how can I make them (chickens) eat more veggies?

CanadaEh

Songster
May 31, 2018
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Canada
I have started picking up spoiled produce from farmers market and I am disappointed with a ratio of how much I bring to how much they actually eat. Shall I limit their feed (currently 17% meatbuilder) to encourage more veggie eating?

Here is the list of what they eat and don't eat.

Don't eat at all:
- neither fresh or cooked: potatoes, beats, carrots, sweet potatoes
- lettuce
- pears
- oranges
- watermelons

Eat in moderation:
- tomatoes
- broccoli
- strawberries
- apples

Like a lot:
- occasional baked goods

Do you feed a lot of veggies to your chickens in quantities that can put a dent in the feed bill, or in much smaller quantities purely for variety/entertainment/supplementation purposes?
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Suffering Succotash
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
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Wisconsin
Chickens are exactly vegetable eaters. It's not a correct diet. Seeds, grains, some greens, fallen fruits, berries, and bugs make up a natural diet. Vegetables for the most part are given by humans and aren't necessarily a natural addition as most need cooking to be nutritious and not toxic like raw potatoes can be.

You would be further ahead to feed a good quality ration with a bit of higher protein and limiting extras, otherwise you may end up with deficiencies.
 

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~ Dreaming Of Springtime ~
Aug 18, 2017
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Okay....citrus not good for them please don’t give it.
Baked goods same thing they can cause crop issues that you just don’t need.
You have a quality 17% (protein) feed don’t push the scraps on them. Their feed is more important to their health than scraps.
A treat now and then is okay but to supplement more than 10% of their intake is actually not good for them.

It like having a child who when served a balanced dinner he only eats one thing. The feed is Balanced to provide ALL essentials needed for health.
 

diamondsilkies

Songster
Oct 23, 2017
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Southern Arizona
Treats (including veggies) should only be about 10% of their diet, so I wouldn't worry too much. I'm pretty sure potato skins aren't very good for them, so it's good that they're not eating those. (Although that could be some myth I heard). I know citrus isn't very good for them, either. I'm surprised yours don't care for the watermelon, it's a favorite for my flock. I'd say that what they're eating now isn't really a problem, as long as you make sure it's not too much over the 10% rule. I would also make sure that the occasional baked goods are kept to very occasional. Good luck!
 

Chickassan

Wattle Fondler
May 23, 2017
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Greenville S.C, formerly Noneya U.S.A
Yeah, cynaide is in green potato skins and in the eyes. :sick
Green skins of potatoes are toxic to chickens and humans. I used to just peel the green part of when making mashed potatoes. Wasn’t till I researched everything before I feed it to my chickens that I learned they’re not good for us either:th.
 

chickengeorgeto

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
8,047
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Big Bend of the Tennessee River's Right Bank.
I have started picking up spoiled produce from farmers market and I am disappointed with a ratio of how much I bring to how much they actually eat....
Don't eat at all:
- neither fresh or cooked: potatoes, beats, carrots, sweet potatoes
- lettuce
- pears
- oranges
- watermelons

Eat in moderation:
- tomatoes
- broccoli
- strawberries
- apples....

First feeding gross amounts of spoiled and old produce along with a 17% grower feed is guaranteeing that your chickens are on the verge of starvation if not suffering from actual malnutrition.
 

CanadaEh

Songster
May 31, 2018
370
647
176
Canada
First feeding gross amounts of spoiled and old produce along with a 17% grower feed is guaranteeing that your chickens are on the verge of starvation if not suffering from actual malnutrition.
just to clarify i meant 17% protein meatbuilder feed offered free choice (i.e. always present in the feeder)
 

MANNA-PRO

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