Why Eat a Leaf?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ileggs, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. ileggs

    ileggs Out Of The Brooder

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    Chicago IL
    My chickens this winter have started to eat tons of leaves. Because everything is frozen they don't find a lot of food on the ground they run to the dead leaves and eat them. Is this normal? Why leaves? It can't hurt them right?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    Are you sure they're eating dead dry leaves or something else in there like a bug, seed or other morsel?
    I dump bagged leaves in the run and they search them thoroughly and find things to nibble on. It's just something to keep them busy.
    What else are you feeding them and how old are they?
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  3. BrickWall Honey

    BrickWall Honey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They're hungry, if there is no greenery in the run and because its frozen no scratch and bugs around, you have to up the feed in the coop a bit. Also if you can use some cabbage/kale/lettuce in the run. If at times $s are tight check out the local grocery stores and talk to the produce manager, likely they'll give you the still good but dated produce.

    the dry leaves will not harm them but also not help them much
    Best to you.
     
  4. ileggs

    ileggs Out Of The Brooder

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    How do I up the feed? I have food in the coop 24/7. I have chickens who are 8months old. I do not have the property to keep them free range but I try to let them out a couple times a week. Would worms or lettuce be a better choice to buy? Thank you for the help
     
  5. BrickWall Honey

    BrickWall Honey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What brand of feed are you currently using? Yes lettuce is fine along with any of the leafy veggys. Wondering if something in the feed is off balance for nutrients. The dead leaves although they all eat some, if they over do it can lead to an impacted crop. Can you list the ingredients off the tag on you feed and maybe some of the members can join in and help.
    Oh, by the way what breed of chickens.

    Later
     
  6. Mr MKK FARMS

    Mr MKK FARMS Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Leafs are yummy. [​IMG]
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    Making the feed available is the proper approach.
    If it is old or moldy they won't eat it.
    I don't know your situation. I'm just saying what is the possible.
     
  8. ileggs

    ileggs Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 29, 2013
    Chicago IL
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for the help
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Chickens eat leaves because they are omnivores. They eat vegetable matter. They eat animal matter. Leaves qualify as vegetable matter. Mine chase down and eat elm leaves as they fall from the tree in late summer/early fall. It’s sometimes fun to watch them when there is a light breeze blowing the leaves as they all.

    Chickens kind of live by the rule “Do lunch or be lunch”. If it doesn’t eat them first they will eat it. People seem to worry about what chickens eat a lot more than the chickens do.
     
  10. nab58

    nab58 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are you feeding anything other than the pellets? Try some leafy greens (the greener, the better), sprouts (grown your own) or a handful of black oil sunflower seeds.
     

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