Chickens eating Silver Aspen leaves

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Gryphon, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. Gryphon

    Gryphon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 7, 2012
    Iowa
    My coop and pen are in the back yard where there's all sorts of trees which of course have dropped their leaves and the chickens are having a great time digging through them. I noticed that with certain leaves they were doing the "grab and thrash", I thought at first there might be bugs on them, but realized they were singling out the leaves with a white bottom, and will tear them apart and devour them. If I hold onto one, they all come running and snarf it down as if it were a treat. I'm pretty sure they're Silver Aspen leaves. Does anyone else have this experience with them? I haven't seen them going after any other leaves (there's Mulberry, Maple, Walnut, Oak, and a couple others I'm sure) and they're all about the same (some dried, some fresher).

    I'm not really worried about the leaves being harmful, just seems kinda odd.
     
  2. PrairieChickens

    PrairieChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Something about those leaves just tickles their tastebuds, I suppose. Our chickens mostly ignore tree leaves unless they're confined to the run and that's the only greenery they can reach, but they have been known to nibble at the leaves of our apple and pear trees if any sprout within easy reach (they don't seem to be worth the trouble if the chicken has to jump for them.).
     
  3. Gryphon

    Gryphon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 7, 2012
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    I'd think it was boredom, except they snatch up those leaves when free-ranging too. Kinda weird.
     
  4. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    My Coop
    My flock has been eating the dried grape leaves when they blow into the run. It must have something they want. They don't touch the oak leaves.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013

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