Feeding chicks weeds?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by violamama, Mar 27, 2016.

  1. violamama

    violamama Chirping

    51
    4
    56
    Feb 6, 2016
    NW Oregon
    Ours mixed flock is about 5 weeks old. I gave them a shovelful of sod the other day and they seem to like playing around on it.

    Today I pulled a million weeds from a flower bed. Mostly creeping buttercup I think, and some dandelion.

    Can I toss a bunch of these to the chicks? Do folks do that with their chickens? Are there weeds to avoid or will the chickens know what to leave alone?

    These are our first chicks so there's no broody hen teaching them, if that matters.

    Thanks!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     

  2. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    13,308
    8,583
    642
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    It's up to you to know which weeds could be poisonous. Most aren't but then it only takes one to kill. The best thing is to only give them weeds you recognize as being safe, like dandelions and grass. The sod is an excellent choice.

    A search on the internet would be a wise thing. I believe there are plant lists on BYC search, too.
     
  3. violamama

    violamama Chirping

    51
    4
    56
    Feb 6, 2016
    NW Oregon
    Thanks! I will search here tonight.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  4. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Songster

    1,965
    293
    151
    Feb 7, 2016
    Saint Louis, MO

    Oh gosh yes! My chicks have been getting a big basket of weeds everyday since I moved them outside. They get all excited when they see me coming with it. Gives them something to scratch around it. The dandelion leaves are an especial favorite. I don't think I've ever enjoyed this particular garden chore more now that I have such an appreciative crowd!
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Rozzychick

    Rozzychick Chirping

    105
    12
    56
    Apr 22, 2016
    I'm looking for a thread where someone might have done a good job of posting pictures. Mine love clover and dandelions, but we have plenty of weeds and before I randomly try other ones I thought I'd see if it was documented here.
     

  6. Typical weeds that you mentioned, bind-weed, dandelions, and such, are great forage for your birds. As long as you are not poisoning the yard...give those to the birds.

    The best thing I ever did with my flock...was open the door to the run, and leave it open. 4years later, I have a lush green lawn, no bind-weed, no dandelions...well not in the backyard.

    The front yard is a different story.

    [​IMG]

    If you would some great ideas how to incorporate your small home flock of layers with your landscape...let me reccomend this:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    26,972
    24,328
    837
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
    This thread got me doing a little research. I was under the impression that bindweed and members of the buttercup family were poisonous. So... I did a little search. Found out that bindweed is an edible. However, the reading on creeping buttercup left me thinking that's one plant that I'd not deliberately feed to penned birds, unless cooked first. As far as tossing random weeds into the chick pen or the adult run, I do it all the time. We also dump at least a cubic yard of lawn clippings into the runs every time we mow. Our lawn is NOT weed free. As a matter of fact, if the weeds were removed from our lawn, there'd not be enough grass to bother mowing! Happy reading folks.

    http://www.permies.com/t/26068/wild-harvesting/people-eat-field-bindweed-Convolvulus

    http://practicalplants.org/wiki/Ranunculus_repens
     
    2 people like this.

  8. Lazy Gardener...that is a great post.
     
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    26,972
    24,328
    837
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
    TY.
     
  10. Rozzychick

    Rozzychick Chirping

    105
    12
    56
    Apr 22, 2016
    I bought the book! It's awesome, it's like garden porn. I can't wait to start hardscaping for my birds once it cools off.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by