What will/won't your chickens eat??

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ponderpaul, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. ponderpaul

    ponderpaul New Egg

    Nov 16, 2012
    Southern Oklahoma
    I only have 4 chickens, 3 hens and a rooster. At the moment, based on cash spent on laying mash, my eggs are costing me $2.15 per dozen and I have a week or so of feed on hand. That is just background.

    Conversation; What will/won’t your chickens eat? I am finding this very interesting.
    I have access to a large nursery where we raise many veggies and a multitude of other stuff. I try to bring the biddies a “salad” about every afternoon. So, I have found that mine love lettuce (probably their favorite green), they like ripe tomatoes and green tomato vines but not green tomatoes, they don’t care for Swiss chard, New Zealand spinach, beet tops or anything in the cabbage family, and they won’t eat shelled pecans. The other day I gave them a little dab of salmon that we had left over from lunch, they fought over it. Grapes is another favorite that they go wild over.

    Understand that this is all stuff that is bad or would go to waste for one reason or another. I can’t afford this kind of chow for chickens.
    So, what will/won’t yours eat “;~)
  2. Lilslinkfarm

    Lilslinkfarm Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 18, 2012
    Jane, MO
    Mine ate leftover Chili and Macaroni today and loved every minute of it! [​IMG] They love most greens and other vegetables but the biggest thing they go crazy for is our leftovers and stale bread. I also like to make them bowls of rice or oatmeal specifically for them since its pretty cheap to buy. You would still need to keep regular chicken feed available to them for nutritional purposes but try various things from your fridge or pantry that you would otherwise throw away. Im sure they would enjoy a variety as well! (Mine also don't like anything from the cabbage family, only thing I've found so far they wont eat)
  3. erijn5

    erijn5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2008
    South Central IL
    Mine eat everything, potatoes, oranges, pumpkins, tomatoes, watermelon, cantelope, bread, and food leftovers...ect.. The only thing that I have heard that you don't want to feed them is onions, or your eggs will taste like them? Pumpkins are supposed to be a natural form of worming so I feed those in the fall... I do not feed mine eggs or the shells due to the fact I don't want egg eating. And I also do not feed mine meat of any kind except hamburger if it is in spagetti, or something like that.

    Other than that mine it all.
  4. ponderpaul

    ponderpaul New Egg

    Nov 16, 2012
    Southern Oklahoma
    Wife baked a turkey today. After boning it I dumped the bones, etc in the chicken pen --- they liked it.
  5. K-12 Chickens

    K-12 Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 6, 2010
    My hens' absolute favorite treats are bread and canned catfood (I don't feed catfood to them often, however; mostly when they're molting and need extra protein). At this time of year when grass tends to be scarce, my hens will start to show a preference for lettuce and other greens, but during spring, summer and fall they almost completely ignore any greens I offer them, since they are free-ranged and have access to grass every day. Leftovers that include meat, noodles, oats, cereal, broth, fruits and vegetables are readily ate anytime of year.
    I avoid feeding very sugary foods; if they aren't good for me, how can they be good for my chickens? I also offer black-oil sunflower seeds, occasionally suet, and scratch (they tend to ignore the corn, for some reason).
  6. MsChickenMomma

    MsChickenMomma Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 2, 2012
    My chickens love just about everything. The only thing they won't eat is salad green's, eggplant, Broccoli, and Cauliflower.

    Their favorite treats are Oatmeal, Pepper cores, Apples, Grapefruit, Banana's, Watermelon, Strawberries, Cream of Wheat, and Bread. They are addicted to bread! So I always save the ends of loaves of bread from the store. Every once in a while I also give them warm Buttermilk with bread mixed in it. They LOVE it! My chickens are also not very picky eaters, so they eat just about anything. It's very rare that my chickens refuse to eat something.

    They also love leftovers. As long as it doesn't have too much sodium, salt, or spices, it's okay for them to have [​IMG]. They might pick out the stuff they like, and leave the rest. But that depends on what it is.

    Also for extra calcium, I give my chickens dried and crushed egg shells. I started giving them this because I had a hen who was laying a lot of eggs with no shell. I don't give them egg shells all the time. When I do, I crush them up in a gallon sized bag with a rolling pin until they are crushed into really small pieces, then I mix it into their feed in their feeder. I only do this about once a week.
  7. PSJ

    PSJ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2011
    Sabine Parish, La
    Mine will eat just about anything also. For some reason tho, they snub cabbage. It is the only thing I've found that they won't eat. They love lettuce, grapes, oranges, strawberries, bread.

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