Friday, January 28, 2011

Fowl Food

Like many of you I spend hours upon hours this time of year drooling over the newest seed catalogs and planning the garden's future.  There's a big difference for us at MoonCat Farms this time around though, we're also deciding what kind of crops to grow for our chickens!

Since becoming the chicken mama to my feathered friends, I've been trying to learn as much as I can about what I can feed them - especially at this time of year.  The ground is bare and there aren't many tasty bugs to be had so I need to supplement their fare.  Trying to give them fresh produce is costing a fortune!  They've been eating some very interesting concoctions that I've been creating in the kitchen as well.

For the most part, I've gathered that if it is natural and healthy for us ~ it should be pretty much the same for them.  They have been enjoying A LOT of fresh spinach, cooked peas and beans, various fruits, a bit of fish or other proteins on occasion, homemade suet cake treats, etc.  This is of course on top of their chicken mash, scratch and pellets.   

When the garden was still in full swing we discovered that tomatoes and watermelon are their top choices.  They'd line up like little inmates at the fence and beg for tomatoes.  Squash and peas were OK once they're cooked by the chicken mama, most greens were welcomed as well.  Strawberries and blackberries were another favorite treat along with cucumbers. 

Besides the normal fruits and veggies that we're growing for ourselves, I'm trying to figure out what we can add for the chickens.  I will be doing a lot of canning, freezing and drying of our own foodstuffs and things such as comfrey, spinach and other greens for the birds.  I would like to get any suggestions that some more experienced chicken keepers might have as to what else would be good for getting us through the winter a bit cheaper..

Anyone?  Bueller?


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