Foraging Hens - is this ok????

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by certifiedchef, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. certifiedchef

    certifiedchef Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2010
    We have a micro flock (4 hens) 2 just started laying this week (YEAH!!!) and now that the rains have stopped they were most hapy to get out into the yard to 'free range' an hour or so before the dog returns to his yard. ANyway, my question is snails and slugs??? I know youwould not want to directly feed your girls such nasty critters, but is it ok for them to be foraging for these tasty morsels? any worry about parasites? what about the eggs we eat? any risk of parasites transfering tothe eggs? Am I being a nervous wanna be farmer? Free range chix will eat anything, should I not worry and let nature take it course????
    THank you and Merry Christmas!!
  2. Uzuri

    Uzuri Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2009
    Let 'em eat 'em. Heck, if we find slugs in the strawberry garden we actually CARRY them over to the chickens to get rid of them.

    What's nasty to us isn't necessarily nasty to a chicken; no need to stop them from eating anything that isn't poisonous to them.
  3. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    If they'll eat 'em let them have them.
  4. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Quote:[​IMG] Yes, but that is perfect - you ask questions and become informed.

    You will be amazed at what chickens will eat - almost anything that does not eat them. The bugs are good for them, lots of natural protein and vitamins.

    Just wait till you see one trying to swallow a mouse. [​IMG]

    Remember - they can eat almost all of your kitchen food leftovers - most importantly the meat, any type.
  5. certifiedchef

    certifiedchef Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2010
    thanks fo rall the advice!
  6. midget_farms

    midget_farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    Its safe for them to eat anything they can forage for except for a couple of plants that are bad. Hollyhocks & apple seeds & such.

    I was shocked when I saw my hens grab a nest of pink baby mice & gobble them down!
  7. mprivett

    mprivett Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2010
    Chatham County, NC
    Our hens eat TONS of weird and nasty critters while free-ranging....I've seen them twice catch tiny frogs and gobble them down. Both times they were SO excited when they caught the frog, running around the yard as fast as their little legs could carry them to keep away from the others--it was hilarious. [​IMG]
  8. certifiedchef

    certifiedchef Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2010
    [​IMG] OMG I can totally see that, thanks for the laugh!![​IMG]
  9. peacockfarmer1

    peacockfarmer1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 11, 2010
    my chickens eat them all the time
  10. Laurieks

    Laurieks Where did the time go???

    Aug 14, 2009
    Sonoma County, CA
    Quote:I think they must be hardwired for that... we had a singleton chick hatch (from 16 eggs, ugh!) last January, & when we gave her treats she ran around like that too [​IMG]

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