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Food from the yard

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I give my girls their fermented feed (along with some 3-way scratch, some nuts, oatmeal and kale every morning and they're on it like crazy.  I was watching them the other day and all of them were going to town on a small weed just outside of their run.  Fortunately I have this weed all of the place on our property (I looked it up and it's a type of wild cabbage).  I got a bunch of leaves and put them into the run.  They just scratched and picked at it.  This morning I put a bunch just outside the fence and you would have thought it was the greatest thing since creamed butter.  Why they like it because they have work a bit for it...who knows.

 

But it is nice to know that having this wild cabbage in the yard will help augment their diets.  I'm all about saving $$.

post #2 of 8

Nothing better than having them live off the land.   Cabbage is the amazing vegetable that chickens sure do crave.   I give mine the extra leaves from cabbage that we plan to cook up.(not often enough.)   If possible, let them free range and wolf down the wild stuff as it is growing and vibrant looking.   No idea why the leaves given to them in the run did not appeal..:idunno

 

WISHING YOU BEST AND :welcome

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

We plan on letting them free range (under supervision) later.  Right now they're not big enough and there are too many hawks that live near us.

 

Although I certainly glad my coop is locked up tight.  My husband found a rabbit leg in the yard this morning.  So either a fox or a coyote caught a rabbit that lives in the wild area of our property.

post #4 of 8
Chickens can be like that. I throw cabbage leaves or other things they are supposed to like fresh from the garden in the run and they just ignore them. Often they will come back later and eat them but not always and often not right away. Who knows what is going on in their little bird brain.

One story I like to tell. I had a group of free ranging 10 week olds so they should have been used to bugs. I harvested corn from the garden for canning and had a yogurt cup full of corn ear worms. I dumped those on bare ground near the chicks. The chicks slowly and carefully started moving toward those worms. A worm moved! Run away! Run away!

They didn’t run far and soon slowly and carefully started moving back towards them. One moved! Run away! Run away!

This went on for a few times until one brave young cockerel got close enough and pecked one. That’s all it took. That pile of worms disappeared in a few seconds.

Just be patient with them and continue offering that weed. They will probably eventually eat it when you toss it in to them. Maybe. Eventually.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:


This went on for a few times until one brave young cockerel got close enough and pecked one. That’s all it took.
 

I told my husband it's not monkey see, monkey do.  It's chicken see, chicken do!  I cut up a half a flat of strawberries this morning and took the tops (with some fruit attached) and put it into the run and you would have thought that I threw dirt in for the attention they paid it.  Hopefully when they get hungry later, they'll eat them.

post #6 of 8
I noticed my girls totally ignored bugs & worms until they started laying. Wouldn't go anywhere near them. Now, it's a big feat for them to find bugs. I regularly pick off all the bugs in the garden for them. I have pavers on the ground in their yard, and once a week or so, turn them over so they can get the worms & bugs that gather underneath.

What my girls really love if leftover fried chicken!!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridgerunner View Post

Chickens can be like that. I throw cabbage leaves or other things they are supposed to like fresh from the garden in the run and they just ignore them. Often they will come back later and eat them but not always and often not right away. Who knows what is going on in their little bird brain.

One story I like to tell. I had a group of free ranging 10 week olds so they should have been used to bugs. I harvested corn from the garden for canning and had a yogurt cup full of corn ear worms. I dumped those on bare ground near the chicks. The chicks slowly and carefully started moving toward those worms. A worm moved! Run away! Run away!

They didn’t run far and soon slowly and carefully started moving back towards them. One moved! Run away! Run away!

This went on for a few times until one brave young cockerel got close enough and pecked one. That’s all it took. That pile of worms disappeared in a few seconds.

Just be patient with them and continue offering that weed. They will probably eventually eat it when you toss it in to them. Maybe. Eventually.

Jo-Ann
 

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Jo-Ann
 

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post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
 What my girls really love if leftover fried chicken!!

 

We never have leftover fried chicken!  LOL  But they do like boiled beans.  I had some old beans in the pantry so I boiled them soft, drained them and let them cool.  Mix with the feed and nary a bean in sight.

 

My husband was standing by the run eating boiled peanuts and tossed a couple in and it was the funniest thing.  One would grab it and run to the other side of the run so they didn't have to share.  The others would chase it down trying to get their share.  I've never seen them do this with other food.  I guess they're southern birds!

post #8 of 8
You're so right about the peanuts! Mine also love pecans!! Last fall, a neighborhood tree was full of pecans that DH & I picked up. But they had very little taste. One afternoon, I sat in the chicken yard with a mallet & cracked all the shells for my girls to pick through. They loved them so much, I had to be careful not to crack one of them on the head instead of the pecan!! With the price of pecans, I'll probably never do that again unless that same tree has bad pecans every year.

Jo-Ann
 

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Jo-Ann
 

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