Alfalfa for chickens...and what about impacted crop?

Chicks Galore3

Artistic Bird Nut
8 Years
Dec 16, 2011
8,139
204
326
Iowa
My grandpa had a small alfalfa field on our property and i was wondering if my chickens would eat the alfalfa? And if they did, would they get impacted crop? I heard that alfalfa/certain organic hay is good for chickens, but again, WHAT ABOUT IMPACTED CROP!
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How do you 'fix' impacted crop?
 

Silkie Chick

Chirping
8 Years
Jan 14, 2012
342
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A Beautiful little homestead.
Impacted crop is a relatively easy fix, so long as you can catch your chickens. If they have impacted crop just gently massage their crop until the swelling goes down. This has happened to my chickens a few times, and it isn't very serious.
 

cafarmgirl

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 24, 2009
5,521
612
327
California, central valley
I have tossed flakes of alfalfa hay in my coops/runs for years and never, ever had an impacted crop. The chickens will gobble up the little leaves and leave the course stems. Fine, long stemmed grass hays are more dangerous and can cause impaction if the chickens get to stuffing themselves with it.
 

jfoley

In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 21, 2011
52
0
39
i feed mine alf. cubes that i soak in water till it's like mush. about a lb. of cubes 2 times a wk. 4 21 cks. the love it.
 

bestusnestus

Hatching
8 Years
Jan 16, 2012
9
1
9
I like the cubes also. Yes, soaking them is always a good idea, but wait, there is more . . . Sometimes I use alfalfa pellets instead and add beet pellets, oats (regular,rolled, even quick oats work) let that soak in very hot water this time of year. About the time the water gets lukewarm I add birdseed and any veggie/table scraps from the kitchen. I sometimes throw in any sugar source to sweeten it a bit. You can add just about anything you want. This is mostly a winter practice to give them something warm and green.

Rena
 

TwoCrows

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Mar 21, 2011
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Alfalfa leaves are extremely healthy for chickens and many times is mixed in with feed and treats. It is high in protein and minerals. Even has calcium for hard egg shells. I have a constant supply of alfalfa flakes on hand for my girls. Generally they will not eat those big stems and are really only after the leaves. I have never had an impaction with any of my chickens. I highly recommend it for supplement, especially when they can not free range or there are no fresh leafy greens growing yet.
 

Chicks Galore3

Artistic Bird Nut
8 Years
Dec 16, 2011
8,139
204
326
Iowa
Thanks so much!
I told my mom that they like oats, she was wondering what kind and if we had to spend a lot on oats. But i don't think quick oats are expensive...at all
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centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,451
18,017
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
I allow my free-range birds access to forages that includes alfalfa as well as other plant types. Typically no problems are realized. Exceptions seem to involve two factors. First is inadequate amounts of grit in diet. Second is a period of time where birds do not have access to vegetable matter. When I see the crop bound problem involving hay or other dried vegetable matter, the birds had gone for a many days or weeks without such in diet. When the hay became available they consumed too much too fast. They also were not exposed to adequate amounts of grit prior to consuming the hay. The grit is needed to process such coarse materials.
 

7L Farm

Songster
9 Years
Jul 22, 2010
4,635
86
231
Anderson, Texas
I've heard alot of people comment on Alfalfa. However, wouldn't greens, collards, kale be just as good for them. I raise these & really don't wanna buy more feed for the chooks.
 

MANNA-PRO

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