What to Plant For Free Chicken Food – weeds, Berries and Plants
Chickens are great, not only because they eat unwanted insects and negate the need to use pesticides but because they’re a good source of food and can help keep your yard clean.
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Let’s start with weeds
Below is list of weeds that your chicks can and can’t eat along with a list of flowers and plants you can grow for them as well.
Bitter Cress – Bitter cress is another plentiful weed that tend to appear in milder weather.
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Hairy bittercress in flower. The leaves, young stems, seedpods and flowers are edible and have a nice peppery flavour, similar to shop bought salad cress and can be used in the same way. Adds a nice flavour and texture to salads, sandwiches, sauces etc.. and not at all hairy as the name suggests. It can usually be found in damp woodland and near streams/boggy fields/disturbed areas/wasteground/urban areas. Photographed 06/02 S.Wales on urban wasteground. #wildfoodharvest #wildfood #wildfoodlove #hairybittercress #cress #edibleweeds #edible #plants #forage #forager #foraging #foragedfood #foragingforfood #freefood #naturephotography #flowers #flowerphotography
Chickweed – Chickens love Chickweed! it’s readily abundant and It’s also a natural pain reliever so really good for your chicks.
Clover – Clover is one of the most nutritious weeds you can feed your chickens.
Dandelion – Dandelions are extremely nutritious and grow wild in almost every area of the country so take a moment and wait before you spray herbicide on your lawn this year! Pull the dandelions out by their roots and give your chickens a tasty snack.
Nettles – Nettles are often shunned because they can sting you if mishandled but they’re edible and delicious, nettles are normally found growing on the edge of woodlands
Herbs chickens like to eat
Want to go the extra mile and invest in some extra treats for your chickens?
Then the following additional plants are also good for them to eat.
Amaranth: A beautiful addition to any garden, your chickens will love having this plant to eat.
Comfrey: This plant is rich in protein, potassium, and calcium. Beneficial to chickens for their general health and can promote laying
Fennel: This plant has yellow flowers which attract butterfly larvae and other insects for your chickens to eat. Their foliage and seeds are also good for general health.
Nasturtium: A great plant for your chicken’s health. It has antiseptic and antibiotic properties.
Oregano: This plant can boost your chickens immune systems and helps fight off a number of diseases such as: e.coli, salmonella, and avian flu.
Sage: A good herb for a chickens general health. It’s an amazing antioxidant and can help prevent salmonella
Thyme: Aids in respiratory health and has antibacterial/antibiotic properties.
Plants and Berries To plant
Follow these tips and your chickens will soon be eating like royalty!
These plants are bad for your chickens
If you see your chickens repeatedly eating or pecking at the following plants then you should look into removing them as they can be bad for your babies.
As a rule though chickens aren’t picky eaters but if they eat something they don’t like then normally they will just avoid it in future.
* English Ivy
* Creeping Myrtle
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