My chickens love the treats we give them but we don’t give them too many so they will eat the food intended for egg layers. But since we started giving them treats they now run when they hear the back door open or my husbands truck pull in the driveway.
We give our girls any vegetable trimmings if I am not throwing them in a soup pot. The seem to like a bit of sweet peppers, cooked potatoes and cooked onions, carrots, green beans, pole beans, snow peas, tomatoes, and broccoli.
And our chickens adore corn. This year the corn we planted for our own consumption was a heritage corn and it turned out to be so tough we could not chew it so we have been drying it and feeding it on occasion a cob at at time to our chickens. Looks like we may be planting two types of corn next year one for us and one for the chickens.
We also grew kale this year and I think this is one of their favorites. The kale is so hearty we can cut the plants to the quick and they come right back. They are still growing and it is almost November. We will definitely be planting kale again next years if only for the hens.
This is my first year with chickens and I did not really realize that they are truly omnivores. And since they live in self imposed confinement in their safe fenced home I have started supplementing thier diets with meal worms. You would think it was candy or a drug with how they try to find every last bit of the worms. I bought a box online dried so I can give them to them whenever I want with out worms living in my house.
I tried cooking some beets for my husband and myself and well they did not go over big. So we saved them for the hens and gave them a little bit of the beets at a time.
Our chickens ate a bit of summer squash but then decided they did not like it but they do love pumpkins. I have been giving them some of the seeds and the strings. When I cook pumpkin for pies and bread and I put it through a ricer so I give the girls the cooked pumpkin that the ricer removes. I actually went to the store an bought a non pie pumpkin for my hens as I wanted to make sure I had enough for them.
I also have been crushing up the egg shells they produce and feeding them to the hens as well. The rooster does not seem to be interested in the egg shells. Makes me happy as he is not laying eggs.
I just purchased some wheat and barley seeds to try sprouting. I will also be sprouting some of the corn we saved. By Sprouting it indoors we can give them some fresh greens during the long cold winter. I will let you know how it goes.