Spring tonics for chickens

Feeding sprouted peas to chickens

Even though we keep all
of our chickens on range, there’s a limit to how much greenery they can
find in late winter and early spring.  Before grocery stores
entered our hollers, Appalachian folks lived the same way, eating
primarily canned vegetables through the winter.  By this time of
year, they were dying for the first fresh produce — a spring tonic
that boosted their immune system and drove away the winter blues.

I think our chickens
deserve the same kind of treatment, so I take care to hunt out greenery
for them as early in the year as possible.  As I’ve posted in the
chickweed starts growing very early
and is a chicken favorite.  A bit later, creasies turn into the
new succulent leaf of choice.  If you don’t have either of these
available, why not
sprout a few extra seeds Grubs and wormswhile
planting the peas in your garden?  As long as you don’t buy
treated seeds (covered with a pink powder), your sprouted peas are a
tasty and nutritious treat for your feathered friends.

Of course, greenery is
nice, but any chicken will tell you that bugs are best.  If you
stumble across any
grubs while digging in the soil
this spring, put them in a cup and toss them to your hens — the
chickens will go crazy over the nutritious treat.

Looking for other ways to
keep your chickens healthy?  Check out our
homemade chicken
provides copious clean water and keeps your birds in top shape.

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