Feeding Question

yeddi 05

In the Brooder
8 Years
May 18, 2011
Hi All,

Im relatively new to the forum and to owning chickens. I have been doing a ton of reading here and have learned a lot, thank you for sharing your wisdom and advice. But, my question is, if you let your chickens free range, how do you prevent them from eating things they are not supposed to? I live in a semi wooded are and there are a bunch of wild plants and thing growing in the area. After a couple weeks of being in their run, I had intended on letting them roam around the yard. but after reading some of the things they cant or shouldnt eat..I'm not sure what i should do. Especially seeing one of those plant lists..it was huge. My yard is not fenced in...nor do I intend on doing it but I was looking forward to letting them run around. I was going to start training them with a noise and associate it to a treat so I could call them back to their run and their coop. Any advice on this?

I don't worry about controlling what they eat when they free range. They are pretty good at not eating what they are not supposed to. Plus, for a whole lot of that stuff they are not supposed to eat, they would have to eat quite a bit to do them any harm. If they are free ranging, they will move on pretty quickly to something else. But if they are in a run with no greens and you feed that stuff to them, they might eat a lot of it.

Think of it this way. Apple seeds should be on the list as something they should not have. Apple seeds contain cyanide. But if a chicken eats an apple that has fallen off a tree or you throw a whole apple in the run for them, it is not a problem. There is not enought cyanide in those few seeds to do any harm. But if you make applesauce and have a whole lot of seeds to dispose of, do not dump them where the chickens can get to them. They might eat enough to do themselves some damage.

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