britinpa

Chirping
Jun 22, 2020
103
90
63
Central Pennsylvania
As my chicks run is all woodchips, I want to start offering them something more to interest them. I have thrown in some lawn clippings the other day, but they weren't as interested as I thought they would be. I gave them their first cucumber to share yesterday - they did eat it, but I don't want to give them too many of those (not sure whether there is a limit, but did read it can make their poop watery). I picked a small piece of lemon balm and a small dandelion and they did peck at that this morning. It was the only dandelion I could find with a flower, and they're not as plentiful at the moment. We have tons of weeds around here, but I don't know what most of them are. I dislike crab grass, but we have LOTS - is this something they might like if I picked them a bunch?
 
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lovesfarms

Songster
Sep 6, 2016
443
1,216
181
I've found my chickens favorite weeds are chickweed (in spring) clover. And(any) whole weed plants with roots and soil intact (they love digging through that!) One set of chickens I had ,I would take a chunk of cabbage, wrap it with a string and tie it to the top or side of the cage. They would work at it for hours! The chicks I have right now won't touch cabbage but love zucchini-specifically the seeds but will work at the zucchini all day. Also, it's fun cutting a tomato in half and holding it in my hand, they will drink the juice, go after the seeds and eventually its all gone! Holding it is a good way to interact with them and they will cozy up to you!
 
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alwaystj9

Small goats & big chickens + 1 old horse
Premium Feather Member
Aug 20, 2019
94
200
87
SE Louisiana
I have a friend drops off over-grown garden produce about 1x week, my chickens have been gobbling whole squash, cucumbers and okra (I have to chop that for them) with some bug-chewed tomatoes. I also throw all my garden weeds in their pen, they are death to caterpillars and grubs! Most kitchen scraps go to them also. They especially love melon rinds - all that'll be left is the hard shell. Piles of weeds get dug through and tossed around. Even if they don't eat it, it cuts down boredom which reduces bad behavior.
 

britinpa

Chirping
Jun 22, 2020
103
90
63
Central Pennsylvania
I've found my chickens favorite weeds are chickweed (in spring) clover. And(any) whole weed plants with roots and soil intact (they love digging through that!) One set of chickens I had ,I would take a chunk of cabbage, wrap it with a string and tie it to the top or side of the cage. They would work at it for hours! The chicks I have right now won't touch cabbage but love zucchini-specifically the seeds but will work at the zucchini all day. Also, it's fun cutting a tomato in half and holding it in my hand, they will drink the juice, go after the seeds and eventually its all gone! Holding it is a good way to interact with them and they will cozy up to you!
I did just watch a video to see what chickweed looked like - I'm sure we have it around here, but I need to go out a take a look around. We do have clover in our grass. We have tomatoes in the garden also, I may go out and try that with them this afternoon
 

britinpa

Chirping
Jun 22, 2020
103
90
63
Central Pennsylvania
I have a friend drops off over-grown garden produce about 1x week, my chickens have been gobbling whole squash, cucumbers and okra (I have to chop that for them) with some bug-chewed tomatoes. I also throw all my garden weeds in their pen, they are death to caterpillars and grubs! Most kitchen scraps go to them also. They especially love melon rinds - all that'll be left is the hard shell. Piles of weeds get dug through and tossed around. Even if they don't eat it, it cuts down boredom which reduces bad behavior.
Thanks! I will offer them our watermelon rinds this week.
 

britinpa

Chirping
Jun 22, 2020
103
90
63
Central Pennsylvania
I've found my chickens favorite weeds are chickweed (in spring) clover. And(any) whole weed plants with roots and soil intact (they love digging through that!) One set of chickens I had ,I would take a chunk of cabbage, wrap it with a string and tie it to the top or side of the cage. They would work at it for hours! The chicks I have right now won't touch cabbage but love zucchini-specifically the seeds but will work at the zucchini all day. Also, it's fun cutting a tomato in half and holding it in my hand, they will drink the juice, go after the seeds and eventually its all gone! Holding it is a good way to interact with them and they will cozy up to you!
The tomatoes were a hit. I cut a small one in half and took it out to them. Two of the bigger girls grabbed them and run off with them, while the others were chasing after them. So I went to get a larger one and cut it into smaller pieces so they could all get some
 

lovesfarms

Songster
Sep 6, 2016
443
1,216
181
The tomatoes were a hit. I cut a small one in half and took it out to them. Two of the bigger girls grabbed them and run off with them, while the others were chasing after them. So I went to get a larger one and cut it into smaller pieces so they could all get some
It's so much more fun, isn't it!
 

alwaystj9

Small goats & big chickens + 1 old horse
Premium Feather Member
Aug 20, 2019
94
200
87
SE Louisiana
I did just watch a video to see what chickweed looked like - I'm sure we have it around here, but I need to go out a take a look around. We do have clover in our grass. We have tomatoes in the garden also, I may go out and try that with them this afternoon
Chickweed is a cool season weed most places. I am in South Louisiana and chickweed is mostly growing in Feb.-April here. Mine have a pasture to roam in, today they were chasing grasshoppers behind the tractor. As I was mowing, they were digging through the chopped off grass and weeds behind me, very busy. If you don't treat your yard with chemicals, lawn clippings (in moderation)should be okay. The way they toss it around the piles don't heat up. When they have abundance they avoid stuff that's bad for them. Also a lot of stuff that's listed as bad usually needs to be consumed in large quantities or when the plant has been severely stressed (drought).
 
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