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Alfalfa pellets for my chickens?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I've been trying to figure out why my eggs taste like store bought so from what I'm reading here, they need more greens.  I don't have much weeds or grass in my backyard.  I give them the leaves from my peach tree but I guess that's not enough greens to get my eggs to taste farm fresh.  Can I give them alfalfa pellets I saw at the feed store and how much should I mix in with their feed?  I also give them some corn to get the yolk a bright orange but still look like store bought.  What else can I do?  Is alfalfa pellet the answer?  Thanks.

post #2 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by swtamour 

I've been trying to figure out why my eggs taste like store bought so from what I'm reading here, they need more greens.  I don't have much weeds or grass in my backyard.  I give them the leaves from my peach tree but I guess that's not enough greens to get my eggs to taste farm fresh.  Can I give them alfalfa pellets I saw at the feed store and how much should I mix in with their feed?  I also give them some corn to get the yolk a bright orange but still look like store bought.  What else can I do?  Is alfalfa pellet the answer?  Thanks.


Chickens don't much care for alfalfa pellets. That's from my own experience and what others say on BYC. My flock is free range so they have a wide choice of food. The eggs are bright yellow but that does change during the year depending what they eat most of. I feed my chickens bocking #14 comfrey during the winter months in with their feed. It has the most protein next to alfalfa of any livestock fodder. #14 was developed for livestock/poultry and it is an easy to grow, low maintenance crop that will give up to 5 crops a year. Do a google search for info, you will be surprised.


Edited by tackyrama - 7/15/09 at 6:55pm
"Strap yourself to a tree with roots - You Ain't Goin' Nowhere"
Bob Dylan
One dear wife, 17 grandkids, 4 dogs, many cats, 70+ chickens, 2 geese, 3 turkeys, 11 horses, 10 pigs
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"Strap yourself to a tree with roots - You Ain't Goin' Nowhere"
Bob Dylan
One dear wife, 17 grandkids, 4 dogs, many cats, 70+ chickens, 2 geese, 3 turkeys, 11 horses, 10 pigs
Reply
post #3 of 19

I have used alfalfa meal.. I soak it water a little then feed it to them wet...

Chris

 

NPIP # 31-516
Society for the Preservation of Poultry Antiquities http://sppa.webs.com/

Breeding Large Fowl Single and Rose Comb Rhode Island Reds to APA Standard


"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares." – 

George Washington

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NPIP # 31-516
Society for the Preservation of Poultry Antiquities http://sppa.webs.com/

Breeding Large Fowl Single and Rose Comb Rhode Island Reds to APA Standard


"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares." – 

George Washington

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post #4 of 19

I use the dried alfalfa cubes made for horses, especially during the winter.  I soak them in warm water and they soften up.  I throw them in the pen & the chickens scratch at them and gobble them up.  I got mine at Tractor supply, but I think most feed stores would carry them.  They come in a 50lb. bag & they lasted my 12 chickens almost six months.  I plan on giving them more this year, now that I know how long a bag lasts.  It took them a few times to really go for them, but they eat them now if I don't have time to cut clover or something.

post #5 of 19

See if you can get grass clipping from your own yard, or some one near you. As long as they don't spray there yard with heavy chemicals they are ok for the chickens to eat.

If you keep your eyes peeled you'll start seeing those brown bags of
"compost" that people put out on the curb, those are normally full of grass clippings.

Living like an Urban Daisy
"vegans keeping chickens, what will you crazy kids do next" -My dad
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Living like an Urban Daisy
"vegans keeping chickens, what will you crazy kids do next" -My dad
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post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 

The feed store also has alfalfa cubes but it's mixed in with hay, would that work?

post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by swtamour 

The feed store also has alfalfa cubes but it's mixed in with hay, would that work?


It will work... I would just soak them in water till there soft... You might want to check and see if your mill has the alfalfa meal it should be cheaper.. Most mills have the alfalfa meal in stock they add to some mash mix...

Chris

 

NPIP # 31-516
Society for the Preservation of Poultry Antiquities http://sppa.webs.com/

Breeding Large Fowl Single and Rose Comb Rhode Island Reds to APA Standard


"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares." – 

George Washington

Reply

 

NPIP # 31-516
Society for the Preservation of Poultry Antiquities http://sppa.webs.com/

Breeding Large Fowl Single and Rose Comb Rhode Island Reds to APA Standard


"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares." – 

George Washington

Reply
post #8 of 19

While I have not gone to the expense of doing this, there is an Ameraucana breeder that I know and trust that says they put their newly hatched chicks on a bed of alfalfa pellets.  She says they loved them and when the pellets get too soiled for the chicks to be on, she says they are worth their weight in gold to others as compost.

My birds normally free-range so I don't worry often about them getting enough greens.  However, during the time they're in breeding pens, anyone knows that it doesn't take a few birds long to turn a nice piece of sod into a dirt floor.  The church we go to has vegetables, bread items, fruits, and other things that they give away.  Often there are items that are too far gone for human consumption - at least IMHO.  They gladly give them to me to feed to my chickens.  So every Sunday my birds get treated to spinach, lettuce, cabbage, carrots, pears (they love pears!), squash, various melons, peppers, kale, and other greens that I can't even remember what they're called.

I'm not suggesting you start going to a church just to get free treats for your birds of course.  But you might check around at some grocery stores or open markets to see if they have any "give aways".  Just let them know your birds would gladly have them and it's better than a dumpster.

Hope that helps.

God Bless,

post #9 of 19

Visit all the grocery stores in your area. Ask them for the trimmings they get off their produce. That should get you some 'green goodies.'


Edited by Davaroo - 7/16/09 at 7:18pm

Peace... David
"Poetry often comes in through the window of irrelevance"

 

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Peace... David
"Poetry often comes in through the window of irrelevance"

 

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post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggestion but I have tried giving them lettuce, cabbage, carrots, pears, etc and they don't care for it.  I've tried several times and no luck.  Also, I just bought a pound of alfalfa pellets and soaks them in water.  I gave it to them and no takers either.  I'm going to keep trying for the next few days and hopefully they'll like it soon.  If not, I'll probably have to consider growing comfrey for them.

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