Kudzu and chickens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Mommysongbird, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. Mommysongbird

    Mommysongbird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2011
    Small Town, Virginia
    Hi all I haven't been on in a while, but I need to know if anyone can answer a question for me.

    Can chickens have Kudzu??

    Our chicks are now 11 weeks old and they are NOT free range and I am trying to give them as many greens as possible. We have LOADS and LOADS of Kudzu that grows around our house and was wondering if they can have it. We can pull it or cut it and give to them. I have looked on-line and I have read that most chickens don't like it and ours may not either, but I would like to know if there is a reason behind that. Do they KNOW it is bad for them or what?

    Thanks
     
  2. Mommysongbird

    Mommysongbird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2011
    Small Town, Virginia
    Anyone???
     
  3. KenK

    KenK Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2011
    Georgia
    In my experience, cows will eat it only if they can't find any grass. I don't think it is in anyway "poison".
     
  4. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 26, 2009
    No, its not poisonous. It was originally introduced here on purpose by the USDA as a "miracle crop", kind of like soybeans. It has a number of uses -- livestock feed, can be processed into fiber, starch can be extracted from the root and used to make a tofu-like product, etc. But it didn't catch on, too hard to harvest I guess, due to being a vine. It's actually a good food for chickens, its about 18% protein by dry weight.
     
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  5. Mommysongbird

    Mommysongbird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2011
    Small Town, Virginia
    Thanks for the info. I will start harvesting it (pulling and cutting) and throw in the run for the chicks. Good to know I finally have found a use for it. I would love to make baskets with it too, but I have NO idea how. [​IMG]
     
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  6. swheat

    swheat The Bantam Barn

    Mar 18, 2008
    Alabama
    My Coop
    I feed it to mine all the time. Mine love it. When I had horses they went for it before the grass, and would come running if you had a hand full waiting for them.
     
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  7. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    North/Central Florida
    It's an excellent feed in fact being a legume without any toxicity concerns that I've ever heard about.

    If they are not accustomed to eating it some animals won't feed on it at first, but it's a good feed.

    NOT that I would willingly plant it anywhere in the zonal range it grows best in!
     
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  8. Mommysongbird

    Mommysongbird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2011
    Small Town, Virginia
    So should we cut it up (the vines are sooooo long) or just give it to them vine and all??

    Like I said, if I can figure out how to make baskets or wreaths or anything else from this stuff then I would and just give them the leaves.
     
    CapricornFarm likes this.
  9. swheat

    swheat The Bantam Barn

    Mar 18, 2008
    Alabama
    My Coop
    I only give mine the leaves(stems are pretty stiff), after if tear them into pieces up with my hands.
     
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  10. MomKat

    MomKat Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2011
    Mobile, AL
    I've made vine wreaths with the stuff by twisting a bunch of the green vines together and then winding them around a washtub until they're stiff and dry, but I never thought about feeding it to the hens! Does it affect the taste of the eggs? I know the blossoms smell like Grape Nehi, but their pollen makes honey taste nasty and turn a funny color!
     
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