Are greens considered a treat?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by kingfrodo, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. kingfrodo

    kingfrodo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi ya'll. Fairly new to the back yard chicken keeping and have been reading and soaking up as much as possible.

    I know treats shouldnt be more than 10% of diet and wondered if the fresh kale and other greens I give are considered part of their "diet" or a treat? My chooks can't free range b/c of the preadators in the area.

    thanks in advance.

    ~Laura
     
  2. DMRippy

    DMRippy Pallet Queen Premium Member

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    I think the greens are fine. Treats to me are scratch and mealworms. Those you don't want to overdo. Greens are good for them and they would eat plenty if they were free ranging. I would LOVE to give my chickens greens everyday.... but how to feed 400 chickens greens has eluded me LOL
     
  3. kingfrodo

    kingfrodo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    oh my! yeah, I can see where that would be hard. I only have one roo and five pullets so a big bag of kale each week is a good six dollar investment. :)

    plus i'm weird and will go out and pluck grass by the handful for them as well.
     
  4. DMRippy

    DMRippy Pallet Queen Premium Member

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    I do that too. We will trim the grass around the coops and toss it in every once in awhile. They love it too.
     
  5. chicksurreal

    chicksurreal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chickens do free range and are constantly searching out greens. Grass and small tender plants are gone in a flash. Now that winter is finally upon us, I grow wheatgrass and other sprouts in trays for them. I have never considered it a treat for them, although they act like it is!
     
  6. Penny Hen

    Penny Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Alfalfa or Timothy pellets? That isn't fresh true....
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    The general idea is that you want the chickens to have a balanced diet. The proportions of protein, fat, fiber, salt, vitamins, minerals, and such need to be somewhat close to what they should have. You don’t have to be real precise. I’ve never seen a chicken see a grasshopper and say “No thanks. I’ve had enough protein for the day”. The prepared chicken feed is a balanced diet.

    That’s where the 10% of their daily diet comes in, not that something is bad for them, just that it upsets a balanced diet if they eat a whole lot of the same thing. Too much of a good thing is not necessarily a good thing. Think in terms of moderation. Also vary what you are feeding them a bit. Maybe some kale, then some corn, then some meal worms, then some cabbage; just not a constant diet of the same thing.

    Personally I like for the chickens to get things other than the prepared chicken feed. Mine get a real variety from the garden during growing season and a lot of different kitchen scraps now. I keep a special bowl on the kitchen counter for anything the chickens can eat and feed that to them once a day. That way they get a real variety daily.

    When chickens can forage they do eat a lot of stuff, but the variety of that depends on the quality of forage. If you have enough different grasses and weeds, grass and weed seeds, and plenty of creepy crawlies for them to catch, they can live off of that. That really helps your feed bill. If the best you can do is a manicured back yard with just one variety of grass that is never allowed to go to seed, they will still get a lot of nutrition and have a lot of fun in that. That’s better than a lot of chickens get.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2013
  8. sandman55

    sandman55 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One way that I tried many years ago (my chickens are free range now) I made a square frame about 6 inches/150mm high and covered it with chicken wire and then planted Lucerne in the frame. When the Lucerne grew through the chicken wire the chooks would hop on it and eat the tops.
     
  9. kingfrodo

    kingfrodo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I keep a bowl in the kitchen for just like you said. I remember my grandmother doing that and I throw yummy things in it all day and that is their afternoon snack. some days I don't cook or have scraps and so I give them a handful of kale or other green I have on hand. They do get a good variety but when I need to "buy" something it is usually kale or mustard greens from the grocery. They get their pellets in the morning and what every produce, scrap, or noodle surprise in the afternoon. It delights my heart to know when I walk out the back door towards the pen and say chick chick they ALL come running to the door to see what I have. sigh....is it possible to fall in love with a chicken???[​IMG]
     
  10. chicksurreal

    chicksurreal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes!!!
     

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