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Alfalfa for chickens

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Dannee, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. Dannee

    Dannee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2011
    Reno, Nevada
    Hi all....I was told by someone yesterday who said she raised chickens for years....that I should feed my chickens scratch and alfalfa instead of Oyster shells.......when they get older...any views on this? Let me know ok?
  2. felidaet

    felidaet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2008
    Vancouver, Wa.
    Scratch is chicken candy. Don't given them too much. It can make them fat. This would not serve as a replacement for Oyster shell. I don't know anything about feeding them Alfala. The purpose of the oyster shell is to provide calcium for stronger egg shells. Oyster shell is cheap. I can get a 50 lb bag for less than $10.00. I have 33 birds and a 50lb bag will last many months, maybe a year. During the winter when they are not laying very many eggs that don't consume much of it. Right now all of them are laying and they are consuming more but a little bit goes a long way.
  3. BellevueOmlet

    BellevueOmlet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    Alfalfa has a lot of vitamin K which helps keep calcium in bones. It does not provide calcium directly but does help it absorb so I would still recommend oyster shell.
  4. Dannee

    Dannee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2011
    Reno, Nevada
    Thank you so much! I also just posted pics of my babies...any guesses as to the sexes? Let me know....thanks again!
  5. KZ

    KZ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 9, 2010
    Fountain, Colorado
    I did not realize until I read this, then did some online research, that alfalfa is a good source of calcuim. We grow alfalfa, so my chickens and other fowl always have it and like it very much. I give them layer feed and scratch and try to suppliment with some crushed oyster shell when I think of it, but I admit I am not good about remembering to suppliment with the oyster shell. They have had no problems with eggs or shells - probably because of all the access to alfalfa. I love it when I accidently do something right!

  6. Dannee

    Dannee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2011
    Reno, Nevada
    Your funny:) Thank you...so I will give Alfalfa in addition too their feed and oyster shell....did you look at my babies? any guesses as to the sexes?
  7. OHGrandma

    OHGrandma Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 26, 2011
    Alfalfa leaves are also high in protein. Top quality alfalfa hay will be 22-25% protein, with most of the protein in the leaves. Giving a chicken free choice alfalfa & scratch would let the chicken balance her own diet.
  8. SunnyDayz

    SunnyDayz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2010
    Sunny FL
    My hens love alfalfa! I noticed that when they have fresh alfalfa, their eggs are richer and the color of the yolk is deeper orange. They love scratching in it too.

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