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Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by zebra2u, Aug 31, 2014.
Can I feed my girls borage? I have some that is growing wild.
Thanks for you help!!
Yes, provided it's not been sprayed with anything and provided you're sure you've got borage and not a similar plant.
It's pretty hairy, my chooks would eat the flowers but not the leaves, though the larger livestock ate the leaves. Very good for a lot of things especially the heart.
It is very hairy and prickly, with blue leaves. The bees love it. I compared it to several websites on borage and the plants all have the same characteristics. Will the prickly leaves hurt them? I think I will pass on feeding it to my girls and just compost it. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question about this plant. It is a wonderful plant for bees. I am going to grow a small patch just for the bees this spring.
As far as I know there are some very lookalike plants, but nothing fatal. They generally don't want to eat the leaves, I expect they're too prickly.
I don't know if it would harm them but doubt it, after all they eat many genuinely prickly or spiny things without harm (unhulled oats and wheat, snakes and lizards and rodents, spiders, some other prickly plants, etc)... I think it's just unpleasant in their mouths.
If you wanted to use it in their feed drying it out then crumbling it into a soaked grain mix would probably be very enthusiastically received, but do whatever you feel comfortable with.
Just be aware it is very invasive and tends to drop seed for more plants. I planted it for my bee hives last year and this year it seems to be popping up everywhere.
Thank you Chooks4life for the wonderful suggestion!! I think I will do that! I will hang dry them and add to yogurt. I don't know what a soaked grain mix is so yogurt it is. You take care and thanks again for the suggestion of drying. I would never have thought of that!
Thank you Jonalisa for the information on the plant. I didn't see anywhere about how invasive it was. We moved in a house that these plants sprang up everywhere! I took some and planted in a flower bed to see what they were and discovered borage. They are very invasive and I will very careful about cultivating the plant. I try to live in harmony with the land and the bees love this plant so I am going to provide what I can for them. And I will keep in mind our conversation and be careful!
Soaked grain mix is just coarse grain mix that's been soaked, so usually things like red sorghum, corn, wheat, barley, millet, sunflower seeds, etc. Soaking it overnight causes the nutrients to become much more bioavailable to the chooks so less wastage occurs, otherwise a fair amount of it passes straight through their system undigested.