Fall Treats for Chickens: Selecting Seasonally-Appropriate Foods (& What to Avoid)


| 10/14/2016 9:58:00 AM


Tags: Emily Baker, Kentucky, chickens, chicken feed, keeping chickens, ,

 Fall Chicken Feed

Fall is a subtle, progressive change from a green landscape to one painted with varying tones of  oranges, reds, and yellows, until the bareness of winter sets in. Along with it comes a shift in seasonally available foods. As we change our diets to prepare for the winter months, we must also take our flocks into consideration. Which fall foods are safe to feed chickens, and what should we avoid?

Great Fall Treats for Chickens

Chickens love a varied diet and are true omnivores. However, it is best to provide treats late in the day. Chickens are like children, in that if you serve their dessert with their meal, they will most likely eat the treats first, and may skip their normal feed altogether. It is also important to mix up your treats to add variety to your chicken's diet. While pumpkin makes a great treat, no one wants to eat pumpkin every day for 3 months, and that includes your birds.

Pumpkin: Raw or cooked, pumpkin is a fantastic treat for chickens. Both the seeds and the flesh of the pumpkin provide chickens with a nutritious, seasonally appropriate treat. So when the jack-o-lantern starts to look a little past his prime, it may be time to send him to the coop. Other winter squash works just as well as pumpkin, so feel free to add some variety as you work through your cellar.

Sweet Potatoes: While sweet potatoes and yams don't provide a whole lot of nutrition to your flock, they are fine as a treat if your flock enjoys them. However, when preparing sweet potatoes for chickens, they must be cooked, and the green part of the peel should be removed.

Oatmeal: Just as you enjoy a warm bowl of oatmeal on a cold morning, your flock agrees! Cooked oatmeal is a nutritious treat for your chicks on cool days, but raw is also fine. Combining raw oatmeal with scratch feed and birdseed for a scatter treat can also get your birds up and moving.

r_e_forest
12/4/2016 8:00:44 PM

I read somewhere that acorns were a good supplement for chickens. As most of my property has an abundance of oak trees, this was good news. You seemed pretty adamant that acorns should be avoided. Can you clarify? Thanks.





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