Chickens are a great addition to any garden. They provide you with eggs, fertilizer, and entertainment. But they also need food. And that food has to come from somewhere. If you’re growing chickens as part of your sustainable lifestyle, then it makes sense to grow some of their food in your own backyard instead of buying it at the store or making trips to feed stores every week or so. There are many different options when it comes to feeding chickens (and other farm animals), but here are some things that work well for most folks:
Chickens will eat a wide variety of foods, but some are just better for them than others.
Here are some options you should include in your chicken garden.
Leafy Greens: Leafy greens like dandelion greens, spinach and cabbage are great for chickens to eat because they contain vitamins A and C as well as iron.
Alfalfa and Grass Hay: Alfalfa is high in protein which makes it perfect for egg-laying hens! If you have horses or other livestock on your property, consider letting their waste products fertilize your alfalfa field. Nutrient cycling is important on a small farm, plus you’ll know there’s nothing harmful about feeding it to your chickens. (The same goes for using manure when growing vegetables).
Fruit & Vegetable Scraps: You know all those veggies that went bad before they could be eaten? Instead of throwing them away or composting them, feed them to your flock. Chickens love a good scrap bucket of foodstuffs.
If your hens are in a stationary coop and run, grass clippings are a good source of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Grass clippings also have antioxidants in them which help to keep chickens healthy. If you’re wondering what to do with your grass clippings then you should consider letting your birds eat them! It’s not only good for their digestive system but it will also give them some extra nutrients that they need.
If you want to feed your chickens grass clippings then sprinkle some over their feed or toss it into the pen with them so they can peck at it while they eat their regular food as well. This can be done with any type of chicken – whether they’re meat birds or just laying hens – because it’s full of such great things!
- Leafy greens are a good source of vitamins and minerals.
- They’re easy to grow, harvest, store and feed to chickens.
Alfalfa and grass hay
alfalfa is a perennial plant and a good source of protein, calcium, vitamins A and C, as well as vitamin E. Alfalfa hay is an excellent choice for chickens because it contains more protein than any other type of grass. It also has more calcium than any other kind of grass hay. Chickens need this extra calcium in their diet because they don’t produce it themselves like humans do–they must obtain it from the foods they eat!
The benefits of alfalfa are not just limited to its high nutrient content: It’s also very difficult for pests to eat (including mites). This makes alfalfa perfect for keeping your flock healthy during winter months when bugs can be especially hardy! Also keep in mind that you shouldn’t feed your chickens high amounts of clover or legumes – these plants contain compounds called cyanogenic glycosides which are toxic to poultry if consumed in large amounts over time.
Fruit and vegetable scraps
Fruit and vegetable scraps are a good source of nutrients for your chickens. They’ll eat almost anything, but the best part about fruit and vegetable scraps is that they’re low in fat and calories, which means they won’t contribute to your “chicken-y” fat build up. You can feed them many different things such as citrus peels, tomatoes, lettuce leaves, cucumbers – even coffee grounds!
Fruit and vegetable scraps are also packed with vitamins A & C and fiber so you don’t have to worry about your chickens having vitamin deficiencies or constipation issues!
Beans and peas
- Beans and peas are a good source of protein, so if your chickens are getting bored with their grain-based diet, adding some beans and peas to their diet might help.
- Because they’re packed with nutrients, beans and peas can help you avoid health problems like heart disease or diabetes.
- They’re easy to grow in almost any climate—even in areas that have wetter summers!
- In addition to being good for you, they’re also good for the environment because they don’t require as much water as other crops.
Chickens will eat almost anything, but growing food for them is even more sustainable than buying it.
As chickens are omnivores, they will eat almost anything. In fact, if you’re not careful about what you feed them, they can quickly become overweight because they’re so efficient at converting food into protein. However, growing food for your chickens is an even more sustainable option than buying it. By growing plants that are nutritious but not too fattening (like leafy greens), you’ll be able to keep them healthier while also saving money on animal feed costs.
Heading into 2023, consider growing at least a part of your flock’s food. With rising prices it will definitely help you cut costs – particularly if you’re housing your hens in a stationary coop. Yet another reason to use Cackellacs – feed costs go down when chickens can be foraging for their own food.