Can Chickens Really Eat Most Everything?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by TexasChickenDance, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. TexasChickenDance

    TexasChickenDance In the Brooder

    Jan 16, 2010
    Central Texas
    I'm brand new to this board and we are getting 6 Rhode Island Red girls tomorrow morning....really excited. After reading some of the Feeding Forum, it looks to me you can feed chickens anything, even meat. I'm so surprised. Should I feed them meat in the coop or wait until they are acclimated to us and the area and feed the meat outside the coop?

  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Hi and welcome.
    I keep my feed and water in the coop. Treats, including meat and anything else leftover that I give to the chickens I feed outside. About the only things I've never fed my chickens - chili (although they'd probably love it) and anything that's heavily salted. They can't process salt well. They thoroughly cleaned a turkey carcass at Thanksgiving and a ham bone at Christmas.
    First time you see them catch a mouse or a frog and rip it to pieces playing keepaway, you'll realize just how non-picky they are.
    ETA: I also have two waterers outside.
    You'll probably want to keep your girls locked in their coop for about a week so they learn that the coop is home. That's if you're not using an attached run. With a run, a couple days in lock up should do it.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2010
  3. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    They'll eat almost anything.
  4. vstoltzfus

    vstoltzfus Songster

    Aug 10, 2009
    Lancaster County, PA
    I feed my girls everything. I even fed them candy corn leftover from Halloween just to see if they'd eat it. They did! (But I'm not saying it was actually good for them...)

  5. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    The only things I avoid are heavily salted items.

    And even salty things like ham are fine in moderation.
    I too always feed treats outside in the yard. They come running whenever I come out the back door.

    I use the birds to clean out the fridge of veggies and things that the dog doesn't really like [​IMG] Burned food, freezer burnt food, or stuff that we are tired of is fine.
    Just be sure that nothing has gone *bad* NO mold or anything nasty like that!
  6. b.hromada

    b.hromada Flock Mistress

    [​IMG] and [​IMG] from S. Florida! Glad you joined us! And yes, those chickens sure do eat MOST anything!
  7. lovetocook

    lovetocook In the Brooder

    Mar 12, 2009
    Washington, NJ
    They will eat almost anything & that sometimes is a problem cause they eat things that are definitely not good for them (styrofoam, paper, etc.) But you will find that they love your kitchen scraps treats meat, fish and veggies too. Enjoy them, they are such a blast:celebrate:lau:clap

  8. pkeeler

    pkeeler Songster

    Jul 20, 2008
    You can probably feed them anything. I don't feed them chicken, that is just not right [​IMG] Don't feed them eggs that they can recognize. They don't get much meat around here because the dog would disown me if I passed him up [​IMG]
  9. crosbygroup

    crosbygroup Songster

    One of the best things about my girls is - They love my cooking! No matter what it is.

  10. briteday

    briteday Songster

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    We used to put out 3 garbage cans for pick up once each week, for three adults here. That's a lot of garbage. Now that we have chickens, a compost pile, and optional recycling bins to use...we're down to less than one garbage can per week for the same three adults. Anything edible, maybe not good enough for humans but not moldy, goes to the chickens. Anything not good for chickens (moldy, citrus peelings, coffee grounds, ...) goes to compost pile. Glass, plastic, and paper goes to recycling. I hardly have to empty the kitchen garbage anymore. Our true garbage now is mainly things that are not safe such as bathroom paper waste and rogue packaging that does not fit into the compost or recycling programs like furnace filters. My husband no longer dreads dragging out the garbage on Monday mornings before leaving for work!

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