Water Hyacinth for chickens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by SandyK, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. SandyK

    SandyK Songster

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    Jul 8, 2009
    Eldersburg, Maryland
    Does anyone know if you can feed the Water Hyacinth from our ponds to the chickens. This is the time of year when they are getting out of control and we throw them out. Wondering if they would be ok to feed to the girls.
     

  2. PhilErvin

    PhilErvin Songster

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    I have heard they feed it to cattle, I would think it would be alright for your girls. I wish I could get it to proliferate in my pond, my koi eat the roots faster than it can replenish.
     
  3. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Be careful what you ask for, it's a prolific and invasive plant! It's not even legal to have in many states. Too bad, because it's so pretty to have. [​IMG]

    I'm not sure about the toxicity though.
     
  4. Absolutely!! They'll eat it all. You may want to hose them down to get any residual salt and such off, but go for it! If you live in a state where theyre able to winter over, they're probably banned. Theres an all out war with them in many states. Some states you'd be better off getting caught with cocaine than them. No kidding. I'm getting ready to grow some myself, in a container, in a northern state
     
  5. Mine wouldn't touch it
     
  6. SandyK

    SandyK Songster

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    Eldersburg, Maryland
    Well I've been feeding the girls lots of the water hyacinth for a few years now, and they enjoy it. They don't eat the roots, but the green leaves they clean right up. My chickens have a nice large run to play in, but there is no grass. So I think they enjoy this as a treat. When they do get to free range in the yard they love getting out for a while.
     
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

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    Sandy, you might consider putting a deep litter in your chicken run. That will go a long ways toward giving them more nutrition and more "natural chicken behavior" activities to engage in. Using a DL in the run will attract lots of beneficial insects, and worms. It will process their poop, and it will aid in destroying pathogens. It will also make the soil healthier, by providing an environment that will foster beneficial microbes and fungi. Those will give the chickens healthier guts, and aid with digestion so their food will provide more benefit. Simply toss all of your garden waste, kitchen waste, grass clippings, leaves, litter from the coop, and any other compostable materials you can get your hands on into the run. Your chickens will have a blast with it.
     

  8. SandyK

    SandyK Songster

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    Eldersburg, Maryland
    Thank you Lazy Gardener!! They have a wonderful run, 25'x50', sandbox, greensbox, covered porch for when it rains and an area they love under the porch for dry dust baths. I think I have a great system for doing just what you said. I use straw in the coop on the floor. After they break it down enough, I sweep it out into the porch were it gets used again as a layer for the porch. Then when it gets time to change up again, that porch layer gets swept into the run where they will dig through it again. I don't like my run wet and muddy, so if in between I need to, I will put down more straw out there. Especially in the winter so they aren't walking in snow and have a nice big space to walk around in during the day.

    Thanks for the good advice!!
    Sandy
     
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

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    YVW.
     
  10. forest gardener

    forest gardener Hatching

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    Hi I live In Tennessee and I grow them in mini ponds with fish. I feed them to my kids all the time. They absolutely love them!!! A great way to feed your chickens!! At least before they die from the cold. I buy them every spring at home depot.
     

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