Cheap or free treats

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Amyh, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. Amyh

    Amyh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 11, 2010
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    I just got my chickens about a week ago. I have been researching chickens for many months, but am having so much fun with actually owning them.

    I feed them medicated chick starter and some treats. Problem is that I cannot afford to buy them special treats, so they are only going to get our waste. For instance, I got a bad batch of corn, so I've been giving them some corn on the cob that we weren't going to eat. I also got a quarter of a watermelon from my mom that she let get mealy on the outside, so I gave them the outside pieces and some of the rind from the good pieces. I've been doing apple cores, banana peels, veggie peels (except potatoes) and other leftovers from fruit, sandwiches, meals, etc.

    What other treats do you give your flock that are basically free? I had read that acorns are great for chickens, so I plan to do that in the Fall when they are plentiful on our property. I also plan to free range the birds soon... have to get the beagle to understand these are pets not hunting subjects.... I've seen some trees on my property that have seed pods hanging from them, so I was wondering if I can give the birds the seed pods? I thought they might be good for them, but not sure....

    What else do you frugal peeps do for treats?
     
  2. americancowboy

    americancowboy Out Of The Brooder

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    The best free treats are ants, crickets, and any other bugs in the yard. If you can let them free range then that would be a great treat but section off a part to not let your beagle near them! Also if you have a garden any old vegtibles or fruits are good. Oh and also lawn clippings if you have those and you dont fertilize your yard.
     
  3. Mrs. Feathers

    Mrs. Feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2010
    They love dandelion greens too....good for the chickens and you get your weeding done at the same time.
     
  4. Mrs. Feathers

    Mrs. Feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2010
    Oh and [​IMG]
     
  5. kla37

    kla37 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chickens love leaves from my bloody dock plants. They grow really quickly here and it's a good way to get rid of extra i don't add in salads.
     
  6. Amyh

    Amyh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:What is a bloody dock plant? I've never heard of that...?

    I noticed you are in NC! I am right down the road in Graham!! Are you by any chance a mommy I know from another forum?
     
  7. bywaterdog

    bywaterdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Amyh,

    How old are your chicks? If I understand your posting about 1 week? This is a tad bit young to start giving treats, the medicated starter is fine right now as their only food. Wait a few weeks then you will find out that they will eat ANYTHING and EVERYTHING.


    Good luck with your girls.
     
  8. Amyh

    Amyh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 11, 2010
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    They are actually 2 and 3 months... is that okay for treats? They seem to like them...

    The breeder told me to continue the chick starter for another 2 months. Is that right? I'm going to buy some feed today, so any advice is appreciated!
     
  9. bywaterdog

    bywaterdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Amyh,

    Oh yes, 2-3 months old chickens do love their treats. Cooked rice, pasta, veggies, just about anything that your family eats will be consumed with lust. Ramen nodles(6 for a buck) are a fun treat, just don't add the seasoning packet...too much salt. Chickens can not have much salt as it is bad for them.

    Just the weeds from your yard will give them a treat.
     
  10. swordgeek

    swordgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 23, 2010
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    My kids are on a tear this summer weeding the yard to feed the girls. It's funny - I could never get them to weed for anything before, even if I offered to pay them! But mention that their precious babies love greens, and they're off on a mission. I can't keep a veggie garden going here (woodchucks and other pests) or they'd get cast-offs there as well.

    The birds get just about anything we don't finish eating, plus whatever is looking past its prime (but still good). And man, do they love bacon... And bugs of any sort - though mine don't much like ants. It's amazing watching them chase tiny leopard frogs around the yard (though I feel bad for the frogs) while they're out and about. They rips the poor guys apart and devour them. When they catch something bigger, like a full-size frog or toad, and once a mouse, they fight over it and tear it apart further. Yikes. They're usually so docile!

    Another thing I've done is picked up fresh greens, really ripe bananas, and day-old breads at the supermarket. If I get there early enough, they sell the stuff that isn't quite as crisp as it ought to be for basically nothing, just to get the shelf space back. The chickens LOVE this. It's normally good enough that we can eat it as well, so it's not like I'm giving them spoiled food. If I don't see the rack with the day-old produce on it, I'll ask the produce guys and mention it's for my chickens, and they often scare something up for the birds.
     

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