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My girls won't eat their greens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Daphnetree, May 9, 2011.

  1. Daphnetree

    Daphnetree Hatching

    Apr 28, 2011
    Eugene, Oregon
    I recently got chickens, I have four in a 4x6 chicken tractor with an attached 4x7 run. I was moving it around the yard, but it was really tearing up the grass, so I currently have it parked in a space I want to prep for a garden bed. I ordered a bigger coop and will be moving the chickens to the big coop in two weeks when it comes in. To give them the greens they are not getting because they are stationary I have been throwing them grass, they ignore it, I put in a bunch of Kale, they are not eating that either, they are ignoring all of the other greens I am giving them. I am a bit worried as they are no longer getting fresh grass, they have plenty of crumble, and I give them scratch now and then as well.
    Do I need to chop their greens (I just threw kale tops in their run) or what?
    Last edited: May 9, 2011

  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens


    I use lawn scissors to chop grass for my chickens to the length of 2-3 inches (if they eat long grass it can cause crop impaction, as the grass becomes balled up in the crop and won't move through).

    All other green kitchen scraps I chop up for them too.

    They are like cows and LOVE grass.

    I also give them my lawnmower clippings on occasion as they are very short.

    Make sure they have grit available if they are not free ranging, as your soil might not be gravelly enough. (If it is very pebble-filled, don't worry.)
    Last edited: May 9, 2011
  3. Teach97

    Teach97 Bantam Addict

    Nov 12, 2008
    Hooker, OK
    they don't need grass...they are not ruminants. The crumble is plenty good. the grass will just help give the eggs a nice dark yolk...
  4. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Crowing

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    picky, picky chickens. They can do fine with out greens for a couple of weeks, but you can try tearing up a few pieces of kale to see if it works or secure the leaf some how. Sometimes my chickens just play with big leaves because they have a hard time picking it apart. My chickens like dandelions too.
  5. mrsfarmchick1

    mrsfarmchick1 Chirping

    Dec 24, 2010
    Bandera, Texas
    I've been sprouting BOSS, milo and oats and they love it... and I understand the sprouts have 10 times more nutrients than the seed/grain alone.
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:You are correct, thank you! I meant that they LOVE grass.

    They can survive without grass, but they adore it.
  7. isabellapalomino

    isabellapalomino In the Brooder

    Apr 2, 2011
    some times i let my girls free range when i'm home and they love to eat the grass and look for bugs but then there are some days when they can't be let out for one reason or another and those days they won't eat anything green even if i chop it up or tie it to the side of the fence so that they can tear it themselves. they also go off their food so i think the problem is that once they have experienced the 'good stuff' they no longer want anything but that. so if you can, try free ranging for a few hours a day and it makes a big difference.

  8. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    They aren't ruminants and neither are humans, but dark leafy greens are good for both of us. Even so, short term it doesn't make a big difference to their health, other than the difference in the nutrients in their eggs. Some of those nutrients will be stored in their bodies for a short time, as they gradually use them up, so even eggs will have more nutrients for a little while after the diet change.

    If foods aren't bite sized or heavy enough to stay still while they bite pieces off, anchoring it can make it easier to eat. Food cages, clips and skewers can all help. Sometimes they're just fussy and would rather go forage for their own. Once they get a bit desperate from being confined or snow covering everything, they usually become less picky.

    I should mention that we had to move our tractor daily, to not have them be too tough on the grass.
    Last edited: May 9, 2011
  9. mshirk

    mshirk In the Brooder

    Mar 28, 2011
    Sammamish WA
    The only thing mine will eat so far other than their crumble is grass. They clamor for a handful of grass each morning! They love it. I just grab a big handful out of my lawn.

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