Grass for Chickens-Taking a look at the natural health benefit provided by this everyday green
We all know that fresh grass is good for chickens. However, grass is actually more nutritional to chickens than you may think. First of all, eggs from hens who eat grass will have healthier, darker egg yolks, a better hatch rate and will taste better. Grass also meets all a chicken's protein needs in the form of amino acids. For example, ryegrass has a 11-16% protein contact which makes it an excellent food choice for chickens in need of protein.
Amazingly, grass provides approximately one quarter of a chicken’s daily nutrient requirements resulting in them eating less feed. Therefore, you will spend less money paying for feed. Grass is high in protein, iron and vitamins E and C.
You may want to go and cut all the grass you can for you flock with this new information. However, there are some things to be carful of when allowing your flock to eat grass. Make sure it’s not treated with any chemicals or pesticides. Also, if you watch your chickens free range you will notice that they only eat the tops of the grass blade. The reason for this is because if they eat the entire blade, they risk the chance of crop impaction. So when harvesting grass for them, avoid giving them long, thick pieces. Be sure you only feed grass blade pieces no smaller than 1" and never just grab a handful of grass and throw it to your flock.
Do not worry if you give your flock some weeds along with the grass. Some weeds like alfalfa will cause hens' egg yolks to be darker in color because of the extra pigments.
(Dandelions are possibly the best weed for chickens. They are filled with vitamins A, B, C, E, K and contain iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and lots of calcium.)
Here are some safe weeds to feed your flock
(NEVER feed buttercup to chickens. It can kill them.)
Here are weeds and plants to stay away from (Note that most chickens will not eat plants they know are bad for them but it's still good to be safe)
St. John's Wort
If fed correctly grass and weeds will provide you chickens with plenty of nutrients and even reduce feed costs!
Feel free to PM me with any questions.