My hens said "Do you REALLY expect me to EAT this stuff?"

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by msgenie516, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. msgenie516

    msgenie516 The Happy Hen

    May 16, 2008
    Nesconset, LI, NY

    I’m pretty much a “newbie” at raising chickens and this is the first winter I’m going through with them. So yesterday was the first time I offered my hens cooked oatmeal with mashed bananas. Their first reaction was to tilt their little heads sideways and look at me as if to say “Do you REALLY expect me to EAT this stuff?”

    But after one or two gathered the courage to try the first bite, they all joined in. However, not all of them liked it equally. My Leghorns and possible Easter Egger (just can’t be sure what that one is but she lays nice green eggs) LOVED it. It was a split decision with the RIR’s. Some liked it, others went right back to their regular feed. I think the Silkies couldn’t care less if I never served it again. They went right back to their regular feed and never again tried the oatmeal mixture. None of the 4 remaining hens (2 Frizzles, 1 small unidentified bantam, and 1 Polish) showed much enthusiasm.

    I only offered this concoction to my mature hens, not to my 19 juvenile chickens, as I wasn’t sure if their digestive systems were up to it. As previously mentioned, I don’t have much experience and hesitate to take any chances.

    BTW, some of my hens are laying very well despite the cold weather and short days. Today, I got 11 eggs from 22 hens and that includes 7 quite old RIR’s (we purchased these full grown last Spring and they are decent layers but not the best--only 3 of the 11 eggs came from them--they are also the ones that slowed down the most because of winter approaching) and 7 Silkies who are not all that dependable about laying. So that leaves only 8 hens that lay well, as far as I can figure.

    Since this is my first effort in offering warm winter food, I thought I would share the results of who liked it and who did not. I have learned SO MUCH from this forum that I wanted to contribute a little bit of info.

    Enjoy your chickens and try to stay warm! Genie
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2008
  2. Ugly Cowboy

    Ugly Cowboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2008
    Corn, OK
    LOL Yeah, thats one of those things they like it or they dont, for sure! I'd always heard they liked grapes, so I threw some down for 'em, not one of 'em acted interested at all. Give 'em an apple, they'll rip your hand off for that! Also, welcome to the board!
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2008
  3. Chicken Woman

    Chicken Woman Incredible Egg

    Oct 16, 2008
    You might want to puy some scrath in with your oatmeal whan you cook it. I also put some honey in mine. My girls get alot from the kitchen and like most everything.

    Have you tried sprouting mung beans,red wheat, or sunflower seeds. It gives them some greens when we don't have much greens to offer them and they go crazy for them. I sprout a 2 qt jar a couple times a week for them.

    Good luck and try different things. Theres even a member that adds canned tuna to her oatmeal and says they go crazy for it. i haven't tried that yet.

  4. wendy

    wendy On the Hill

    Jun 14, 2007
    central louisiana

    They will come to love alot of the "treats" you give them. When we first put out the watermelon rind with a little watermelon left on it the first time. They just walked around it and looked like what [​IMG] we eat this?

    But then they tore into it in not time. No everytime I bring anything I have to watch stepping on chicken toes because they are ALL at my feet [​IMG]
  5. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    [​IMG] I see you have been lurking for a few months.
    I tried oatmeal and they pecked at it but actually go more for the uncooked rolled oats that I get from my local feed store. I treat the horses too with the dry rolled oats.
    Watermelon is one of my cash crops. Sometimes especially after a good rain the melons in the field break open. I go out and get them and give them to the birds. In no time they have eaten everything down to a very thin rind.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2008
  6. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    The first time I tried oatmeal they all looked at me like I was trying to poison them! I tried it again the other day, but this time I sprinkled cracked corn on top. The silkies and the younger chicks (about 3 months old) were the ones that couldn't get enough! The others tasted it, a few enjoyed it, but mostly it was the silkies and the babies!

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