Yes, chickens can eat quite a bit of clover. They can safely graze on lawns containing clover. But there is more to feeding weeds to chickens.
Chickens consume a variety of vegetation. Clover is a common type of lawn weed high in vitamins and minerals. Chickens love grazing on clover and other weeds while foraging.
As a poultry owner, you might be concerned about whether you can feed clover to your birds or not. Here is the A to Z of adding this weed to chicken feed.
What is Clover?
Clover is a common weed that grows in gardens, lawns, and parks. It is also a trefoil. This short-lived herb plant has a typical three-leaf form. These are often looked down upon as annoying lawn pests as they spoil the beauty of manicured lawns.
These weeds are actually good for foraging poultry. Chickens love munching on some vegetation, and clover tops the list. It is a nutritious and healthy food option for your birds. Clover is rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Munching on some clover leaves every day can help balance the daily recommended values of various nutrients in your flocks diet.
Can Chickens Eat Clover?
The answer is yes; they can. Clover is a nutritious weed that provides many nutrients to help your birds stay healthy. When introducing this succulent looking weed in chicken feed for the first time, ensure that you do it slowly, as your flock might take time to get used to this plentiful weed.
Chickens should eat clover in moderation, as in large quantities, it may cause some harm. Furthermore, it is not a complete food. You can give them this nutritious treat once or twice a week.
If you are worried that there are plenty of these free plants growing in your chickens free range, then you must pluck them off regularly so that your chickens do not overfeed on this perennial plant.
Moreover, if you do not want to restrict your free ranging chickens from enjoying these glossy heart-shaped leaves, at least ensure that they are fresh and free of chemicals. Pesticides and herbicides can prove fatal to poultry.
Are All Types of Clover Safe for Chickens?
There are different types of clover weeds, and not all are edible. The red, white, and Dutch clover is safe to eat by hens. However, some varieties may cause digestive troubles in chickens.
Is Clover Good for Chickens?
The entire plant of clover is safe to be consumed by chickens. These beautiful plants have succulent leaves and pretty yellow or pink flowers.
Apart from being eye-catchy, these are a good source of protein and other nutrients that can help chickens stay healthy. Clover weeds are also power-packed with beneficial antioxidants that fight diseases.
Health Benefits of Clover for Chickens
Adding clover in your chicken feed can ensure better health and wellbeing of your free range poultry and the caged ones.
Clover plants are packed with minerals such as vitamin A, Vitamin C, phosphorous, and calcium. They are also good sources of protein, helping chickens stay strong and healthy.
Adding this weed to your chicken feed ensures that your birds have fewer health problems and live longer than those not eating clover. This plant is a natural dewormer that can provide respite to your chickens from parasites.
Most of the time, clover plants grow wild in gardens or in sidewalk cracks. But, this can even be grown in your backyard or purchased at feed stores. You can feed your chickens this expensive feed once in a while, but if you have it growing in your backyard, they are bound to find it and eat it.
Factors to Keep in Mind Before Feeding Clover to Chickens
We earlier mentioned that this weed should be fed in moderation to chickens. Here is why.
- Clover is high in nitrogen content, and chickens eating clover in excess can develop respiratory and circulatory health problems.
- Excess clover weed can also lead to diarrhea.
- Clover contains certain toxins that can make your birds sick. You need to feed these in moderation. If your chickens love pecking on these weeds, you need to monitor their health closely.
- Lastly, ensure that the weeds are free from pesticides and herbicides.
- Along with adding clover to their feed, remember that it is not a complete food. Include plentiful vegetables and fresh fruits in their feed to give them a balanced diet.
- Chickens should not eat more than ¼ cup of clover per day.
How to Make your Chickens Eat Clover?
If your birds do not like these weeds, you can encourage them to eat this by mixing the clover leaves with seeds or mealworms. If your birds still do not like clover, do not fret. They can get their daily dose of vitamins and minerals from many other fruits and vegetables.
Other Vegetation that Chickens can Eat
Chickens can eat many other plants in addition to clover. These include dandelion leaves, spinach, kale, mustard greens, and much more. Adding diverse vegetation to their feed can ensure a nutritious diet.
To sum it up, chickens can eat clover safely. If these weeds grow in their foraging area or in your backyard, let your free range chickens enjoy pecking on these plants. Both the leaves and the beautiful purple pink flowers are perfectly safe for them to eat.