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Treats ?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

It seems like everything thats not laying pellets is classified as a treat.I grow organic veggies & feed my flocks something out of my garden everyday I don't call greens a treat I see them as a very healthy attribute especially in the winter when there's not much for them to forage on anyway. Then summer comes along & they have their greens because the grass is growing etc.so now I'm feeding them tomatoes most of the time cold because its so dang hot here in Texas. So, in a nut shell greens in the winter & Tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, & such in the summer. I don't see a problem with this.

Usually, when I pull up my winter garden I just pull the whole plant up & hang it in their run & they inhale it. Summer plants I don't feed to them just the fruit.

I'm out of eggs. But I know where some brown ones are. I now raise big Ol' Honkin' Bob Whites & Layed back Coturnix. Pray For Rain In Texas!

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I'm out of eggs. But I know where some brown ones are. I now raise big Ol' Honkin' Bob Whites & Layed back Coturnix. Pray For Rain In Texas!

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post #2 of 11
This forum is the only place I've ever heard them called treats, but remember a whole lot of forum members have maybe 4 to 6 hens in totally enclosed coops and runs in small suburban back yards. Anything other than the commercial feed is probably a treat for them.

Several forum members consider their chickens as pets. I guess if you give your dogs or cats a treat, you would give a pet chicken a treat.

Mine get what they can find, plus they usually have full access to the compost pile. That's where certain kitchen scraps, garden wastes, and garden clean-up goes. I also buy commercial feed and make it available to them. Since mine forage for a lot of their food, I don't control what they eat anyway. If they were totally enclosed where all they got was what I gave them, I'd be a bit careful about givng them a "balanced" diet. But since they forage, I don't worry about it a lot.

Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought....Abraham Lincoln (Freedom carries responsibility)

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.....Judge Learned Hand  (The more sure your are that your way is the only right way, the more likely you are wrong.)

 

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

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Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought....Abraham Lincoln (Freedom carries responsibility)

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.....Judge Learned Hand  (The more sure your are that your way is the only right way, the more likely you are wrong.)

 

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

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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

I would call veggies an essential they actually help with egg making. This year has been super bad the hawks are thick as thieves probably because of all the wild fires. Anyway, not much free ranging for my flocks. I figure why loose my chickens when there's not much for them to forage on anyway. Glad I'm a gardener it really helps off set my feed bill.

I'm out of eggs. But I know where some brown ones are. I now raise big Ol' Honkin' Bob Whites & Layed back Coturnix. Pray For Rain In Texas!

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I'm out of eggs. But I know where some brown ones are. I now raise big Ol' Honkin' Bob Whites & Layed back Coturnix. Pray For Rain In Texas!

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post #4 of 11

been looking for info like this.  i have 11 hens and a large garden. they free range for about 3 hrs every afternoon. i was wondering if i give  them a head of lettuce, or a bunch of kale a day is too much in addition to free feeding layer pellets?  being in south central florida, my garden is pretty full right now.   I only ocassionally give them cabbage leaves.  the swiss chard is growing too close to the fence and they run there every day to see if they can get some thru the fence.

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by flagirl View Post

been looking for info like this.  i have 11 hens and a large garden. they free range for about 3 hrs every afternoon. i was wondering if i give  them a head of lettuce, or a bunch of kale a day is too much in addition to free feeding layer pellets?  being in south central florida, my garden is pretty full right now.   I only ocassionally give them cabbage leaves.  the swiss chard is growing too close to the fence and they run there every day to see if they can get some thru the fence.



I would give them the kale not the lettuce. Kale has alot more nutritional value than lettuce. My girls won't touch lettuce.

 

I'm out of eggs. But I know where some brown ones are. I now raise big Ol' Honkin' Bob Whites & Layed back Coturnix. Pray For Rain In Texas!

Reply

I'm out of eggs. But I know where some brown ones are. I now raise big Ol' Honkin' Bob Whites & Layed back Coturnix. Pray For Rain In Texas!

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post #6 of 11

so it is not toooo much greens to give them a bunch of kale a day then?  Mine love the lettuce also  and i now have quite a few chopped heads since a rabbit found a way into the garden the other day.  

 

 


1 great husband, 1 old lab mix, 8 rr, 2 bo, 1 br


Edited by flagirl - 2/13/12 at 2:41am
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by flagirl View Post

so it is not toooo much greens to give them a bunch of kale a day then?  Mine love the lettuce also  and i now have quite a few chopped heads since a rabbit found a way into the garden the other day.  

 

 


1 great husband, 1 old lab mix, 8 rr, 2 bo, 1 br


I call the fall garden the salad garden because you eat alot of the leaves. The spring garden you mainly eat the fruit.In the winter there's not much for the chickens to forage on so I subsidise & feed them alot of greens from my garden. Then spring comes along & everything's green so now they can forage their own greens. During the summer I freeze the cucumbers, melons & such. It's real hot here so its a win win situation the fruit is good for them & it helps keep them cool. I do however have laying pellets 24/7 for them. Best advice is moderation because they need the protein from the laying pellets along with the veggies.

I free range alot in the summer & usually in the winter but this winter has been different too many hawks & I had to cull my roo. So the girls have been confined more. But come this spring when the trees get some leaves they will be ranged more. They can then forage their own greens & eat some bugs.Bugs are good because they are high in protein.
 

 

I'm out of eggs. But I know where some brown ones are. I now raise big Ol' Honkin' Bob Whites & Layed back Coturnix. Pray For Rain In Texas!

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I'm out of eggs. But I know where some brown ones are. I now raise big Ol' Honkin' Bob Whites & Layed back Coturnix. Pray For Rain In Texas!

