September 2009

“Vegetarian Fed” Chickens? But Chickens Aren’t Vegetarians!

This conversation crops up a lot on the various forums for chicken owners on the internet.  Several lines of chicken feed (such as Purina's Layena Sun Fresh) are labeled "No Animal Protein" or "Protein From Vegetarian Sources."  Then again, most consumers have also seen eggs and chickens labeled "Vegetarian Fed."

The odd thing is, chickens are not vegetarians.  Chickens are omnivorous, and when left to their own devices will eat a diet of about 80% plants and 20% insects and small animals.  (Yes, chickens will eat mice, lizards, small snakes - basically anything that they can catch.  You did know that chickens evolved from tyrannosaurus rex, didn't you?  Now you can see the resemblance!)

The Falcon v. the Starlings in the Vineyards of California

What would you guess would be the arch-nemesis of the California wine-growers and their grapes? Would you guess droughts, floods, fires, or the innocent little starling birds?  If you chose the starling as your final answer, you are absolutely correct. The starlings are known as gluttonous fans of the grapes and can reportedly eat their way through the fields in record time.