Do we live in a chicken snack paradise or not so much? How much can our chickens eat of what we've got to offer?

Jowsi002

Songster
Feb 6, 2020
58
163
106
Eastern Connecticut
They'll be getting pellets as well, but I'm curious to know how much chicken-friendly foods and treats we have around our house, etc. I do a lot of gardening, but also fermenting...and we have a toddler which I've found to mean plenty of food scraps for our current pets, like crackers and lots of fruit/cheese (he's totally not the messiest child in existence noo, we're raising a sharer, guys :rolleyes:)
For established plantbeds(all the ones I don't have to replant), we've got
Hostas, roses, lavender, daffodils, yarrow, catnip, thyme, oregano, chamomile, echinacea, mint, lavender, sweet woodruff, bee balm, tarragon, feverfew, marigolds, strawberries, blueberries, wild black and red raspberries, blackberries, marshmallow, amaranth, asparagus, borage, and fennel.
for the seasonal garden stuff, we'll usually plant
tomatoes, potatoes, corn, peas/beans, a variety of greens/lettuces, squashes, pumpkins, garlic, onion, cucumbers, carrots, clover(covercrop), sunflowers, basil, parsley and peppers(both spicy and sweet). Our chickens won't be in the garden unless I'm done harvesting but I wouldn't mind sharing goodies (and garden pests) with them!
We also have lots of weeds on our property like
Violets, dandelions, plantain, an insane amount of jewelweed, and an occasional pokeweed here and there...
I try to ferment veggies often, I usually have sauerkraut going year-round, and pickles in the summer. I also have ACV, ginger bug and kombucha brewing often.
Where we live also seems to be a huge bug paradise, so they won't have many struggles finding bugs around.
Our chicks are only 2 weeks old at this point so I'm just excited to see what they'll do/like/eat when we can start varying their diet.
Any tips? Anything I'm missing or need to keep away from them?
 

CindyinSD

All will be well, and that will be well is well.
Aug 3, 2018
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32,754
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Black Hills, South Dakota, USA
Oh you're gonna have some happy little biddies! Lucky girls!

Since you like fermenting, you might consider soaking/fermenting your chick food. I just put some in a bucket, add warm water, and let it sit--usually at least overnight. After a couple/three days it starts to smell like rising bread. (It's fairly cold in the garage--otherwise it would go faster.) Next time you leave a little bit in the bucket and add water. It goes faster then, of course. Don't let it be too sloppy though or they'll get their little faces all doughy.

I haven't found that my birds much like fermented veggies, though. Your experiences will be your own, though. All flocks are different!
 

CindyinSD

All will be well, and that will be well is well.
Aug 3, 2018
6,823
32,754
1,032
Black Hills, South Dakota, USA
Oh yes. I would make a bit dryer at first to get them used to the new texture. Sometimes they'll be scared of a new kind of food so you have to introduce it gradually. You may also want to start with a fresh mash and give them food from the same batch as it becomes more and more fermented. I give mine fermented from day one, so they eat it easily, but some people have trouble getting their unaccustomed birds to accept it.
 

FortCluck

Hatch-a-Long Queen
Sep 9, 2019
21,411
93,401
1,317
Central Virginia
My birds love any veggie, herb, and fruit I pull out of the garden. If it's peaches or anything with ours I remove those first. Mine will eat roses and marigolds when I cut them back. I eat plant based so I usually have pretty healthy food for my chickens if I have leftovers. Yesterday they had veggie spaghetti pasta and beans. I love sharing with my chickens. I feed mine Purina flock raiser with their egg shells on the side.

When I give scraps of any kind, I do it in the afternoon around dinnertime so I know they ate their feed first.
 

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