winter around this time, I rediscover my hens’ love for
chickweed. Common chickweed (Stellaria
media) is a weed
on my garden beds, and by February it has often spread out in large
masses across any bare ground. I rip it out by the roots and toss
handfuls into the chicken tractors.
In the summer, our hens
could care less about chickweed — they get enough lush, green growth
picking through the weeds under their feet. But in the winter,
they’re mostly scratching through brown grass, and chickweed is much
appreciated. I filled up the wheelbarrow and spread the contents
between our three tractors — by the next morning, I couldn’t see any
hint of chickweed left. It had all gone down my girls’ gullets!
Unfortunately, the USDA
doesn’t provide nutritional analyses of common backyard weeds, but
various sources report that chickweed is a dynamic
potassium, phosphorus, and manganese. I can just feel our hens
shaking off those winter blues!
Don’t forget to start
your homemade chicken
waterers to prepare
|This post is part of our Homemade Chicken Feed series.
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