What a great idea with the eggs/veggies/leftovers! I might have to try that!
They can and usually will eat meat...including chicken. Cut it up in relatively small pieces for them if it's dense like steak and make sure it's not overly seasoned...it's a great way to get more protein in their diet. Marrow is great...most of them love it.
I'd recommend some oats...it's a decent cover crop. You can cut before the seeds are all the way ripe...they have a milky liquid inside and they like it...or wait till they've dried and just cut the top and toss it in...mine love it! I just cut the tops and later when the stalks are dried, I cut them for a little extra bedding straw.
Clover is also great...and it's a perennial...you can harvest it, leave the roots and it'll come again. Alfalfa is like that too...if you harvest it just after it blooms, you can get 2 or 3 cuttings a year off it. I'm definitely putting in a few patches of that this spring...in fact, I might put some in this fall and let it sprout and then rest over the winter for fresh greens in the spring.
Chickweed is another fave of chickens...hence the name, LOL. Gonna plant some of that in the spring as well.
Another thing I put in this spring was comfrey...again for herbal concoctions...turns out the chickens love it! It can't be given too often cuz it can cause the runs. The leaves are HUGE and I give them one or two about once a week or so.
You can also put in some wheat or other type of grains.
Mine are nuts for the little grape tomatoes...most of the ones off my plant go into their run for them...we keep the larger ones to eat.
I have lemon grass and fennel growing, but mine didn't like either of them. Cucumbers and zucchini are big hits with our girls. We have both zucchini and the little yellow squash plants and we can all share the produce. These are also easily cubed and frozen for treats later on.
I'm also going to put in several sunflowers for them next year...will have to net them to keep the neighborhood birds out, tho. I'll probably plant some runner beans and let them grow up the stalks. I haven't tried green beans with the girls (we like them too much), but they like pinto beans. All beans need to be cooked first of course, but I figure it won't take up any extra room, and cooked dried legumes provide a goodly amount of cheap, healthy protein.
Would love to hear anyone else's suggestions for stuff to grow.