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How much grass should I feed my chickens?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi guys and gals

 

I am sure this has been asked and answered before but......

 

OK I have six 12 week old chicks. I used this website for everything from building a brooder to feeding and watering to building a coop and a run. It has been great for a noob like me. But I am curious about something and I cannot find the answer.

 

My chicks love grass. Their run is 9'x16' of thick grass. Now it is 9'x16' of cleared dirt. I often feed them left over bread pasta and veggies. But they love grass most of all. It has been wet and rainy here so I haven't cut my grass in a while and it has gone to seed. So one day I was working in the yard and the chickens were watching me so I gathered up some of the tops of the grass shoots with seed and threw them into the run. The chickens went nuts for them. At first I thought, cool a treat they love and it's free.

 

I also have 4 dogs. I let them out at least six times a day. And every time I walk outside the chicks come running, so I throw them some grass. I was wondering if it is possible to feed them too much grass? They are still eating their feed, they have a 10 pound feeder and I need to refill it once a week. Also is it ok to feed them other types of vegetation? We have lots of clover and wild berries. Also once I start cutting my grass again can I feed them blades of grass and if so how much?

 

Thanks in advance for helping out a noob figure it out.

Maurice

post #2 of 7
We always throw grass clipping to our chickens, and they get to free range all they want. I haven't had any troubles. My lawn has a healthy weed load, so lots of dandelion greens and other delicious stuff, the chickens seem to know what to eat and not eat.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
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Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by staz70560 View Post
 

Hi guys and gals

 

I am sure this has been asked and answered before but......

 

OK I have six 12 week old chicks. I used this website for everything from building a brooder to feeding and watering to building a coop and a run. It has been great for a noob like me. But I am curious about something and I cannot find the answer.

 

My chicks love grass. Their run is 9'x16' of thick grass. Now it is 9'x16' of cleared dirt. I often feed them left over bread pasta and veggies. But they love grass most of all. It has been wet and rainy here so I haven't cut my grass in a while and it has gone to seed. So one day I was working in the yard and the chickens were watching me so I gathered up some of the tops of the grass shoots with seed and threw them into the run. The chickens went nuts for them. At first I thought, cool a treat they love and it's free.

 

I also have 4 dogs. I let them out at least six times a day. And every time I walk outside the chicks come running, so I throw them some grass. I was wondering if it is possible to feed them too much grass? They are still eating their feed, they have a 10 pound feeder and I need to refill it once a week. Also is it ok to feed them other types of vegetation? We have lots of clover and wild berries. Also once I start cutting my grass again can I feed them blades of grass and if so how much?

 

Thanks in advance for helping out a noob figure it out.

Maurice

Do you have a bagger on your mower?  If so, your problem is solved.  Just bag that grass when you mow, and empty the bagger into the run.  (otherwise, you'll need to rake it!)  IMO, a bare ground is an unhealthy ground, whether it's in the chicken run, or in the garden.  God did not design soil to be bare.  A nice deep covering of mulch provides so much benefit, it's impossible for me to describe it in a few words.  It:  provides nutrition for the soil microbes, as well as keeping them sheltered so they can do their work.  Feed the microbes, and they feed the soil.  It helps prevent weeds from overtaking the area.  It fosters the growth of fungi, which also feed the soil.   All of that life in the mulch/soil helps to eliminate internal parasites.  It calls earthworms and feeds them.  They in turn cultivate the soil and leave behind a rich layer of castings.  (these are often sold at exorbitant prices as fertilizer)  It calls in lots of insects to feast on the bounty.  In the run, the chicken poo mixes into the mulch, and further feeds all of that biologic activity.  The chickens benefit from the insects and microorganisms/fungi to keep their gut flora balanced.  They will feast on the grass clippings and weeds.  When they have an abundance available to them they eat what they need, while turning the rest into the best compost you'll ever see.  And you don't have to  manage it at all.  Just give them a nice thick layer of mulch.  Grass clippings, leaves, garden debris, wood chips, litter from the coop, and any other compostables you can lay your hands on.  I never come back from the dump without a load of cardboard.  I use that in the garden and in my orchard.

Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

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Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

Reply
post #4 of 7

:welcome

 

You have great responses above. The only thing I have to add is to be sure your birds have a source of grit to grind up that grass. You may have appropriate material in your run, or a bag from the feed store is cheap and easy to get. I don't use a dish to feed mine, I simply scatter it in the run and let them scratch around for it. 

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

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Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

Reply
post #5 of 7

Excellent job picking up on missed material, DR!!!

Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

Reply

Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

Reply
post #6 of 7

as long as they have grit they can have as much as they want, they are pretty much self regulating with food, they eat enough to fill their caloric need.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the responses.

 

They have plenty of sand, gravel and crushed stone for grit. When the yard finally dries out I will throw them some clippings in there for mulch. And I will continue to give them the soft tops of the grass that has gone to seed as treats.

 

Maurice

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