Taking care of chickens isn’t very difficult. You need to make sure that you are giving them plenty of shelter and water. You’ll also need to give them the right feed. But will they be able to eat the grass?
Will Chickens Eat Grass
Most chicken species will eat grass. Sometimes, it will contain bugs and other important nutrients, which can help keep the chickens healthy. This makes it a good supplement for their diet. In most cases, they will be able to discern between nutrient-rich grass and those that are of poorer quality. However, they will forage among all types of grass.
Health Risks of Eating Grass
In most cases, the health risks that eating grass poses to a chicken is minimal. They are used to grinding it up and processing it in their stomachs. But there are a few things that you need to keep in mind.
It’s important to consider how the grass has been grown. Most importantly, you’ll need to avoid using chemicals on your grass. Sometimes, these can cause digestive issues. In some cases, harsh chemicals like roundup can even prove fatal. If you have treated grass with these chemicals, build a fence to keep chickens out of the area.
However, it will be safe for them to eat your grass clippings. They will enjoy breaking these clumps apart, as they search for any bugs that are underneath them.
Protecting Grass From Chickens
While it is normal for your chickens to want to eat grass, they can do a lot of damage to your lawn. The good news is that this doesn’t have to be the case. A simple tip is to leave the grass a little longer than normal. This will protect it from chicken poop, which is high in nitrogen and can sometimes burn the grass.
You can also protect the roots by mulching the grass. Your chickens will eat the clippings rather than the grass. Here are some of the other tips you can use to maintain a green lawn.
Giving Your Chickens the Best Diet
Usually, you shouldn’t be concerned about your chickens eating grass. It is a normal part of their diet. But it shouldn’t be the only thing that they are eating. If it is, they might start to experience digestive problems. This is because they won’t be getting the nutrients they need to have a balanced diet.
If you have chickens, you will learn that they aren’t overly picky. They will eat kitchen scraps, grass seeds, and dig up the ground looking for bugs. They are very active when searching for food. Because of this, it can be a good idea to sprinkle some feed around the enclosure, so they can scratch it up.
Chicken feed will still be an important part of their diet, making up the bulk of their food. You should look for something that has a good mix of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It should also be tailored to the chicken’s life stage, as adults need a different set of nutrients than chicks. You can use this chicken feed comparison to learn what to look for and help find the right type of feed for your flock. This article goes into more depth about the type of foods you should be giving to your chickens.
If you have chickens, you want to make sure that they are getting the right mix of food. Grass is an important part of this diet, providing some nutritional content and allowing them to stay active when looking for food. So, give them a grassy area to explore.
Joseph Hudson has been raising chickens for over 15 years. In 2018, he completed the Agriculture & Natural Resources program at Mt. San Antonio College. He currently raises over 1400 chickens on his 7.5-hectare farm. He keeps sharing his experience on raising healthy and happy chickens on Chicken Scratch.