Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by slabcrappy, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. slabcrappy

    slabcrappy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2011
    Orchard Park, NY
    I am in need of some advise. I work at a homeless shelter and sometimes they have fruit and veggies that are too old to put out, but they are perfectly fine. So I spoke with the kitchen manager and asked for some of the stuff they are throwing away. He gave me two boxes of "stuff". I gave the girls (6 large breeds) a couple handfuls of strawberries and a head of romaine lettuce. They ate the strawberries immediately and then ate a little of the romaine before bed. This morning they hammered the rest of the romaine down.

    This leads me to my question. I put out 3 more head of romaine when I got home from work tonight and they ate them all! Nothing left. Is this bad for them to eat this much? I know they are pretty opportunistic, but they would stop if they were full, right? I want them to get a variety of excellent, vitamin and mineral rich food, but I don't want to kill them with it! Any advise would be appreciated. Thank you.

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  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2011
    I've never heard of a chicken eating themselves to death. I bring home lots of kitchen scraps too (I work at a restaurant), and the chickens love it. They've never gorged themselves, and I get nice dark yolks from all of the greens they eat. Good luck...
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  3. redandalusian

    redandalusian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 3, 2011
    You should be ok Romaine has alot of nutrients and is very good for the chickens as long as thats not all they eat. chickens freerange and eat alot of grass they will be all right.
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  4. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    My Coop
    I've always provided layer feed as their primary food and used veggies sparingly. The layer feed provides them all they need so everything else is really just a treat. In your case I would probably feed them one head of lettuce over several days.
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    They will overindulge if they feel they won't get any more. If you start providing a regular supply of it, they will probably calm down. I would stick to giving limited amounts...just go with your gut!

    In other words, if you are worried, you are probably right. An often-quoted amount on BYC is to keep treats to 10% of the diet, although I don't have the original location of the quote.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 14, 2008
    Often quoted doesn't necessarily mean correct. Given the opportunity the first thing chickens will go for is "green food". They can't be harmed by romaine lettuce.
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  7. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    too true!
  8. slabcrappy

    slabcrappy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2011
    Orchard Park, NY
    Interesting, varied responses. Thank you for the replies. This morning the girls look great. Because I am the president of over-analysiers anonymous, I came up with this:

    1. They eat all day long. Really, they only take very little breaks from foraging for grasses, flora, fauna and bugs.
    2. 3 heads of romaine is not that much for 6 large breed chickens, half a head a bird.
    3. They have never over-eaten in the past to my knowledge. They always have food out all day long.

    I am very happy I can suppliment their food intake by offering different things for them to eat. They are very happy and healthy birds. I am so thankful that our town allows chickens. They are a great source of entertainment, eggs, instruction (to our children) and overall enjoyment.
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  9. terryg

    terryg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 5, 2007
    New England
    Unlimited greens are fine. What you do want to worry about is what they don't eat - you don't want mushy, rotting foods making a mess of your chicken run. My solution is to have a compost area in the chicken run. They can eat what they want, and the rest gets shred by them, turned over, and turned into lovely soil. I've posted photos and directions of how to do this here: http://www.hencam.com/henblog/2012/03/compost-in-the-chicken-run/
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  10. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    I feed my birds greens from the garden everyday. I'm pulling up my winter garden & throw the whole plant in their run. I don't call greens a treat but a necessity. Lots of vitamins in the greens. I do take out the remains of the plants after they eat what they want daily. If greens would hurt the chickens I guarantee mine would be dead by now LOL.
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