Are my chickens getting enough greens?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Attila the Hen, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. Attila the Hen

    Attila the Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 6, 2010
    Blue Ridge GA
    I live in the forest and have no grass at all. I feed lettuce and other greens when available, but I am wondering if I am giving them enough when there is no grass available.
    I would appreciate any comments on this.
    thank you
  2. ChickenAl

    ChickenAl Diagnosis...Chicken-Headed

    Jun 5, 2011
    Putnam cty, NY
    As long as you are not feeding iceberg lettuce, they should be ok. Iceberg has almost no nutritional value.

    Cabbage, food leftovers and anything that can be grown in a small garden would be good. Also, rehydrated alfalfa cubes that are broken up helps. Weeds are really good if you have any of those around. Be careful of poisonsous plants. Feed them the greens from weeds when they have already eaten and they will not likely devour any that you are unsure of. They pretty much stay away from Noxious weeds if they are not starving.

    If you can get greens from neighbors or supermarkets getting ready to dump the limp stuff, that is good too. Just don't take anything that is moldy.

    Hope that helps.
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I agree with ChickenAl.

    They don't grow well in shade but I constantly scatter seed of turnips, field peas, vetch, clover, alfalfa, wheat and oats everywhere the chickens can go - in the woods, fields etc..
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Since you have only 4 hens, I will mention that one VERY labor-intensive thing you can do is buy a bale of alfalfa hay. Put it in your shed and cut up with scissors little by little for snacks for them. They love the "fines" from alfalfa hay too (what's left at the bottom).

    You can remove some flake by flake and give them tiny amounts of it, after cutting to 2-3 inch lengths. You don't want to give longer than 2-3" lengths, since it can cause impacted crop.

    This will last a very long time, which is good because in my area a bale of alfalfa hay is $17. My chickens wouldn't touch alfalfa meal when I tried that mixed in their food- they acted like it wasn't food at all. I had to pour it out under my fruit trees.

    My chickens LOVE alfalfa hay- especially the leaves. Alfalfa is supposed to be around 18% protein from what I have read, and is very rich in nutrients. This is what I would do if I had no grass and only 4 hens. [​IMG]

    Oh and your rooster boy!! Sorry didn't mean to leave him out!!!
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2011

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