Vegetables for Chickens – what can you grow for them to enjoy?
Gardens and allotments are the home to a great many chickens and they will certainly enjoy and benefit from having vegetables added to their menu.
There’s no problem convincing chickens of the need to eat ‘five-a-day’, they simply love their greens! Chickens need greenstuff for the extra vitamins and minerals they contain. Free-range chickens will happily eat grass, herbs and weeds but even they will enjoy being fed vegetables occasionally. If your chickens are kept in a run, then they will need a regular supply.
The best way to feed vegetables is to hang them up, just above head height. This will keep them off the ground and therefore clean and will also entertain the birds as they work for their food. Do make sure the vegetables are fresh and remove any that are leftover.
Good Vegetables for Chickens
Like we humans chickens do have their own personal preferences but most will happily tuck into the vegetables mentioned below.
Countrylore has it that feeding hens on swede will make their eggs bigger. Worth a try?
Bad Vegetables for Chickens
Like most animals chickens will not eat what is bad for them but it’s still best to ensure that the following vegetables are not available to them.
Aubergines, tomatoes and potatoes all belong to the nightshade family and the green parts are poisonous to many animals, including chickens. So, green tomatoes are a no-no however when ripe, and especially when cooked, your chickens will come to no harm.
Raw beans contain hemagglutinin which is toxic to birds. Cooking the beans will kill the toxins and make them safe for your chickens to eat.
Onions and rhubarb can both cause jaundice and anaemia in chickens and so need to be avoided.
In addition to the above, chickens should not be fed frosted veg of any kind.
So, the good news is there are only a few vegetables that are harmful to chickens, most can only do them good. Yet another reason why a few hens in the garden or on the allotment is such a good idea. They’ll certainly help you out in a glut!