Can you give too many greens?

tommboy1973

In the Brooder
9 Years
Apr 8, 2010
93
0
29
Hidden Valley, AZ
My 10 chicks are 8 weeks old, and I am not free ranging them yet. Since they are confined to the coop/run, I throw a handful of spinach a couple times a day and would like to also throw a flake of alfalfa hay (they absolutely love it!) in for free choice greens. Is it ok to offer free choice? I know when they free range they eat grass, weeds etc "free choice". Any thoughts on this? Do I need to wait until they are older, and if so how old?
 

Beekissed

Free Ranging
13 Years
Feb 14, 2008
22,974
5,131
682
This world is not my home.
Shouldn't be a problem at all...give all the greens you can!
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D'Angelo N Va.

Songster
10 Years
Dec 28, 2009
2,551
13
181
as long as they have something else to eat...I really don't see a problem. I give my chickens wheel barrow loads of grass when i am weeding the flower beds..along with the stems of greens that i pick from the garden after putting the leaves in the pot for me...
 

digitS'

Crowing
13 Years
Dec 12, 2007
2,121
35
286
ID/WA border
D'Angelo N Va. :

as long as they have something else to eat...I really don't see a problem. I give my chickens wheel barrow loads of grass when i am weeding the flower beds..along with the stems of greens that i pick from the garden after putting the leaves in the pot for me...

I believe that this is true. Just continue to offer a balanced feed, free choice. In other words, don't think that you can replace a grain-based feed with greens.

Pullets at 8 weeks are becoming adventuresome in trying new foods. They should be able to stop themselves from eating too many greens and return to their feed when they need it.

A commercial feed has over 300 calories in about 1/4 pound of feed.

Lettuce has about 15 calories per 1/4 pound.

On a diet of only greens, your chickens would starve.

Steve​
 

tommboy1973

In the Brooder
9 Years
Apr 8, 2010
93
0
29
Hidden Valley, AZ
I do feed a chick grower crumble free choice also, don't want you guys to think I am starving my chickens!!
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t is funny how they act at new things, I tried to give them some cabbage instead of spinach today and they looked at me like I was trying to poison them!!

Also, off topic but... I have been adding electrolytes to their water since I read it is good to do that in times of heat stress (it has been over 110 here!) but a some info I read today said to give 3-4 days. Is it ok to give everyday while the heat is so bad?? Especially since it got hot really quick, they are all panting during the day. They are in shade and have a good breeze usually. I have tried placing frozen water bottles out for them to lay by which was suggested on here, but they haven't caught on to the idea yet.

Everything I know about chickens I learned here, thank goodness for BYC and wonderful people on the forums!!! Thank You!!!
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digitS'

Crowing
13 Years
Dec 12, 2007
2,121
35
286
ID/WA border
You are showing good concern, Tommboy, and now you are dealing with a serious problem: heat.

I don't know the answer to the question on electrolytes altho' I give my birds vitamins and electrolytes when there is a sign of illness. Usually, I'll continue for a couple of weeks but this hasn't been done for problems with heat. Still, I imagine the benefit would be much the same. You may want to ask this question over on the Emergencies/Diseases/Injuries and Cures forum.

Shade, ventilation, and readily available water is about all I know of to help reduce heat stress. We like a nice, cool salad &/or a Gatorade when it is very warm - probably the birds would appreciate something like that too. Seems like you are on the right track.

Steve
 

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