how best to feed cut grass and alfalfa?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Renthorin, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. Renthorin

    Renthorin Chirping

    Jun 13, 2011
    Dexter Michigan
    I have a lot of long grass and alfalfa around the house. I cut some up and tossed it into the run. They seemed to really enjoy it but some of the blades of grass are 8 inches long. They eat those like spaghetti and I wonder if that's good? I would think it might ball up in their crop and cause problems.

    I tried cutting them up the food processor, but that just made a mess.

    Thinking about laying it out on cutting board and using a knife to dice it into inch-long pieces.

    Am I being overly concerned?

    I don't want to use the grass from the yard as I spray chemicals to control the skeeters.

  2. Erica

    Erica Songster

    Dec 5, 2010
    Long blades can be a problem. I snip mine up with scissors but that's going a bit overboard.

    You can tie them firmly in bunches and hang them in the pen so the grass blades all point down. As long as they're tied very tightly the birds can snip off sections using their beaks. It's more-or-less the way they eat grass naturally. Doing it this way also means they could take the leaves off the alfalfa stalks.

    Definitely don't give them anything that's been sprayed. [​IMG]

    best wishes
  3. I feed my flock a flake of alfalfa about once every two weeks. The eat the leaves off in a couple of days but evenually manage to eat the stems also. They are brittle and break off in pieces. Never had a problem. [​IMG]
  4. Renthorin

    Renthorin Chirping

    Jun 13, 2011
    Dexter Michigan
    I tried snipping them up with scissors but it takes a lot more effort than I wanted to put into fresh grass [​IMG]

    Maybe I'll try the hanging bunch method.

    Is a 'flake' one of the smaller 'chunks' that you get when you pull the twine of a bale? There are like 8 of them or something right???

    I was worried that the long pieces in one of those would be bad for them too. But you say it's ok so maybe I'll try that too [​IMG]

    Trying to find ways to get them fresh grass, especially for the winter.
  5. M.sue

    M.sue Songster

    May 29, 2011
    We have a small alfalfa field and the girls love it. I have grabbed a bunch and thrown it into the run at times. They seem to eat every thing but the stems. I like the idea of hanging it!!
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011
  6. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    Quote:I spread whole bales of grass/afalfa in the hen house in the winter and they eat them all up. Never had a problem either.

    It is dried hay though and not fresh cuttings. They readily bust it up as they are scratching around in it.
  7. cooprunbuilder

    cooprunbuilder In the Brooder

    Jun 9, 2011
    I pick some long grass and other bits from my garden squeeze it together and wedge it thorugh the holes in the hardware cloth put it up just a bit taller than your birds to make them stretch and give them a bit of exercise I do this with my ducks and chickens works really well!

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