You learn something new every day

@Fleura (6159)
United Kingdom
November 27, 2017 3:17am CST
When you think about what chickens eat (if you have ever even given it a thought) you probably think of corn, or perhaps worms. But like us, chickens like a bit of variety. Mostly they eat commercially-produced pelleted chicken food which is designed to provide a nutritionally-balanced diet and meet all their needs, but if they get a chance to have something a bit different they literally jump at it. Yes they like corn, and they eat a surprising amount of grass too. Some of them like worms or other creepy-crawlies like woodlice, slugs or flies and they love bread, bacon and milk products like yogurt. They also like fruit, and even though I’ve kept chickens on and off for several years I didn’t know this and never thought to offer them any, until chance happened to bring some fruit their way and they gobbled it up! I now know that they love grapes as well as apples and pears; I didn’t have any trouble clearing up the windfall fruit in our new garden! All rights reserved. © Text and image copyright Fleur 2017.
9 people like this
8 responses
@LadyDuck (121325)
• Switzerland
27 Nov
My grandmother had chicken and hens and I know she gave them bread, fruits, corn, they can eat almost everything. Milk should not given to laying hens, they lay less eggs. Fat must also be contained, fat chicken and hens have difficulties breathing.
4 people like this
@Fleura (6159)
• United Kingdom
27 Nov
I didn't know about milk, I thought the calcium in milk would help with the egg production. They only get a few treats like bacon or bread in the evening before bed.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (121325)
• Switzerland
28 Nov
@Fleura It's the fat in milk that is not good and there is not enough calcium in milk for the hens. You need to buy crushed oyster shells if they need calcium, or to crush the shells of the eggs you use. They are the best source of calcium with no fat at all.
1 person likes this
@Fleura (6159)
• United Kingdom
28 Nov
@LadyDuck I see. Yes they do get oyster shell grit and I also crush up the egg shells as you say.
1 person likes this
@Shavkat (46580)
• Philippines
27 Nov
All I know, I cannot eat chickens that I had raised in my backyard. But then, I do think it is clean enough to consume.
2 people like this
@Fleura (6159)
• United Kingdom
27 Nov
We don't eat these as they are laying hens and so are really quite skinny and relatively tough, but really I would rather eat one that I know has had a happy life than one that has lived only a few short weeks in a cage.
1 person likes this
@Shavkat (46580)
• Philippines
28 Nov
@Fleura In my city, it is not allowed to raise chickens for a long period of time. We just need to consume them before the expected holidays with the family.
1 person likes this
@tzwrites (3791)
• Romania
27 Nov
I have 8 chickens right now, they are free to roam around in the garden. They eat almost anything I give them but usually they peck any grass or greens they can find and insects. They even love eating snails.
2 people like this
@Fleura (6159)
• United Kingdom
27 Nov
I used to have a chicken that loved slugs, but unfortunately the 4 I have now don't like them and just turn up their noses s to speak!
@Ronrybs (7133)
• London, England
27 Nov
Chickens are surprisingly wide ranging in their tastes. I saw a bit of video of one hunting down a mouse and taking it away for supper
1 person likes this
@Fleura (6159)
• United Kingdom
27 Nov
Ours did attack a rat once, they really can be vicious. I'm glad they're not dinosaur sized!
1 person likes this
@Ronrybs (7133)
• London, England
29 Nov
@Fleura Yes, I've no problem believing they are descended from T. Rex! But can they play the guitar?
1 person likes this
@Fleura (6159)
• United Kingdom
29 Nov
@Ronrybs I don't know, I've never given them the opportunity to try!
@DianneN (59078)
• United States
28 Nov
I never had chickens so never knew any of this. They are so cute!
1 person likes this
@Fleura (6159)
• United Kingdom
28 Nov
they are real characters!
1 person likes this
@DianneN (59078)
• United States
28 Nov
@Fleura I'm sure! lol
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (100432)
• Bunbury, Australia
28 Nov
In the poultry world, geese in particular eat a lot of grass. And yes, chickens eat just about anything.
1 person likes this
@Fleura (6159)
• United Kingdom
28 Nov
I knew geese mainly eat grass but I hadn't realised chickens eat quite so much. And I hadn't realised chickens have such individual tastes - they definitely have their own personal likes and dislikes!
1 person likes this
27 Nov
Do they eat chicken??
1 person likes this
@Fleura (6159)
• United Kingdom
27 Nov
Well I wouldn't be at all surprised, they certainly eat meat and how would they recognise cooked chicken for what it is - after all there are stories of people unknowingly eating their relatives etc. But after one of many food scares - I think it was the one about scrapie in sheep - it is now banned to feed animals food made from the same species. Really, for herbivorous animals like sheep, it should never have been allowed in the first place, but the feed manufacturers just go for the cheapest ingredients of course.
@Platespinner (18472)
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
27 Nov
My chickens only eat the "nutritionally complete" pellets when they are confined to th it pen. Given half a chance, they prefer to scrounge for their own food.
1 person likes this
@Fleura (6159)
• United Kingdom
27 Nov
Yes I think they get bored with the same stuff, even if it does supply all they need.