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Greens for chickens??

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by bulldog-girl, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. bulldog-girl

    bulldog-girl Songster

    May 16, 2008
    Estacada, OR
    My free rangers are still finding some green grasses as we live in milder climates. I was recently reading about folks giving their birds Hay feeds like alfalfa and orchard grass. I have never done this. Should I be suplimenting their feed with this in winter?

  2. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    we unroll a large bale of hay in the early winter in their run. They pick the seeds out of it and scratch in it thus the extra seeds drop to the ground underneath and sprout very early in the spring for them to have fresh greens. I usually put a head of cabbage inside the coop and run and other greens, that they devour. To just put hay in a feed box??? No way.
  3. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    You need to be very, very careful when feeding hay; they can easily become crop bound (I had a pullet die last year from this). The hay strands are long, and wrap around into a ball and get "stuck" in the crop. Some folks feed it and have no trouble at all; I stopped after I had the one issue.

    Some folks have mentioned soaking alfalfa cubes in water, because the alfalfa is chopped up into smaller pieces and it's easier for their crop to handle it; I've got hay cubes, but haven't yet tried the soaking yet. THat might be something to try to supplement!
  4. RHewitt

    RHewitt Songster

    Backyard Poultry magazine had an article in a few months back about making green bales of dried grasses in the summer to use in the winter. Lawn mower clippings where dried and stuffed into old feedsacks to store and use in the winter months. Even though the greens are dry they still have nutritional value and what every the don't eat makes good litter in the coop and then in the compost bin. You can check out their website and maybe able to find the article. I would only use this as a suppliment to regular feed.
  5. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    Now I like the idea of baling the grass clippings. I have never seen my chickens actually eat the hay they stand on in their run. Not saying they haven't but haven't seen it. [​IMG]
  6. bulldog-girl

    bulldog-girl Songster

    May 16, 2008
    Estacada, OR
    Thanks so much you guys. I was thinking about spouting some winter wheat for them. i think I will stick with that. The crop bound thing scares me. Like I said, we do still have some green sprigs here and there and weeds and I do see them eating those at times. I just wondered if I was missing something important.

    The grass clipping idea is good but unfortunalty our lawn is huge and is used by the dogs as a restroom so I don't think the chickens would want to eat dried dog poo.[​IMG] Yukk!!
  7. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    My ducks love cabbage and bok choy. They also love red peppers. Anything that is a little wilty, or comes from the ends, spinach stems, whatever...I chop it up fine and offer it to the ducks. When I don't have leftovers for them, I soak an alfalfa cube in some hot water and offer that.
  8. Buck Creek Chickens

    Buck Creek Chickens Have Incubator, Will Hatch

    Nov 26, 2008
    Neenah, WI
    Hang a head of lettuce, greens, carrot tops from the celing of the coop. keep them busy and its good for them too.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  9. chookchick

    chookchick Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Whenever I weed the yard, I dump all the weeds in the coop and they love to dig through them. I'm actually running out of weeds! I also keep a head of cabbage in the coop, works well for me since I let the ones in the garden get all wormy. They also love grass clippings.
  10. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member 10 Years

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    Quote:That's exactly what I was going to recommend.

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