Feeding Chickens Grocery Store Scraps
Kevin Felts 06.20.17
Looking for a way to give your chickens inexpensive treats, but do not know where to look? Consider grocery store scraps. These are boxes of discounted fruits and veggies from the local grocery store.
There is a growing movement to get grocery stores to stop throwing away fruits and veggies that have sat on the shelf for a little too long. The food is still edible, just nobody is buying it. Rather than throwing the food away, some grocery stores will fill a box with fruits and veggies and give it a deep discounted price.
What does all this mean? It means you get a cheap box of fruits and veggies for your chickens.
Word of caution: Never give moldy food to chickens. If in doubt, throw it away.
Chickens have certain favorite foods. Chickens will do best with foods they can peck at, pull apart and have a sweet taste.
- Bananas.. etc.
Cut a watermelon in half, throw it in the chicken yard, and they will peck it until the rind is almost paper thin.
For the most part, chickens will eat a few veggies, but not very many. Throw celery on the ground and it will probably rot before the chickens eat it. However, I watched a few of my chickens peck at a head of broccoli. Maybe the tips looked like seeds?
Anything with a tough outside will be ignored. If you want the chickens to eat cucumbers or squash, cut it in half longways and toss it on the ground with the soft side up.
Balanced Chicken Diet
Even though chickens are true omnivores, they need a high protein diet for egg production. Feeding chickens too many fruits and veggies could reduce their egg laying.
Grocery store scarps should not be used as a primary food source. Chickens enjoy digging through the scraps, and it is a good treat, but does not replace real chicken feed.
Think of it as food recycling. You are taking grocery store scraps that people do not want, feeding it to the chickens, which will turn it into eggs.