The best foods for happy hens!
You bought chickens to have your own eggs but you do not know how to take care of them? no problem. Having this concern shows that you will take care of your chicks and hens in the best possible way!
In this article we will not talk about the general well-being of a coop as it is an issue that can not be analyzed in just one article. But we will refer to the most suitable foods so that you have healthy chickens and eggs of excellent quality all year round!
Having your own chickens can be a very fun and constructive process to take care of, especially when you have young children. You will discover that chickens, like all pets, have their own personality and preferences. In fact, if you gain their trust, they will often enjoy your caresses.
From an early age, chickens need grains and seeds ground or crushed to learn to eat and get valuable vitamins. By the time they are about 4 months old, they need baby food, such as oatmeal and whole wheat. Gradually the flour becomes grain and broken corn so that they can eat as the adult hens. Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and wheat, are stable foods that provide minerals and trace elements while giving them the joy of not getting bored and digging with their feet to exercise.
So in addition to the stable food that will give the necessary calories to your chickens, they definitely need calcium and protein, while the alternations enrich their diet and do not let them get bored, something they do very easily.
Ideal foods for our chickens:
Herbs such as lavender, sage, thyme, oregano, basil and mint are great for your chickens! You can plant around the perimeter of the henhouse garden, various herbs so that the hens can nibble. Herbs are excellent food for chickens, they give flavor to eggs and vitamins, minerals and trace elements.
Green leafy vegetables such as celery, spinach and lettuce. If you cleaned your lettuce from outer leaves, they are ideal for your hens! If you like beets but do not cook their leaves, keep them for your chickens. Leafy vegetables are rich in vitamins and fiber, and many times you will see them change the color of the yolk.
Vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, beets, carrots and zucchini are fantastic foods full of flavor and variety for your chickens. There will definitely be a salad left, summer or winter, to feed your cutlets! In fact, their consumption will keep them busy for a long time.
Strange as it may sound, plain strained yogurt is an excellent food from time to time to provide the necessary protein and calcium to produce delicious and quality eggs.
If you made pasta and have left overs, do not be afraid to give it to your chickens! Of course it should not be done on a daily basis, but a few spaghetti once a week, preferably without salt, will give energy to the chickens and will also become a food – toy. Bread is also a good source of carbohydrates as long as we do not overdo it.
From fruits, the list is endless! Chickens love berries, crispy apple, sweet pumpkin, frozen watermelon in the summer months, grapes, pears, melon and many more fruits. Of course they also eat the peels, while the watermelon offers extra hydration on hot days. Pumpkin can also be boiled while keeping in mind that in apples it is good to avoid the pits and raisins are best given cut into small chickens to avoid drowning.
If your hens do not have the space to dig the ground to find worms, dried worms are an excellent source of protein. They do not need much, few are enough, especially during the molding season, as hens become more vulnerable and prone to disease. Eating worms will help protect their body, and will help to shed wings faster. This is important because during this time, hens become more lazy and do not lay eggs.
Finally, an excellent source of energy, especially in winter, is the egg white for adult hens but also for chickens. Be careful, they do not need frequent egg feeding and you should never give eggs raw, as the chickens will start eating their own eggs. Prefer once every month if you want, and give a well-boiled egg or scrambled.
Of course if they are free range, they will choose their own delicacies, and rest assured that they are not going to starve! Among their favorite meals are the fresh worms of course for proteins, weeds, radishes, daisies, wild and many more greens of the countryside that in this way will free you from grass mowing!
What to avoid
For the health of your chickens, avoid:
– Very wet bread because it causes diaVrrhea.
– Avocado peel as it is toxic to chickens. (the flesh is great though for your chickens)
– Spoiled food or molded. Just because they are chickens doesn’t mean that they can eat our leftovers!
– Dried or slightly cooked legumes as they affect the digestive system and create digestive problems.
For you, avoid foods that will flavor chicken eggs, such as garlic and onions.