Happy Peeps

January 2, 2012

Eat Your Quaker Oats!

This past summer, I caught several of my chickens pecking at a large piece of styrofoam insulation which had been removed from around our wooden hot tub as  it was dismantled. Horrified that they were ingesting this pink & white foam, I chased them away & removed the offending material, but this convinced me that chickens will eat anything, and therefore, can't be trusted to monitor their diet.

The only thing to do then, is to try to provide them with a variety of nutrients, especially in winter when there's not much to forage. Greens are super important, just as they are for you and me. I don't think they turn my eggs orange, but they DO contribute to their orange yolk color, which is why you don't see orangey yolks in your eggs from the store -- those hens are stuck in cages with their beaks nipped short and they don't get a diet containing fresh greens.  I have learned from others that you can hang a cabbage in the hen house and they will peck at it and it will provide them with greens for quite a while, so this week I will buy a cabbage for my girls!

Today, I made them some nice warm oatmeal with raisins - a first for them. They weren't sure what to make of it at first, but once they tried it, all of them were pushing to get into the bowl. Wilford Brimley would be proud!

I placed the oatmeal bowl in the tray containing their grit, which I leave out for them to eat when they feel the need. They can't properly digest things like chicken scratch without the grit.

So...Eat Your Quaker Oats!

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