Chickens Eat Wheatgrass
Chickens eat wheatgrass! Not only do they eat wheatgrass, they love it! As the nutrients in the chicken's food sources increase, they will produce eggs with higher egg nutrition.
I know how good wheatgrass is for humans
, and other larger grass eating animals that produce marvelous raw milk
with it, but it was a lot of fun learning about the benefits that come when chickens feed on wheatgrass too.
Not only does their health benefit when the chickens eat wheatgrass, but our health will also benefit from eating their eggs with increased egg nutrition.
You see there is more egg nutrition when the chicken has had the opportunity to graze on grass.
Diet Of Chickens Determines Egg Nutrition
Here is some fun information from one of my nutritional heroes, Dr. Weston Price
, that can be found in his famous book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration
Dr. Price gathered phenomenal health research on the human species and their diet when traveling the globe in the 1920's and 1930's. Don't miss the pictures of his amazing findings in this stunning nutritional video which is located on my homepage
Dr. Price said, "By far the most efficient plant food that I have found for producing the high-vitamin content in milk is rapidly growing young wheat and rye grass. Oat and barley grass are also excellent. In my clinical work, small additions of this high-vitamin butter (that comes from cows dining on pasture) to otherwise satisfactory diets regularly checks tooth decay when active and at the same time improves vitality and general health.
Similarly the value of eggs for providing fat-soluble vitamins depends directly upon the food eaten by the fowl. The fertility of the eggs also is a direct measure of the vitamin content, including vitamin E."
Dr. Price was not the only one talking about the importance of the chicken's diet and the power of the cereal grasses...
Grass Fed Chickens Produce More And Higher Quality Eggs
Dr. Charles Schnabel was referred to as The Father of Wheatgrass. He was a Kansas City food chemist looking for a "blood-building material" that could be added to poultry feeds to improve egg production and reduce chicken mortality, writes Ronald L. Seibold, M.S., author of Cereal Grass: Nature's Greatest Health Gift
15 lbs. of wheat grass is equal in overall nutritional value to 350 pounds of ordinary garden vegetables. We have not even scratched the surface of what grass can mean to man in the future.
- Dr. Charles R. Schnabel
Well in 1931 Dr. Schnabel decided to let chickens eat wheatgrass. He gave chickens a ration of only 10% of a cereal grass mixture made from wheat and oats - the chickens responded dramatically. "Winter egg production rose from the average 38% to an astonishing 94%!
Not only were more eggs produced, but those eggs had stronger shells and were more likely to hatch healthy chicks."
When the chickens eat wheatgrass, they are free of the usual degenerative diseases associated with poultry production. Their combs are bright scarlet red, and their legs never lose their pigment, wrote Dr. Schnabel. He reported that "even a child can see the bloom of health in the grass-fed hens, as compared to the alfalfa-fed hens, though science, as yet, cannot explain it."
Pastured Chickens Produce Healthier Eggs
Nothing like the superior nutrition in pastured chicken eggs versus confined chicken eggs
OK to continue, I figured I am always up for taking in better egg nutrition. And being that we had just bought some baby chicks, I decided to see if these cute little chickens eat wheatgrass also.
Alright, of course I had some wheatgrass growing in my kitchen - since I grow wheatgrass and also teach how to grow this marvelous plant in my growing wheatgrass tutorial
- and I was happy to share it with the baby chicks.
I put some wheatgrass clippings in the cage, and they could not get enough of it. They definitely preferred it over the grain. I never knew there would be such delight when the chickens eat wheatgrass. They actually were wild for it when I placed it in their cage. They were a lot of fun to watch. They got so excited to be able to eat the green grass. I then wondered if they would be equally excited over our regular lawn grass.
Chickens Prefer Wheat Grass
So I got some clippings from our lawn. I placed two small bowls in their cage right outside a box they were in. I placed lawn clippings in one bowl and wheatgrass clippings in another bowl.
A few moments later they came running out...
Clearly, they preferred the wheatgrass instead of the lawn grass.
They also pretty much ignored the ground grain. The grass definitely upstaged the grain.
They would scratch around in the lawn grass, but the cereal grass was their favorite. Was it the flavor, or did they just instinctively know it was more nutritious for them?
You can see how these little chicks are growing up. Yes, they have outgrown their small cage and they are now in their newly constructed chicken residence.
Since chickens eat wheatgrass, I decided to give them the perfect chicken house warming gift. Yeap, nothing like the gift of wheatgrass to welcome them into their new chicken home.
I usually just give them a tray of wheatgrass that was grown in my home. I take the mat of grass out of the black tray and just put the whole mat into their cage. They love it! Actually, they go nuts for it. One chicken will have a clipping of grass in their beak and another one will steal it away from them. They are very interesting to observe! They know just how lucky they are to be able to eat this fresh wheatgrass.
Sometimes, when I have just about harvested my entire wheatgrass tray, I will give the remains to them. They are then happy chickens!
As an extra bonus, I know when the chickens eat wheatgrass they are getting some great nutrition. And that means when they start laying eggs, hopefully just like the research says, I will be eating eggs from chickens that have a higher nutritional value.
Oh life on the "farm" can be a lot of fun! You know, I think my favorite part of raising chickens is getting to hear the roosters crow in the morning. Life just seems good when you hear the rooster greeting a new day with his cock-a-doodle-doo
Here my husband and daughter are busily working to make the larger "chicken house" for the growing chicks.
I like to usually enclose the chicks as too much free range and their "droppings" tend to accumulate everywhere.
However, it is a bit like perpetual Easter when they are running free as you never know where
you will find an egg hiding!
It seemed to take a few weeks to construct their chicken home. The chicks were growing fast so they had to work quickly to complete their new chicken residence.
Alright, the main chicken coop is just about finished. The bottom of the coop was left open so we can move it around on our lawn and the chickens can feed on the insects in our grass and get a little different scenery.
We will also occasionally let them do some free roaming to help naturally keep our Arizona scorpion count down, as they love to eat them!
As you can see, my husband created a little shelf inside their chicken home so they can access their added on egg laying spot.
I have opened up the back hatch so you can see a chicken checking out her nesting area. This hen won't be ready to lay her hormone and antibiotic free organic eggs for a few more months. Hens lay eggs when they are about 6 months old.
We are looking forward to our fresh chicken eggs.
I will keep you posted if I notice any other egg nutrition findings from when the chickens eat wheatgrass.
Wheatgrass Introductory Page
Free Range Chicken Eggs Versus Confined Grain Fed Chicken Eggs
Weston A. Price - Greatest Nutritional Researcher
Health Banquet Digest Newsletter