Thursday, January 12, 2012
Chicken Gourmet Snack Food
CLUCK, CLUCK, CLUCK!!!
Or should I say, BRRR, BRRR, BRRR. Old Man Winter finally decided to show his face tonight. I was thanked several times earlier this evening when I went outside to close all the barn doors and plug in the chicken water to keep it from freezing. Not only did I enjoy the chickie praise, but I was thanked by a dozen eggs laid today. Good job, ladies...good job. (I'm still very pleased with the egg production. Though it has slowed down, the ladies have been very dutiful. This could be a whole other post, so I'll save it for later.)
The other day I noticed how old and wilted a head of lettuce was. I've been told and have read how much chickens love table scraps and garden goodies, such as lettuce, melon rinds, etc. I took it outside and threw out chunks of lettuce. It was a big hit! Normally when anything hits the floor the girls come running and their evening salad was no exception. All I've ever really given them (besides a summer of freedom in my yard) has been bread crumbs...oh and I diced up those rats for them with the lawn mower...let's not forget that adventure.... I think it's funny though because when this happens the roosters will hold back, like they are letting the women have all the treats. They DO go after the food, just not as hardcorere as the girls do.
I'd say it's pretty bad when I buy a bag of salad at the grocery store and think, "Well if we don't eat it all before it goes bad, the chickens will."
A chicken's diet is very important. No matter the age. Any chicken owner can tell you that enough calcium in a laying chicken's diet it very, very important. This way a hen's body can produce a strong shell for the egg. If calcium isn't obtained through the diet, usually in the form of good old oyster shells, hens will start eating the eggs. Thias is a contagious habit that is not easily broken. Oyster shells are fun and dusty, and I need to get some this weekend.
I.e., ff chicks are fed a layer's feed, it could lead to kidney failure and eventually death.
In my experience, chickens don't just enjoy a vegetarian diet. I've seen one of the roosters eating a dead bird, let's not forget those rats!!!! and chickens are a bird that still believe in the taboo of cannibalism. They'll go after one of their own if he or she is bleeding. (I hope to never witness this!) Some say they have a thirst for blood.
All in all it's not too difficult to keep them happy. I do want to keep in mind more treats for the girls in the future. The picture above was from the other day's feast.
I wonder if the chickens would like popcorn...since I'm eating a bowl right now!
....cluck.... cluck.... cluck.... cluck......