I might be using the 'crumbles' sample as bird feed, as even when I tried it in a deeper pan (with water as the testing variable), it still 'broke' apart even with patience while waiting for it to bond. The texture of the coarser sample was quite 'chunky' in comparison to the 'mash' variety which I much prefer. Having grown up on a farm, I would say the chick feed for very young chicks has more clumping capacity than the crumbles as a form of litter.

I find it interesting that people are having different experiences; is it the product difference or the wording we are using to describe it.. I bought my samples from two different feed stores, as the first one only had the coarser granules which they did call 'crumbles', and my 'suspicions' told me that it might be a problem when I saw it. I bought a sampling anyway, but then I drove out to a Purina supply centre and they had both. Since I already had a sample of the 'crumbles', I asked if they had anything finer and I came home with a much finer textured form. I am sure it is primarily the same base, just chopped down finer, but I think it makes a difference in terms of its bonding potential.

So when some of you are talking about 'crumbles', how would YOU describe the texture of what you use compared to what I am describing? I don't want to tell people crumbles if that is not really the right word, given my experience with both forms.

Most definitely though, I am 'sold' on chicken feed, but will be targeting the much finer, non medicated texture.

The cats certainly aren't complaining, and to be proactive, I did put in a little baking soda. Do you think it is actually needed, or could I get away without it, from your experiences to date?

You know, I love sleuthing for creative and practical solutions.
post #19 of 36
I use a bit courser crumbles as that's all I can get here. I've been using it for a while so I've gotten good at get urine clumps out.

I add some baking soda occasionally, but I have 5 large boxes. That's a lot of baking soda altogether. I've found that as long as it's kept scooped and a little fresh (maybe 2-3 cups) added every second to third day that it doesn't smell.

Some people will mix clay clumping litter in with their chicken feed to fix the clumping issue. I've done it in the past when I had some clay in the house and it does help a little - probably more if more clay was used.
post #20 of 36
I am very much finding, at least at this early point, that the 'crushed variety for the youngest of baby chicks' had great clumping ability.

And I did not even need to transition over gradually, at least for my two feature creatures. Both were quite amenable to an 'immediate' change.

Now my only worry is will it smell with time (but 3 days in, not bad at all!), and will little crawlies and rodents find themselves enticed by the 'freebie food'?

I love good deals. Thanks for the feedback thus far.
post #21 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimeForAction View Post
I am very much finding, at least at this early point, that the 'crushed variety for the youngest of baby chicks' had great clumping ability.

And I did not even need to transition over gradually, at least for my two feature creatures. Both were quite amenable to an 'immediate' change.

Now my only worry is will it smell with time (but 3 days in, not bad at all!), and will little crawlies and rodents find themselves enticed by the 'freebie food'?

I love good deals. Thanks for the feedback thus far.
Do not leave the clean or dirty litter in say a garage ... if you follow that you should be free of the undesired creatures
post #22 of 36
Indian meal moths are pretty good at getting in anywhere, but they're just as likely to get into your cat food or dry goods.
I raise mealworms for reptile food and have to constantly combat the meal moths. I have yet to find them showing much interest in my litter boxes. I think if any eggs are laid in there the constant stirring up and cat pee makes it rather inhospitable to them.

As for other grain pests; grain mites can be an issue. BUT if you have these it's likely they came in the bag to begin with. They can be rather difficult to avoid in any grain source that sits. (including bird seed) I've had issues with them in premade cricket foods, premade worm foods, and one bag of crumbles. You have to look very very closely whenever you open a bag up. If you see any sort of movement either leave it outside for the birds to eat on or take it right to the dumpster.

I reuse old tidycat litter pails to store the chicken crumbles in.
post #23 of 36
I don't quite get this... I buy arm and hammer 40 lbs for 12.99 which breaks down to 32 cents a pound... 50 lbs of chick feed at 15 bucks works out to 30 cents a pound. Is litter just more expensive for you guys?
post #24 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by atinsley View Post
I don't quite get this... I buy arm and hammer 40 lbs for 12.99 which breaks down to 32 cents a pound... 50 lbs of chick feed at 15 bucks works out to 30 cents a pound. Is litter just more expensive for you guys?
For me a 20-25lb of clay clumping litter is 8-11$ or for a 40-50 lbs it is 16 to 22 $ .... 20lbs of clay last a week so say 40 lasts two weeks with five cats.. 32 to 44 $ a month


chicken feed is 12-15 $ for me for 50lbs which last s with my five 3 -4 weeks ... Chicken feed has a lighter volume thus you get more per lb in a box... 20 ish a month

clay litter in a 18 gallon box about 20 lbs

chicken feed in 18 gallon box about 10 lbs

even at just two cents a lb ... that is a 12.00 a yr savings.. For most way way more...
post #25 of 36
Largest clay I can get in town is 27lbs at around $10-$15 (depends on sales) - though usually it's $15.

