What are the free range chickens eating now?

homesteader824

Chirping
Jun 1, 2015
19
2
69
Missouri Ozarks
This is my first winter free ranging chickens. I've had chickens for years but had to keep them penned in before. This spring I started letting them out. They still have access to a feeder in the hen house. Now that winter is here, they are still out scratching and turning over the leaves, and seem to be finding something. I'm just curious what they are eating now that winter is here; it can't be bugs if it's 40 degrees outside, can it? There has been an increase in their feed use, but not what I would have expected. And after finishing their molt, and the young ones maturing, I started getting eggs again so all seems well. Just curious, other than a few seeds, what they could be finding to eat.
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
33,026
27,581
1,077
St. Louis, MO
Depends on where you are. Around here it is mostly weed seeds but it has been unseasonably warm so there are still some things sprouting. I'm sure there are some dormant bugs too.
Basically, in winter it will only be seeds.
 

aisha777

Chirping
Dec 29, 2015
4
11
52
Austin, Texas
My Coop
My Coop
In winter months, it's henbit. Henbit has the word "hen" in it for a reason. My chickens don't free range but I grab gobs of it from the community compost pile and the chickens love it. Purslane too.
 

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