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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

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    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?
    Thanks
     
  2. felidaet

    felidaet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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!

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Dannee

    Dannee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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

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    Jan 26, 2011
    Ohio
    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

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    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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