Any chicken owner that has ever let their chickens touch grass before has doubtlessly already noticed that their birds don’t just pick through the grass on the lookout for alternative morsels of food, but they really eat a bit little bit of the grass too.
It’s almost a bit strange when you concentrate on it; chickens eating grass? It’s true, chickens do eat grass.
But that begs one other query: can chickens eat grass clippings, and are they protected for them?
Grass clippings are protected for chickens so long as they’re dry, and haven’t been contaminated with fertilizers, pesticides, fuel or other chemicals which could pose a health hazard.
Grass is a natural source of nutrients for chickens, but removed from nutritionally complete.
There’s a good little bit of contention on the web regarding whether or not you may give grass clippings to chickens. Reasons vary, but a number of people have blown the subject way out of proportion.
Grass is a protected and natural food for chickens, and you may give your grass clippings to them as long as you apply a bit little bit of common sense.
I’ll inform you all the pieces you must know concerning the topic down below.
What Benefits Do Grass Clippings Have for Chickens?
Grass is just of marginal profit to them, however it does have a component to play in chickens’ eating regimen. It can provide them with a number of calories and a bit bit of assorted vitamins and minerals that they need.
Grass can also be helpful for helping to filter out a chicken’s intestinal tract, and it could actually potentially firm up their poop in the event that they are experiencing loose, watery stools.
Chickens generally don’t eat grass on a regular basis in the event that they have another alternative, but after they do eat it, by necessity or otherwise, they are going to invariably hunt down more grit to assist them break down the tough cellulose present in it.
Grass Clipping Nutritional Info
Grass is just a marginal food for chickens, and though it incorporates nutrients that they need, it doesn’t contain very much of them in any respect.
Although the dietary profile of grass does vary somewhat depending on the precise type, typically grass will offer chickens some carbs and fiber, a bit little bit of vitamins A and E, and a smattering of B-complex vitamins.
Are Grass Clippings Safe for Chickens?
Yes, grass clippings are protected for chickens. There is nothing in grass that’s inherently harmful to your chickens unless it’s fed them excessively.
This also assumes that your grass clippings are dry, and likewise free from chemicals similar to fertilizer and pesticides, which may very well be toxic. More on that in only a bit.
Are Grass Clippings Cut by Power Mowers and Tools Safe for Chickens?
Yes, so long as they’re dry and haven’t been contaminated by any chemicals. As we just discussed, grass clippings are perfectly protected for chickens, and the identical holds true for grass cut with an influence mower or similar tools.
But, this can be a contentious point for some keepers: Many chicken owners are wary of feeding their chickens grass clippings cut by an influence mower or other lawn tools.
The reason is, power mower can theoretically release harmful chemicals into the grass it cuts, things like oil, fuel, grease and so forth, and even pesticides and herbicides picked up from previous mowing.
These chemicals would then be consumed by chickens after they eat the clippings, resulting in potential illness and even death.
Although definitely possible, the actual threat is way overblown if the mower in query is in good repair and dealing order, and if the grass is cut from any property that you may have had full control over, i.e. a property where you realize exactly what and what has not been sprayed on the grass.
Then again, grass cut down by a manual push-reel mower or scythe won’t entail this worry in any respect, so do keep that in mind whether it is a priority for you!
Are Grass Clippings Safe for Baby Chicks?
Grass clippings are of dubious safety for chicks. Chicks’ digestive systems usually are not yet mature, and their crops are far more susceptible to blockage, especially from tougher vegetation like grass.
You could give grass to your chicks, but you need to wait until they’re around 6 weeks old – and even older – before you do, and only then in small amounts of finely chopped grass bits.
Something else to take into account is that grass has nowhere near enough nutrients or calories for chicks, so it truly is just taking on space of their tummies that may very well be full of something more nutritionally useful.
How Frequently Can Grass Clippings be Fed to Chickens?
Grass clippings are a novel snack for chickens, or if you happen to are being very charitable a dietary complement.
You should give them grass clippings (deliberately), not more than once every week, and only in small quantities.
Additionally, chickens which can be allowed to wander around and free-range can and can get plenty of grass all on their very own after they want it.
They don’t need you to present them extra grass in any respect because they’re already eating plenty themselves.
Be Careful: Too Much Grass within the Diet Can Harm Chickens
In all cases, be wary when feeding grass clippings to chickens, irrespective of where it got here from.
Grass has a nasty repute for causing crop impaction issues in chickens, and though some keepers just appear to be avowed haters of the thought of serving grass to chickens, there may be merit in the priority.
Specifically, wet grass is way more more likely to cause blockages within the chicken’s crop. If you give your chickens grass clippings, be certain that they’re dry before serving, and never be too hasty to serve chickens grass that’s wet from dew or rain.
Do take into account that chickens do best when their food is dry, or damp at most. Truly moist and wet foods of all types, not only grass, are disproportionately more likely to cause crop and other digestive problems in chickens.
What’s the Best Way to Serve Grass Clippings to Your Flock?
Assuming the grass clippings are fresh, dry and freed from contaminants like pesticides, herbicides, and oil or fuel residue, one of the best approach to serve them is loose in small amounts. Your chickens will eat their fill and leave the remainder, most times.
It isn’t value it to try to bulk up other foods by mixing them with grass clippings, so don’t waste your time.
Be Careful of Chemical Contamination that Might Be on Cut Grass
I’ve harped on this topic throughout the article, but just in case you skipped ahead to this part, allow me to be perfectly clear: you need to never, ever feed grass clippings to chickens in the event that they have been treated with any form of pesticide, herbicide, or other common lawn chemicals.
Those chemicals can remain within the grass principally without end, and persist long after rain and cutting. Any of them could make your flock sick if you happen to feed them, or possibly even kill them.
Remember that each one birds, and that features chickens, are highly sensitive to toxins and poisons.
If you’re unsure whether a batch of grass was sprayed or chemically treated in any way, just don’t give it to your chickens. It is just not well worth the risk!