Feeding chickens table scraps is a topic that generates a lot of debate. This article looks at some of the pro’s and con’s of feeding chickens table scraps and offers some useful suggestions for those who wish to do indulge their birds.
Most experts agree that feeding your chickens properly is a key to their overall health and longevity. For most backyard hobbyists, feeding your chickens a high quality chicken feed that is commercially produced is the best option. These feeds are specifically designed to meet the needs of your chickens depending on their age and their purpose. A good quality chicken feed is really all you need to keep your chickens healthy and happy.
However, there is nothing inherently wrong with feeding chickens table scraps as a treat. But you do need to be careful when you do this.
If you choose to feed chickens table scraps, it is best to give them fresh vegetables such as cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes, as well as various types of greens, and this might even include grass. Greens will help keep their yolks a deep shade of yellow.
Table scraps should never take the place of your regular chicken feed, however. Table scraps simply do not contain the needed nutrients your birds need in order to be healthy and to thrive. As an occasional treat, feeding chickens table scraps is fine, but they cannot sustain your flock over a long period of time.
It is very important to also understand many forms of table scraps can actually be harmful. For example, feeding chickens table scraps that contain a lot of spices or salt can be very harmful to their overall health. Certain types of fish that contain tiny bones can also result in trouble. Some experienced growers swear that you should never, ever give chickens any form of chocolate.
It is important to monitor them after feeding chickens table scraps. If there is any left over food on the ground, you can be sure they do not enjoy that particular meal. You should clean left over table scraps up as soon as possible as this material is almost surely going to spoil and will most likely attract insects and predators.
Feeding chickens table scraps is acceptable, but only if done with care and prudence. You do not want to jeopardize the safety of your flock and you certainly do not want to deny them the nutrition they need, so feed them scraps only as an occasional treat.