Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Chicken Scraps

I am new to having chickens. Mine are only 4 weeks old, but seem to be getting larger and larger by the day. Between them and my human sons, I am afraid they will eat me out of my home. The rock band (my 4 chickens) eat what seems to be a lot of chicken feed. I use Manna Pro® Medicated Complete Crumbles for Chicks purchased it here at www.EggCartons.com. I give them one cup twice a day, and it's gone within seconds of feeding time. 

I have been bringing them outside 3-4 times a week for 
field trips to the garden. I found that they love pincher bugs, (Earwigs).  (EW!) So, I open up the garden, lift up some wood and the chickens go crazy. They get so excited to catch the creepy, crawling insects. Henry-Rollins pulled a Karate Kid move the other day and caught a fly right of the sky with his beak. These birds are terribly funny to watch. After they started going after the bugs, I asked, what can "teenage chicks" eat other than chicken food? Turns out, a few things. And when they get older, they will eat almost anything! I did some research and found somethings that are good to feed them, and some not advisable. Please share your insight and chicken dining recipes here on our blog! 

Hen-dy, Creative Department

Good to eat:

General Opinions
Raw and applesauce
Apple seeds contain cyanide, but not in sufficient quantities to kill.
Raw or cooked
Okay to feed, but not a favorite.
Without the peel
High in potassium, a good treat.
Well-cooked only, never dry
Also, greenbeans.
Greens also

All kinds
A treat, especially strawberries.
All kinds - good use for stale bread or rolls
Feed starches in moderation.
Cabbage & Brussels Sprouts
Whole head -
Hang a whole cabbage from their coop 
ceiling in winter so they have something
to play with and greens to eat.
Raw and cooked
They like carrot foliage too.
Cheerios, etc
Avoid highly sugared cereal
Including cottage cheese
Feed in moderation, fatty but a good source of protein and calcium
On cob and canned, raw and cooked
Crickets (alive)
Can be bought at bait or pet-supply stores
Great treat – provides protein and it’s fun to watch the chickens catch them.

Let mature for yummy seeds and flesh.
They prefer cooked

Make sure they haven't been treated with pesticides, such as florist flowers might be
Marigolds, nasturtiums, pansies, etc.
Pears, peaches, cherries, apples

Bulgar, flax, niger, wheatberries,etc
Seedless only
For chicks, cutting them in half makes it
easier for them to swallow
Great fun - the cause of many entertaining "chicken keepaway" games.

Only feed your chickens that which is still considered edible by humans, don't feed anything spoiled, moldy, oily, salty or unidentifiable

Lettuce / Kale
Any leafy greens, spinach collards, chickweed included
A big treat, depending on how much other greenery they have access to.
Cantelope, etc
Both seeds and flesh are good chicken treats.
Raw or cooked
Cooked is nutritionally better.
Pasta / Macaroni
Cooked spaghetti, etc
A favorite treat, fun to watch them eat it, but not much nutrition.
Peas and pea tendrils and flowers

Peppers (bell)
Raw or cooked
Positive feedback on these.
Seeds are a big treat.
Popped, no butter, no salt

Potatos / Sweet Potatos/Yams
Cooked only - avoid green parts of peels!
Starchy, not much nutrition
Pumpkins / Winter Squash
Raw or cooked
Both seeds and flesh are a nutritious treat.
Right out of the box or in breads

Cooked only
Pilaf mixes are okay too, plain white rice has little nutrition.
Scratch is cracked corn with grains (such as wheat, oats and rye) mixed in
Scratch is a treat for cold weather, not a complete feed. Toss it on the ground and let them scratch for it for something to do.
Wheat and oat sprouts are great
 Good for greens in mid-winter.
Summer Squash
Yellow squash and zucchini
Yellow squash not a huge favorite, but okay to feed.
Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds with the shell still on is fine to feed, as well as with the shell off
A good treat, helps hens lay eggs and grow healthy feathers.
Raw and cooked.

Not a huge favorite
Served cold, it can keep chickens cool and hydrated during hot summers
Seeds and flesh are both okay to feed.
Plain or flavored
A big favorite and good for their digestive systems. Plain is better.

Not good to eat:

Raw green potato peels
Toxic substance called Solanine.
Anything real salty
Can cause salt poisoning in small bodies such as chickens.

Dried or undercooked Beans
Raw, or dry beans, contain a poison called hemaglutin which is toxic to birds.
Avocado Skin and Pit
Skin and pit have low levels of toxicity.
Raw eggs
You don’t want to introduce your chickens to the tastiness of eggs which may be waiting to be collected in the nestboxes.
Candy, Chocolate, Sugar
Their teeth will rot… No, it’s just bad for their systems, and chocolate can be poisonous to most pets.

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