OK to treat with grass clipping?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by cookiesdaddy, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. cookiesdaddy

    cookiesdaddy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2007
    California Bay Area
    Since I can't let my chicks (4 weeks old) roaming the backyard anymore (after a couple of close calls with hawk problem), can I dump some of the yard clipping in the brooder as a treat? Is it safe? Do the chicks go after tiny bugs or do they actually eat the grass?

    THANKS!
     
  2. jmantoo1

    jmantoo1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2007
    hi i feed my chickens grass everday and they love it they are in big pens no grass so they think grass is a treat:old
     
  3. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Don't let the grass clippings get wet and moldy. They need to be small pieces. You might be better off letting them out in the yard for 30 minutes when you can sit with them.

    If you have a baby gate or small fence you could set up with some mesh over the top they should be okay. We have hawks here and it isn't unusual to see 15 a day. So I never let our small chicks out by themselves.
     
  4. cookiesdaddy

    cookiesdaddy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2007
    California Bay Area
    keljonma: what about full grown chicken? are hawks shy away from grown chicken? just couple days ago we had a hawk landing right on a tree on our yard while my son and I were standing right there with the chicks. so I don't think me sitting around is going to be helpful!
     
  5. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Before we had chickens, a Cooper's Hawk flew into the glass of our living room window while chasing a wild bird on a Thanksgiving Day. It was laying on the ground for a while in the snow before it flew off, probably just stunned, as it hit the window pretty hard. It was about 18" long from head to tail.

    Our chicken flock is almost a year old. We have a 2 acre farm that is completely fenced and our birds have the run of the whole farm. Since our property is fenced, we did not build a run for the flock. If we're not home, the birds run loose in the barn instead of the farmyard. As I am unemployed off the farm, this isn't often or for long periods of time. We do lock the flock in the hen house at night, as we are surrounded by farm and wood lands on all 4 sides of our property.

    Like I said, it isn't unusual for us to see 15 hawks a day. The birds usually hide under a vehicle, a small bush, in the barn or in the hen house if they sense danger. I think our Great Pyrenees may be responsible for keeping the hawks from trying to attack the flock. He barks at them and has chased a few off the fence. Understandably, our flock likes hanging out with him. Here is a snap of part of our flock with our Great Pyr last December.

    [​IMG]




    If edited, most likely for typos.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2007
  6. allen wranch

    allen wranch Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 11, 2007
    San Marcos, TX
    When birds graze naturally they bite off small pieces of grass, scratch a little, pick up some dirt, etc.

    When the grass is already cut, they tend to eat more and in bigger pieces. As a result, it can cause impacted crops. I know of one member who lost several birds by feeding them grass clippings.

    It is recommened if you want to feed grass clippings, to run them over several times with the mower first to make the pieces smaller, and to not feed a whole lot at once.
     
  7. chickbea

    chickbea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2007
    Vermont
    Something I have done in the past when my grazing space has been limited: I dug up big clods of grass from a neighboring field and threw them in the pen. Not only were they getting greenery, but bugs and other treats as well. Yummy!
    [​IMG]
     
  8. intownfarm

    intownfarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 18, 2007
    Awesome Picture. I wish I could teach my dog to guard chickens! I give my babies & hens grass clippings but I think I am not near as picky with what they get to eat as some of the people here (I haven't lost one yet though)!
     
  9. allen wranch

    allen wranch Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 11, 2007
    San Marcos, TX
    I throw clumps of grass in the runs for them too. They love it and the dirt gives them some more grit.
     
  10. homechick

    homechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2007
    Mineola, Tx
    I've been working outside a lot so I let my babies run around the backyard. So fun to watch. But when I saw a hawk a block away earlier today, I decided not to let them anymore.
    I haven't noticed them going for grass but they go CRAZY when they get around clover. I grabbed a few patches of it and held it tight while they pecked at the tiny leaves. Great bonding. [​IMG]
     

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