Best greens for chickens in the winter?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by greggooo, Nov 30, 2017.

  1. greggooo

    greggooo Happy Chickens!

    Aug 29, 2017
    Woodstock, NY
    My Coop
    They can run around and find their own all spring through fall, but what's the best to give in the winter? I keep reading different views. Spinach, but not much; Kale, but not too much; cabbage, but mine have no interest in it.....
  2. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Never use spinach to Birds it blocks the body from absorbing calcium..I give Alfalfa hay to scratch through..Broccoli, mixed veggies thawed..Peas...I do not give my Chickens much other than their feed..They still come out and find green grass under the snow..
    Smuvers Farm, SueT and greggooo like this.
  3. SueT

    SueT Free Ranging

    May 27, 2015
    SW MO
    Mine do like cabbage, they also like certain weeds like dandelion and henbit that stay green all winter, but we are further south than you. I give them the outer romaine leaves that we discard, those are their least favorite.
    greggooo likes this.
  4. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Crowing

    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    Besides the obvious kitchen scraps, a small bale (50#) for $10 from the feed store will last 10 hens a month. It will provide hours of entertainment as well as extra protein and calcium.
  5. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    I have 8 Chickens and a Bale lasts all winter...I only toss out a flake every once in awhile or it gets rancid and poop covered..
  6. Morrigan

    Morrigan Free Ranging

    Apr 9, 2014
    I've been giving a little alfalfa to mine this winter. I bought the little dried cubes you see in the rabbit/hamster section and ferment them with their feed. I don't use a whole lot (one small cube per 4 gallons of FF), but I've notice that the yolks have gotten back that nice golden color they get in the spring when there is more greenery sprouting in the yard.
  7. Crooked Chicken

    Crooked Chicken Crowing

    Aug 12, 2017
    Mexico, MO
    Whatever you choose to give them, it should only be a small percentage of their diet. If you are using a good feed it should provide all of the daily needs.

    I save my kitchen scraps (never mold or slimy) and purchased. Things they seem to like are cabbage, broccoli, green onions, cilantro, tomatoes, lettuce not so much, sweet potato, acorn squash, mashed hard boiled eggs, cucumber, peppers of any kind including seeds.

    I have a bunch of mini pumpkins that I used for fall decorations. I quartered some and baked them in the oven (drizzled with water and covered with foil to prevent drying out). They love those and the seeds too.
  8. Hen Pen Jem

    Hen Pen Jem Crowing

    Sep 19, 2017
    Southern California
    Hello greggooo,

    No grass here in Southern California, and my chickens have pecked, just about all things green, out of existence!

    I buy a bale of alfalfa hay, and they get a flake every few weeks.

    I also, give them fresh greens from my vegetable garden. I grow Swiss and Rainbow chard, kale, mustard greens in the spring and early Summer, some collard. But, they really love turnip tops! They don't care for green cabbage, but really like purple cabbage.

    God Bless! :caf
  9. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    greggooo likes this.
  10. rebrascora

    rebrascora Free Ranging

    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    Mine get a bunch of perpetual spinach from the garden almost every day with no shell quality issues and lovely dark orange yolks..... although no eggs at all at the moment since the old girls are all moulting. They get an occasional cabbage or lettuce but spinach is the big favourite.

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