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Wheatgrass

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by wawafiveseven, Apr 7, 2010.

  1. wawafiveseven

    wawafiveseven Out Of The Brooder

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    My hens LOVE wheatgrass!! They've been eating quite a lot of it recently. My question is ...
    Do they need grit?
    I rarely give them grit on a regular basis and they stay out in the yard about 5 - 6 hours a day.
     
  2. Organics North

    Organics North Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi,
    Mine love wheat grass too!

    Yes! I would suggest always having grit available as free choice.

    ON
     
  3. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

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    While they can probably find enough small stones in the soil, it never hurts to have grit available.
     
  4. wawafiveseven

    wawafiveseven Out Of The Brooder

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    I do leave out some grit as free choice once in a while. Usually when they get treats. Since they eat the grass in the yard with out a problem I was concerned about wheatgrass because wheatgrass is so potent.
     
  5. Hope119

    Hope119 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can anyone advise at what age the baby chicks can be given the wheatgrass? I have read this article and have tested our wheat berries - it did grow to 8 inches of wheat grass very quickly. And while I still have about 2 weeks before my first trial to have chicks from incubator project is due, I am thinking when I can start growing the first batch of wheatgrass for them. How early can they be given any grass? A bit OT, but also how early can they be let outside?
     
  6. Organics North

    Organics North Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hope,
    My experience is wheat grass is very tough! I had flats of wheat grass they played in but did not eat much of it until they were a several months old.
    I found that baby chicks from a week or so on enjoyed wheat sprouts or clover sprouts. As far as how early can they go outside.... It is my opinion to think like a hen, they take the chicks out for short strolls at a very young age. [​IMG]

    wawafiveseven,
    Again, just always leave grit out for the birds. It will never hurt. Chickens do not have teeth, it is how they chew!

    ON
     
  7. featherbaby

    featherbaby Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How do you grow flats of wheatgrass for the chickens? Do you germinate it in soil? Don't they eat the dirt when they graze? Can you grow it in some other substrate so it won't foul the coop once they've eaten all the green? Where do you buy the wheatgrass seeds?
     
  8. Organics North

    Organics North Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:You can buy them on line for wheat grass growing. Me I feed whole grains to my birds, so I buy hard red winter wheat by the 60lb sack. (It is much cheaper at an organic feed/seed store.

    For the flats, I do grow the wheat grass in good clean organic soil. Yes I even break up the roots, so they do pick through the dirt. (After all it is what chickens do!) I try and simulate what they do when they have free range without ice and snow.

    In winter I will have a shallow box of dusty dry soil for them to dust bath in. I will toss the mats of wheat grass in that box. I personally do not see a little dry soil in my deep litter as "fouling". Chickens and clean soil go hand and hand IMHO.

    If you want to avoid the dirt you could just grow the wheat grass on coco mats or in a sprouting jar. Being sure to wash the sprouts often.

    ON
     
  9. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm more conservative with chicks the first week or two.

    If the weather is good and a suitable temperature for them, I've had them outside for brief periods as early as one week old. They spend more time outside as they get older.

    I don't give chicks anything but starter or starter/grower the first week. I just want to get them stabilized, after everything they've been through. This is with shipped chicks. When I do start giving them other foods, it's only a small amount, very finely ground and they get clean sand lightly sprinkled in a small container, so they don't over eat the sand. Sometimes it's hard to find chick grit. I grind up things like hulled sunflower seed.

    For wheat grass, I usually just snip it really tiny for chicks, with a scissors. I take some blades of wheat grass, barely move the scissors and snip again. It looks pulverized or pulpy, rather than like pieces of grass. For larger chickens, I give larger segments, but not whole leaf blades. When they're eating growing grass, they can just eat what they bite off. I only grow wheat grass and sprout alfalfa for adult chickens in the winter, when the outdoor forage is under snow. The rest of the year they forage on their own.
     
  10. wawafiveseven

    wawafiveseven Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks Organics North.

    Featherbaby, you can probably get the hard red winter berries at a health food store.


    Has anyone seen benefits from feeding wheatgrass?
     

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