Garden Grown Food For Chickens

If you already keep chickens in your garden then you will already know how useful they can be. Not only will your chickens provide you with eggs and amuse you and your family no end, they will also help you to fertilise your garden, scratch up the soil and keep down the numbers of problem pests. If you have a regular sized garden then it is unlikely that you will be able to grow all the food your chickens will need. You can, however, reduce the costs of keeping your chickens considerably by supplementing a good quality bought feed with the following home-grown items:

ChickweedUseful Weeds for Chicken Feed

There are clues contained in the names of several common weeds that tell us that they are good feed for chickens. Chickweed and fat hen are perhaps the two best known examples. Other weeds will also provide a good supplement to a chicken's diet. Stinging nettles, when dried, for example, contain high levels of protein which is good for chickens' health.

DuckweedDuckweed from a Garden Pond

Another surprisingly good source of protein for chickens in the duckweed from a garden pond. Left in sun to dry out, duckweed can also be highly nutritious for your feathered friends.

ComfreyComfrey as Chicken Feed

One plant which should be grown in every organic garden is also great as chicken food. Some chickens will turn up their beaks, as it were, at the mature leaves, though shredding these and placing them in with other food will allow them to benefit from the nutritious comfrey.

Chicken in gardenBrassica Leaves and other Greens

Chickens especially seem to love any leaves of any plants in the cabbage family. Of course you should already be feeding chickens on the scraps of home grown produce from your kitchen but you can also feed them on any tattered or unwanted brassica leaves or other greens direct from your garden.

MealwormsMeat Protein Sources for Chickens

You may already have noticed how eagerly chickens will eat slugs, caterpillars or, frankly, just about any insect or beetle or creepy crawly that they see nearby. To supplement the creatures that your chickens are already eating, you can also rear mealworms in a container in your garden to provide a steady source of good quality meat protein for your chickens. Or you can breed excess worms in a wormery to give to your hens.