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Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by poppy, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. poppy

    poppy In the Brooder

    Feb 21, 2007
    Buckinghamshire, England
    I have a good supply of watercress and was hoping to feed it to my hens as I thought it would make a good supply of iron and make the eggs more nutritious. They just don't want to know. Has anyone succeeded in feeding this to their birds or should I just give up on the idea?
  2. Barnyard Dawg

    Barnyard Dawg Songster

    Feb 7, 2007
    Northern California
    Have you tried feeding the watercress to your chickens and if you have how do they react to it? My wife and I love watercress soup we will usually buy it once a week if it is fresh, how lucky you are to have it readily available. If they will eat it, it is very nutritious.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2007
  3. poppy

    poppy In the Brooder

    Feb 21, 2007
    Buckinghamshire, England
    I have tried hanging it up in bunches in their run. They have had a taste but don't appear to like it.
  4. I will try my hens on some Watercress later today, and I will let you all how they went on, ok
  5. They really enjoyed the watercress
  6. lancesstaub

    lancesstaub Hatching

    Nov 1, 2014
    Remember, watercress is a major "filtering" plant. It typically grows wild and often out of control, pulling not only nutrients out of the water but physically filtering with its root systems but also causing the plant to absorb all kinds of chemicals (toxins?) that might flow through that body of water. Watercress from different locations can have different contents. I suspect some chickens will like it and others not depending on what the plant has pulled into it.

    I plant it in an artificial water feature to detox the water. It has helped reduce the excessive nutrient level that was causing all kinds of moss issues. I have since planted water lilies, water hawthorn and duckweed. My stream and pond is now in balance. I see all kinds of water creatures in it as well. It is as healthy as a natural stream. Since the cress grows so fast, I pull out huge plants all of the time and start new.

    I am just getting to the point where I would trust human and animal consumption of the cress, so that I would check out here to see who had experience with feeding it to their chickens. What results fed back here are not surprising. I could imagine it going both ways. I did not know, however, if there was a basic ingredient in the plant that could be harmful. That does not appear to be the case if some do eat it. I don't think it really matters what my experience will be, but if my chickens do NOT eat it, I will not.

    I will try to let you know how it went though.

    I also suggest your consulting with your local county extension office to know local ordinances regarding the plant as in many locations it is classed as a "noxious weed".

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