Thursday, April 15, 2010

Chicken Treats

Now that the chicks are all settled in their own place and have eaten almost an entire 50 pound bag of chick start in a little less than two weeks (which, by the way, is TOTALLY unacceptable), I decided it was time to introduce them to scraps.

I remember our chickens growing up LOVED eating scraps and would run to the fence when we came out.

So when I went out yesterday with a few carrot shavings, I figured they were all in for a real treat! I was wrong. As soon as they got over the hysteria of something falling from the sky, they all practically trampled each other to get to them. The lucky few grabbed them up and RAN, only to be relentlessly pursued by the more unfortunate. But quickly they were dropped and never actually eaten. Either they are vegetable snobs or, as Zack concluded, they were too stuffed from eating about 40 pounds of feed in about 10 days…

chicken treats 01 if you look carefully you can see the little orange carrot strip in Otis’ mouth, but mostly they’re in the grass

At some point between the carrot fiasco and this afternoon, they ate the last of their chick start. I figured they might be a little more hungry and feeling less finicky, so I brought out an old freezer-burned bagel left over from lunch. Hey, if it was good enough for us it’s good enough for them!  As soon as they saw me coming down the deck steps they all ran right to the fence, just like I remembered!!!

They didn’t devour it right away. After all they had to get over their fear of small pieces of bread product falling from the sky… But they did eventually scarf the whole thing down.

chicken treats 02

chicken treats 03

Then I remembered reading something on some website about “stuff you should not feed your chickens”. So I decided maybe I should do some looking into that.

Sure enough there are things you should NOT feed your chickens:

  • Citrus fruits and peels (they can cause a drop in egg production)
  • Bones
  • Any large serving of meat, or meat that has gone bad
  • Garlic and onion (unless you want your eggs tasting like them)
  • Avocado skins and pits
  • Raw potato skins
  • Long cut grass
  • Chocolate (as if you'd give that up!)
  • Raw eggs (you don’t want them to start that habit)
  • Salty or sugary foods (you don’t want their teeth to rot out)

But there was also a list of things your chickens would like to eat. And there were a few that I would not have thought of:

  • Plain yogurt (it’s good for their digestion)
  • Sunflower seeds (good for egg laying and growing healthy feathers)
  • Cooked oatmeal (warm oatmeal on cold days is a nice treat)
  • Mealworms & crickets (they’ll have to share with our bearded dragon)

    BuildChickenCoops said...

    If more people knew just how rewarding it was to build a small chicken coop and provide eggs for themselves and their families everybody would be doing it! Regardless of how many eggs you’re trying to produce you can build your own coop to satisfy your needs, and with the right help building that coop just gets easier and easier.

    Chicken Coop Designs said...

    Believe it or not lots of farmers feed their chickens fruit and citrus peels, and that has got to stop.