The chicken feed I get is $9.87 for 40lbs.

I can get better deals on clay litters out of town if there's a sale at walmart, but we don't go to that town that often due to our schedules.

Main reasons, though, is Tomas's issues with clay dust and that I can't get an unscented in town that even really clumps.
post #26 of 36
Thanks for the insight guys
post #27 of 36
I too am finding that it seems to take much less of the corn mix when clumping. And with the more finely ground stuff (for very young chicks) I am also finding it can be cleaned out of the box so much more easily without breaking up. With clay it feels like you are lifting out 'lbs' at a time on some occasions. These pee lumps seems to be quite compact. So far, so good. I can see a bag lasting quite a long time for my 2 cats. (I am buying a 25 kg bag which is just a little over 55 lbs.) So about 12 or 13 bucks for me, but it will last so much longer, by the looks of things. After switching from clay, which left a consistent 'dust' in my laundry room on everything from the floor to pipes etc. And trying 'mop' up clay dust just seemed to make it even messier, with a grey film all over the floor. Corn ... less dust in the air, thereby easier to sweep up. It is not smelly at all one week in, and if need be in winter it is flushable as it is food grade. I just break up the pee clumps into even smaller ones as I dump it in the toilet. No clogging, but to be safe, I leave it a minute before flushing. In spring, I will add it to my compost pile.
post #28 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by atinsley View Post
I don't quite get this... I buy arm and hammer 40 lbs for 12.99 which breaks down to 32 cents a pound... 50 lbs of chick feed at 15 bucks works out to 30 cents a pound. Is litter just more expensive for you guys?
When comparing litters you need to be careful how you do the comparison. Just comparing 2 litters based on price per like weight doesn't tell the whole story.

For instance, on the surface, World's Best litter seems hideously expensive. But when you consider that it weights half as much as a like amount of clay litter that effectively cuts the price of WB in half. Then when you consider that a pee clump of WB is much smaller than a pee clump of most clumping litters resulting in less litter getting removed and thrown out at every scooping that effectively reduces the cost of WB by making it last longer. Finally, WB clumps better than a lot of other litters resulting in the remaining litter in the box staying cleaner longer. Again reducing the effective cost of WB.

I tried using chicken crumbles a while back and after a couple of months went back to WB. Even after the above things being taken into consideration, WB is still more expensive but not by as much as it may seem. For me, that the litter box stays cleaner longer was the deciding factor in switching back to WB.
post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
I tried using chicken crumbles a while back and after a couple of months went back to WB. Even after the above things being taken into consideration, WB is still more expensive but not by as much as it may seem. For me, that the litter box stays cleaner longer was the deciding factor in switching back to WB.
I can happily say thus far that the more finely ground corn feed is working very well. I do clean it faithfully a couple times a day, and I did add a little bit of baking soda but for the most part, not likely enough had made a huge difference. It is still 'smell free'.

The urine clumps, although soft if going after them too soon, become firm enough to handle easily when left a while. (I'd say 10 minutes or so should suffice.)

I love that I am not handling heavy, dusty, dirty clay any longer. And even though the cats do bring a little out onto the cement floor, it sweeps up like a charm. No more dust laden floors and dust on everything else that needs constant wipe down.

I do know that there are other litters out there that work well if not better in some ways (I never tried World's Best but I do like Arm and Hammer Natural Essentials). But for my money, the chicken feed is working just fine and meets my budget, helps maintain my patience, and seems to be acceptable to kitties X 2.
post #30 of 36
Well, one month later, I am still very happy with the corn mix for cat litter.

I find it does not build a smell, and is easy to clean out of the litter box. The few 'small pieces' which fall behind on occasion are very easy to spot and it takes no effort to clean it out. And although there is some tracking upon leaving the litter box, it sweeps up much easier than clay, and does not leave the 'dust film' on both floor and other surfaces in the basement like clay. And mopping the floor does not leave the swirls of wet clay dust smeared into the floor surface. Even if it gets as far as a carpet, it is light and is pulled up easily into the vacuum.

And the price is right. The bag seems to be lasting forever, with two cats.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Care & Grooming
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Care & Grooming › Chicken Feed As Litter