Best Daily Green For Chickens?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ClareScifi, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Songster

    Mar 30, 2011
    After reading some posts in this forum about spinach and kale being bad for chickens and especially ducks, due to its oxalate content, I've been hesitant to feed it to my hens, even though it's their very favorite green.

    So can anyone recommend other greens that would be perfectly safe to feed them on a daily basis? I give them arugula a lot, and they like it, too, but I'm sure they are probably getting tired of it.

    They don't like most lettuces.

    They will peck a hung-up whole cauliflower clean in a few days, though they don't really care for cauliflower lying on the ground or broccoli florets. Parsley, cilantro, and watercress were not well received.

    It seems they want spinach. I can't find any conclusive research stating it is harmful. I remember when the theory went around about 5 years or so ago that spinach was bad for humans. But has this pretty much been debunked or not? I don't want to do anything to hurt the chickens.

  2. ChickenAl

    ChickenAl Diagnosis...Chicken-Headed

    Jun 5, 2011
    Putnam cty, NY
    Ours love dandelions. Don't even have to cultivate them, just pick them off the lawn. As long as you are not using chemical fertilizers or herbicides/pesticides they are great, and nutritious too.

    Cabbage is good, and most weeds are even good to give them if they don't free range.
  3. Alethea

    Alethea Songster

    May 23, 2011
    I'm new in the chicken world and had not heard that kale bad for them. Our chicks get kale frequently and have been fine. They seem to most green things, but not celery or the lighter colored lettuce. I gave them cabbage one day and they loved it and the next day they had abnormal poops, so I'm not giving them cabbage any more.
  4. ninabeast

    ninabeast Songster

    Apr 10, 2011
    Upstate New York
    I'd like to know more about spinach, too. I've been giving mine frozen chopped spinach on hot days.

    In addition to the dandelion flowers, mine go crazy for dandelion leaves, which I cut up for them in manageable strips. And do NOT be in the way when I throw hosta leaves in the run!

    I have also given them left overs from the bok choy in the garden. They like the flowers especially.

  5. CacklingCarolyn

    CacklingCarolyn In the Brooder

    Apr 25, 2011
    Louisville, Ky.
    I have been giving mine cubed alfalfa. I soak it until it is soft and they love it.
  6. PippyChicken

    PippyChicken Songster

    Jul 2, 2009
    Mine like grass.. [​IMG]
  7. peterlund

    peterlund Songster

    Jan 29, 2010
    MA Cranberry Country
    Quote:Ditto. They prefer to raid my garden, but they do like grass.....

  8. Crabby Chicken

    Crabby Chicken In the Brooder

    Mar 26, 2011
    they have shredded all my hosta......and both my neighbors [​IMG] apparantly they like it....alot
  9. Erica

    Erica Songster

    Dec 5, 2010
    Everything in moderation! Spinach is perfectly fine in moderation. So are kale, cauliflower and cabbage. Over time, the brassicas like cabbage can deplete iodine. Remember too most plants have some kind of toxin; alfalfa for instance (a good feed in moderation).

    Grass is a fabulous daily green but best if young and tender (higher protein). I agree with the dandelion comment, they're terrific (and high in calcium). Chickweed is a real favourite with chickens, and so is milk thistle.

    And apart from 'everything in moderation', the other useful adage is 'variety is the spice of life'... A bit of this, a bit of that... Everything to its season... There now I think I've covered all the cliches of relevance.

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