Why do my chickens dine on dandelions?

kcan2

Songster
Oct 18, 2019
401
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MI
In addition to their normal bug-hunting, I noticed that my chickens specifically eat dandelion leaves (not the flowers) pretty often.

Besides attempting to remind me to eat more salad, does anyone know why they like dandelion leaves so much?

They actually have me wondering of there is something healthy or beneficial to eating dandelions.
 

kcan2

Songster
Oct 18, 2019
401
1,704
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MI
A bit bitter and full of calcium. Healthy for the chickens...and us too, if you want to eat them. My older brother uses the flowers to make wine.
Very cool he makes wine with them! I've heard about dandelion root tea too. I'd try both!

I had a feeling the chickens knew something I didn't about dandelions. Whatever they know about bug eating, though, I think I prefer to leave to them.
 

kcan2

Songster
Oct 18, 2019
401
1,704
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MI
They are hardwired to eat greens. When the chickens are left to their own devices, the majority they consume by volume is greens.
Aren't they smart!

Tomorrow will mark my one-year anniversary of Chicken ownership and all that has involved. Here they are schooling me about dandelions.
 

Starburst

Free Ranging
May 25, 2020
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Not sure why your chickens are eating specifically dandelions, but what I do know is that dandelions are rich in several vitamins, including vitamin K and vitamin A. (The chickens probably don't know that, though! :lol: ) They also have calcium, and, in my opinion, are just plain tasty. Not sure why exactly your chickens seem attracted directly to that plant (my own flock won't touch them...but then again, they won't touch most treats), but I hope my rambling helps some. :)
 

kcan2

Songster
Oct 18, 2019
401
1,704
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MI
Baby greens are delicious in salads
I will have to try that! Maybe tomorrow as salad is already on the menu. 🥬🍴

I like them myself in the yard.
As with many things, the chickens have changed my perspective on dandelions. I think I need to embrace your outlook on having them in the yard since it's already a toss up between them and the grass 😆 maybe the Europeons are on to something!

Not sure why your chickens are eating specifically dandelions, but what I do know is that dandelions are rich in several vitamins, including vitamin K and vitamin A. (The chickens probably don't know that, though! :lol: ) They also have calcium, and, in my opinion, are just plain tasty. Not sure why exactly your chickens seem attracted directly to that plant (my own flock won't touch them...but then again, they won't touch most treats), but I hope my rambling helps some. :)
I had no idea that dandelions had calcium until today! I guess dandelions are just more fun than oyster shells? Chicken mystification is certainly a real thing. Thanks for the rambles! 😃
 

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