Fresh Fruit and Vegetables

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by REDJN2, Jan 24, 2015.

  1. REDJN2

    REDJN2 In the Brooder

    Jan 4, 2015
    Hi everyone,

    I have daily access to pretty much every fruit and vegetable available. I am interested in hearing what would be your go to produce items to feed to your flock if you had a choice of any fruit and vegetable items. I am not really thinking along the idea of a snack or treat. I have read through the forum on that and have some ideas. I am thinking more along the lines of a possible daily offering in addition to their starter/layer feed. My flock will not get much free range time to grass at all for a while so I am thinking lettuce, greens, broccoli or???

    I also read in the forum that what they eat changes the flavor of their eggs, and that free range are preferred. Any ideas on produce items to change taste for the better? I do realize taste is subjective, but has anyone been able to positively effect flavor with fruit or vegetables in the diet?

    Also, do you know of any specific vegetables that can potentially help excelerate their growth or production? I am thinking maybe produce items high in specific vitamins or something to help "Pump them up".


  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Too much fruit gives my girls the runs. :D And citrus might not be the best.

    But they love apples (I throw the whole apple in or just the core if we ate the rest), pears, bits of banana, and of course the ultimate- strawberries and grapes!!! This is when they are from our little strawberry pots and the squishy ones from the grocery store packs.

    For veg, they love all salad greens if they aren't free ranging for grass (greens deprived at the time). Very short (1-2 inch) grass clippings are fine too.

    Mine don't like broccoli, celery, and the hard veg unless they are cooked.

    Carrots- though- they LOVE carrots. I throw them whole into the run and they disappear over a period of days. They peck them until they are gone.

    Potatoes- cooked.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015
  3. pdirt

    pdirt Songster

    May 11, 2013
    Eastern WA
    If you're going to really up the veggies/fruit, you should also up the protein. Depending on who you talk to, if you want eggs from your hens, you need a minimum of 15-18% protein. Most layer feed is 16%. Add a bunch of fruit/veg, which are generally little (and generally incomplete) protein, and you could very well lower their protein rations down to 10-12%, at which egg production will likely stop and your birds can begin to suffer health problems, which will be more noticeable over time.

    If you want to feed a lot of low protein foods, at the minimum, be sure to feed a higher protein feed. Something like a 20-22% feed.

    I use a 20% broiler feed for my layers and simply provide crushed oyster shell on the side for their calcium needs. They get plenty of kitchen scraps, mostly veggies, some grains and some mealworms as well.
    2 people like this.
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Yes! Very good idea!!
  5. yellowchicks

    yellowchicks Chirping

    Jun 27, 2014
    My Coop
    Mine do not like veggies, they won't even touch it, especially carrots in any shape or form. But fruits like grapes, blueberries, water melon, apples, they LOVE, then the get the most nasty watery poop.
  6. REDJN2

    REDJN2 In the Brooder

    Jan 4, 2015
    Thank you for the replies!

    It sounds like a trial and error process to see what the flock likes and then adjust accordingly.

    If I can come up with anything that works well, I will be sure to share.

  7. FoxHead

    FoxHead In the Brooder

    Jan 26, 2015
    Greenville, MI
  8. I grate up hard vegetables so they can eat them! Mine really enjoy grated beetroot, carrot, celery, ginger, and apple! There favourite not grated things are water melon, cantaloupe, strawberries and all sorts of soft fruits! If you have a juicer like me then they will also like the left over solid fruit and veg!
  9. ChristieB

    ChristieB Songster

    Dec 13, 2014
    I just chuck what ever food scraps in they eat what they want and leave the rest which I then chuck in the compost. They are on grower crumble still as they aren't laying yet. I do break up the bread a bit more now as they don't tend to waste so much if it's in small pieces
  10. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Songster

    Aug 28, 2014
    Oakland, CA
    My Coop
    I give hard veg a whirl in the food processor. Easy-peasy. A chef friend brings me a container of off-cuts and leftovers a couple times a week so the chooks get a constantly changing buffet of fresh food.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: