Advice: trying to get my girls to eat veggies&fruits

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by LaFemme Chikita, Sep 16, 2015.

  1. LaFemme Chikita

    LaFemme Chikita Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2015
    My girls won't eat any type of veggie or fruit( tried spinach,lettuce,pumpkin,apple,all the things I read they will like). They eat their feed,and three times a week wheat germ.They only like a certain feed and they dont care for chicken scratch or oyster shells. They will eat their own egg shells though. I'm trying to get them to venture out to other foods but they have no interest. Any advice?
  2. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Feed them less feed, they will catch on.
  3. chickmomma03

    chickmomma03 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2015
    North Carolina
    Keep offering in small amounts. Mine started off picky, and can still be picky, but they are expanding a little with time. Mine love fruits and veggies the most. They like a little bit of bread (small amount since it's really not good to have too much), a little pasta (cooked specifically for them), a little meat (lean cuts). Mine mostly only eat fresh fruit and veggies (I never do can, but have bought frozen). I don't give huge amounts because they're only suppose to get small amounts, and I break mine up throughout the day so they're not eating it all in 1 sitting.
  4. tlhere

    tlhere New Egg

    Aug 9, 2015
    Mine started with frozen peas on a very hot day, then cherry tomatoes. Now they will test taste most everything
  5. 7littlegirls

    7littlegirls Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2015
    Long Island NY
    watermelon.raisins & zucchini,that is what my picky girls eat
  6. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Mine eat leftovers. The only thing I pay for them to eat is feed; everything else would have gone to compost or trash. It's a symbiotic relationship.
  7. beginnergirl

    beginnergirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2015
    Pacific Nortwest
    To get my chickens to eat new foods, I've cut or grated them. Luckily if my top hen will try something, the others will. It usually takes mine a few days. At first they turned away from oatmeal and sunflower seeds. They would not eat a whole zucchini, but would eat it grated and then after I cut it. They eat the seeds first. Favs for my pullets are: grapes (I cut them at first and now to make more pieces), raisins, tomatoes, peas, corn, kale, papaya, cooked sweet potatoes, figs, blueberries. I think my girls have a sweet tooth [​IMG] but don't give too much fruit. They also ate rolled oats and barley before eating whole grains. I chopped pumpkin seeds at first.
    Still they do not like certain foods that I read other chickens love like apples. Each girl has favorites but all love raisins and grapes.
  8. chickmomma03

    chickmomma03 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2015
    North Carolina
    Quote: Mine love apples and applesauce (no cinnamon and unsweetened), but they will only eat them peeled and chopped up. I know they can't have the seeds, so it's not a big deal for me to peel and cut. :)
  9. LaFemme Chikita

    LaFemme Chikita Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2015
    Thanks for all the good advice. I'm going to try them all.
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Several years back I collected a yogurt cup full of corn ear worms when picking some of my corn for canning. I had a group of 10-week-old chicks roaming around so I dumped those corn ear worms on a bare patch of dirt near them. They looked at that worm pile very carefully. Slowly and gradually a couple of the really brave ones started to creep up on that worm pile. A worm wriggled!!! Run away!!! Run away!!!

    They didn’t run far and slowly they started to sneak up in those worms again. A worm wriggled!!! Run away!!! Run away!!!

    This repeated several times before a young cockerel got close enough to eat a worm. That’s all it took. That entire pile was gone in just a few seconds.

    I throw a lot of different stuff into the run, either kitchen scraps, fruit from my orchard, or stuff from my garden. Sometimes they eat it right up, even playing keep-away. Sometimes it stays there forever with them never touching it, including many things very high on the treats list. Often they ignore it at first but later come back and finish it off. Just keep offering that stuff to them and be patient. Either they will eventually eat it or they won’t.

    Other than splitting cucumbers or things like that so they can get to the insides I don’t do anything special to prep the food for them. I’ve seen them tear frogs and mice apart with their beaks to get them into pieces they can swallow. They are not going to have any problem ripping cabbage apart if they want to. Those beaks are deadly weapons.

    Apple seeds, plum pits, most fruit seeds have cyanide in them. If they eat one they are going to die! They are dead! They are dead! Though actually they are not. There is not enough cyanide in a seed like that to cause any problems. Poison is about dosage. I toss apple cores and sometimes whole but imperfect apples in the run all the time. They eat them, seeds and all. There is a plum tree in the run. More than once I’ve found plum pits in the gizzard when I butcher chickens. It doesn’t hurt them. If you make apple cider or apple butter and have a huge pile of apple seeds don’t feed those to the chickens. They probably won’t eat enough to harm themselves anyway but not giving them that opportunity is a reasonable precaution. But an occasional seed, not a problem at all.

    Practically everything we feed them as treats has something in it that could potentially harm them. Cabbage contains something that can harm their and your thyroid. But they and you cannot eat enough to cause harm unless cabbage is basically all you eat for a few weeks straight. White potatoes is another one that gets a bad reputation. They contain solanine which can cause problems, but a human would have to eat around 50 pounds or more at a sitting to do harm. Big as it is my stomach is just not that big. Chickens are not that big so they would not need to eat 50 pounds but their crop isn’t big enough for them to eat enough to harm themselves. Now green potatoes are on the do not feed list, either for humans or chickens. In the green potatoes the solanine is concentrated and should be avoided. But regular white potatoes, well the solanine is not what is going to harm you when you eat greasy French fries or a loaded baked potato.

    Feed this stuff in moderation and be patient. They will be OK. Really!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by