Can they really eat anything???

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Nuggetsowner:), Aug 29, 2007.

  1. Nuggetsowner:)

    Nuggetsowner:) Songster

    Aug 2, 2007
    I have been watching the posts on this site for quite a while now and have a very important question!! Can chickens really eat anything!! Maybe I am being too picky about what I am feeding my flock! They get only fresh fruits or veggies. Nothing that has ever been cooked. That and they get scratch and layers feed. I could be cutting down on the cost of my feed and getting rid of alot of other table scraps and what not if I knew that it would not hurt the girls to be eating it. Also right now I have 25 meat chickens that I could be supplementing their feed as well. That would help keep the cost down alot!! Thanks in advance!
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Not anything. They can't digest potato peels and someone said avocado wasn't good, but I can't confirm that since I hate avocado anyway and they won't be getting any from me, LOL. I wouldn't give them alot of sweets or very salty foods, but pretty much anything else they can have. They may not get the protein they need for optimal performance if you only feed them table scraps, but they can have them. I did hear a saying, "The better for basket weaving, the worse for chicken feeding." That means things that are way too fibrous can impact their crop.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2007
  3. FluffyChickenMama

    FluffyChickenMama Songster

    Jun 13, 2007
    I cant say about the meat birds because I think those should be fed pretty strick. But my chicken eat almost anything thats not old or moldy or rotten etc. They had left over mashed potatoes the other day from the fridge. Its so hot here they loved it. I dont give mine meat and I watch about alot of onion and garlic but other than that they get most anything thats left over (but we dont have alot of left overs.. lol)
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I give my chickens all the table scraps and left overs from the kitchen. Meat included. They pick though it and nibble on what they want to eat. They also free range though as far as they are willing to walk. I find they still like to eat a good amount of layer feed as it contains the vitamins and minerals necessary for health.

    Meat birds on the other hand shouldn't be given too much "junk" food since they are young their whole live... and you'll probably have much slower growing birds otherwise. Mine at least aren't that interested in treats, just gobble pellets.

    In short, give them free choice balanced feed, and let them pick and choose through their treats. They shouldn't live off treats though.
  5. 6chix

    6chix Songster

    Jul 24, 2007
    Western Ma
    I have found mine will eat just about anything except citrus. They have grown very partial to small frogs and baby snakes they find while freeranging on the 6 acres. One of them finds a frog and its off to the races for all of them trying to take it away:)
  6. Nuggetsowner:)

    Nuggetsowner:) Songster

    Aug 2, 2007
    Thanks so much for all your knowledge! It is great to have such a wonderful resource as this!! My girls will start to get small quantities of new treats now that I know they can eat more of a variety !! They will thank you all too I am sure!!!

    I will be more limited with the meat chickens and maybe just stick to the herbs and veggies and fruits that they get now along with their regular feed. Once again, Thanks alot!! [​IMG] [​IMG]
  7. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    Can they eat bell peppers? I haven't tried that yet, and I have some seeds and trimming from peppers I could give them.

    Don't see why not ... I used to feed my cockatoo jalapeƱo peppers and she loved them!

  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Sure they can! Mine eat them.
  9. Rowanm77

    Rowanm77 In the Brooder

    Jul 19, 2007
    Blairstown, NJ
    Anything I used to throw in the compost pile gets tossed to my chickens. They pick through and eat what they feel like and the rest composts quickly enough i the yard. I am a vegetarian so they don't get any meat scraps, just veggies and fruit.
  10. NJfarmer

    NJfarmer Songster

    Jul 28, 2007
    New Jersey and Maine
    can they drink anything besides water????

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