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post #8 of 11

I am new to the chicken world. We only have 3 chicks and are probably going to add a couple more. Like another member said, our chickens will be in our suburban back yard and they will be pets. I was told by the person that we got the chicks from not to feed them tomatoes or any kind of citrus. Was this wrong?

1 husband, 2 sons and 2 silkies, 2 buff orpingtons

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1 husband, 2 sons and 2 silkies, 2 buff orpingtons

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post #9 of 11
There are a lot of different opinions on what and what not to feed them. Citrus is a red flag to some people on here. Some people say to stay away from it. Some people mention a study in Florida where it was fed to chickens and they were fine, but I can't remember if that was meat chickens, a laying flock, or something else. And I don't know what percentage of their overall food was citrus. I have not heard what in citrus is supposed to do to harm them.

Then you get a lot of people confused. The green potato skins contain a substance that is harmful to chickens and people. The green potato skins come from the potaotes being exposed to the sun. Regular potato skins are fine for chickens and us. But some people don't read the green in that and are adamant that all potato skins are bad for chickens. Nope. Just the green ones. I suspect that is what is happening with the tomatoes. I feed my chickens tomatoes all the time in the summer. It is not a problem. I have read that the tomato plant itself is bad for them, not the tomato fruit. The tomato plant is a member of the nightshade family, but the fruit is fine for them.

Then you have things like beans. Uncooked or undercooked beans contain a substance that is bad for them. Fully cooked beans are fine. So whether they are cooked or not can enter into it. The temperature you cook the beans changes that substance so they are OK, but the green potato skins do not change with normal cooking temperatures.

Then you have the issue of how much. Chickens are not normally going to drop dead at the first bite of something that is not good fo them. It takes a certain amount of "poisin" to do the job. I'll use apple seeds as an example. Like many fruit seeds, apple seeds contain cyanide. Cyanide is a deadly poison. Have you ever swallowed an apple seed? Then you swalowed cyanide. I have, yet I live. An apple seed does not contain enough cyanide to harm you or a chicken. Your chickens would have to eat a lot of apple seeds before they are in any danger. I have absolutely no problem with chickens eating apples and the apple seeds in my orchard. They won't get enough to hurt themselves. I throw apple cores with seeds on my compost pile and the chickens get them. But when I make apple jelly or apple sauce, I don't give them a huge pile of almost pure apple seeds. Would I kill my chickens by dumping a huge pile of apple seeds where they could get to them? Probably not ,but since I know apple seeds may be harmful to them, I take what I consider reasonable precautions.

Same thing is true of green potato skins or uncooked beans. One bite won't kill them. When I pull the old bean vines from my garden they still have some uncooked beans attached. I don't worry about those. The chickens won't get enough to harm themselves. But when I pick and sort my dried beans, I get a lot of rejects. I don't dump a huge pile of uncooked rejects where the chickens can get to them. When I sort a few dried beans just before I cook them and get a few rejects, these wind up on the compose pile where the chickens can find hem. Reasonable precautions, but don't obsess over it.

If you keep them contained and you provide all they eat, they need a balanced diet. Chicken feed provides that and should be the majority of what they eat. The rule of thumb is to only provide as treats what they can clean up in 15 to 20 minutes. Like most rules of thumb, this is very safe.

As far as I am concerned, it is all things in moderation. If you consistently feed the same thing as a treat, don't feed a lot of it. If you vary the things used as treats, then you can feed more. And by varying it, I don't mean cabbage one day and kale the next. Those are essentially the same thing. I mean varying between tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers,corn, bugs or worms, green stuff and whatever else I have.

So will tomatoes or citrus harm them? In moderation, I sincerely doubt it. In excess,possibly, but so will practically anything else.

Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought....Abraham Lincoln (Freedom carries responsibility)

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.....Judge Learned Hand  (The more sure your are that your way is the only right way, the more likely you are wrong.)

 

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

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Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought....Abraham Lincoln (Freedom carries responsibility)

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.....Judge Learned Hand  (The more sure your are that your way is the only right way, the more likely you are wrong.)

 

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

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post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7L Farm View Post

It seems like everything thats not laying pellets is classified as a treat.I grow organic veggies & feed my flocks something out of my garden everyday I don't call greens a treat I see them as a very healthy attribute especially in the winter when there's not much for them to forage on anyway. Then summer comes along & they have their greens because the grass is growing etc.so now I'm feeding them tomatoes most of the time cold because its so dang hot here in Texas. So, in a nut shell greens in the winter & Tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, & such in the summer. I don't see a problem with this.

Usually, when I pull up my winter garden I just pull the whole plant up & hang it in their run & they inhale it. Summer plants I don't feed to them just the fruit.

Would tend to agree with you but it's all relative. The question would be when does it stop being a treat and become a regular part of their diet? You give them stuff everyday so I guess that's considered part of their diet versus someone who gives them something infrequently I guess you could say it's a treat. For me I go by "chicken food" for leftover and scrap fruits and veggies,any stale bread or what have you. I was breading some pork cutlets for dinner so there was leftover egg so I cooked it up with some of the breadcrumbs for them. Some would call it a treat, to me it's chicken food. I think if you ate lobster or filet mignon every week you would not consider it a treat just dinner but if you ate it once year then I would gather some assume it's a treat. We can all agree that chicken feed is not cheap and do anything to lower the cost and feeding them something from the garden or store that has already been paid for with cash or sweat equity will help with that no matter what we call it.

"The difference between being involved and being committed is the same as the difference between eggs and bacon. The chicken is involved. But the pig is committed"  Anonymous

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"The difference between being involved and being committed is the same as the difference between eggs and bacon. The chicken is involved. But the pig is committed"  Anonymous

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