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feeding grasses and clovers

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Because of various obstacles of time, money, material, weather, etc., I have not yet got my chicken run usable.  In the meantime, I have picked grass and clover to scatter in my chicken pen for the girls to scratch at and eat.  Was rereading what was considered ok for treats and came across some info that suggests that clover and trefoil are not good food for my chickens.  Is this something I should stop doing? What exactly do chickens "in the wild" eat?  I also gave them some newly made bromegrass hay and read that this also may not have been a good thing.  It's not like they've had bushels of it, but now I am concerned.  Feedback is most welcome.

By the by, my girls are just 3 months old.  With any luck, they will get out of the barn by next weekend, weather permitting.

THANKS!!

post #2 of 7

Mine have always eat clover & trefoil and seem to love it ---- never any ill effect. With grasses, the only thing I would recommend is that you cut it or tear it up into small pieces. I used to pour my grass clippings after mowing (lots of clover & everything all mixed) into the run. I had a pullet last year who ate a lot of the grass clippings all at once and became crop bound. Just don't let them over-indulge on lots of long grass strands. The clover around here is usually good because it is not real long.

When chickens free range and eat grass, they pick small pieces.

post #3 of 7

Hi neighbor!  Trefoil is one of my flock's favorite treats and they are very healthy. Clover is popular too. Chickens seem to eat anything but you should try to give as nutritious as possible treats, and clovers and alfalfa are all very high protein.  Good stuff.

"Earth can provide for every man's needs, but not every man's greed" - Mahatma Gandhi
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"Earth can provide for every man's needs, but not every man's greed" - Mahatma Gandhi
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post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by pymatuningchix 

Because of various obstacles of time, money, material, weather, etc., I have not yet got my chicken run usable.  In the meantime, I have picked grass and clover to scatter in my chicken pen for the girls to scratch at and eat.  Was rereading what was considered ok for treats and came across some info that suggests that clover and trefoil are not good food for my chickens.  Is this something I should stop doing? What exactly do chickens "in the wild" eat?  I also gave them some newly made bromegrass hay and read that this also may not have been a good thing.  It's not like they've had bushels of it, but now I am concerned.  Feedback is most welcome.

By the by, my girls are just 3 months old.  With any luck, they will get out of the barn by next weekend, weather permitting.

THANKS!!


Heres my feedback: stop reading so much.

Just kidding! But clover, alfalfa, rape, vetch and various other cover grasses have been a preferred green feed for many, many years now.
I wouldn't worry about it, as long as they are eating their regular feed. Such green feeds should be a supplement to the main ration.

Im curious, though - what is so wrong with them?

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 #5 of 7

We have been feeding  clover and alfalfa
to our chx as  a treat and they are a yr old
and never had any problems. along with Purina layeana.

HeavenCan Wait, Livin in Paradise.
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HeavenCan Wait, Livin in Paradise.
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post #6 of 7

I have a large yard full of a mix of bermuda/fescue/dallis grasses....with a few patches that have some orchard and timothy mixed in.....but the entire yard is also covered in CLOVER. My birds are out on it daily just chowing down and have no problems. I have every weed known to mankind and either they skip the bad ones or there are no bad ones. I also avoid putting grass clippings in their run, but let them into the yard when there are piles of it. Whatever works?


Edited by NellaBean - 8/2/09 at 6:47am

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NPIP #63-390 - Large Fowl New Hampshires - Lionhead Rabbits - Netherland Dwarf Rabbits - Skinny Pigs - Texel Guinea Pigs - Silkie Guinea Pigs
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post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks again for everyone's input.  I figured grass was one of the items on a chicken's menu.  Considering there is clover and such in yards and many people free range their chickens, I don't get where this would be bad.  There seemed to be alot of common plants on that toxic list.  Oh well, everything you eat, drink or breathe is bad for you is some fashion so why not the same for chickens.  We all die someday. Such is life.

P.S. it's looking good for getting them out of the pen this weekend!  Can't wait!

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