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    • CommentAuthorchooksnpinkroses
    • CommentTimeMar 15th, 2014 1:07am (Mar 15th 2014)
     
    Our chooks have the whole back yard to wonder around in and pretty much do what they like. We have 4 'ark' style houses for them to sleep and lay eggs in. Any plants that we don't want them to dig up, have plastic mesh pegged on the ground over the root area. Any plants we don't want them to eat to death are kept caged, the chooks can then eat bits around the edges and every now and then I take the cage off one plant or other for 1/2 a day, so the 'girls' can have a good go at it, then it gets covered up again so that it can re grow. I grow spinach and kale and comfrey for them to eat. I had the comfrey before we had the chooks and discovered that they love eating it. I've never been able to find out if it's a bad thing, letting them eat comfrey. I've read that people shouldn't eat too much, we don't eat the comfrey, I grow it for the compost, as an accelerator, but the chooks always get it first, hardly any finds it's way into the compost. We have planted lots of shrubs and trees just for the girls to congregate and keep cool under. In the afternoons I let them out the front and I sit on a bench and knit and watch them to make sure they are safe. We had a very nasty dog incident about a month ago. For the first week I didn't let them out but have been slowly letting them out more again.:face-smile:
    • CommentAuthorollie in UK
    • CommentTimeMar 15th, 2014 11:28am (Mar 15th 2014)
     
    A few comfrey leaves left to soak in a bucket of water until they make a stinky soup, makes a lovely feed for your plants. Water it down, though impossible to say by how much, just guess, no harm if too strong, just wasteful.This will make the comfrey you do manage to rescue be enough for your use too.
    Google it as it is a useful plant. Round here we call it "knit bone" as it has healing properties...
    • CommentAuthorchooksnpinkroses
    • CommentTimeMar 17th, 2014 12:23am (Mar 17th 2014)
     
    Thanks Ollie in the uk, yes, I do do that occasionally, from my mothers comfrey, not my own!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeMar 20th, 2014 10:19pm (Mar 20th 2014) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Awww it sounds like your chucks have a lovely life, pink roses!

    Our original girls (Tilly, Penny and Libby) used to free range in my parents' garden. Libby passed away and Milly joined the flock...as you know she was a very special chicken and, a couple months in, our neighbours from two doors down told us Milly used to fly across our next door neighbours' garden (which contained a dog!!!) and stand outside their kitchen door until they let her in and fed her treats!!! :rolling:

    So after that we confined them to a large run, and they only got to free range when somebody is there to keep an eye on them! :tooth:

    Aside from that they have their very own sandpit to dustbathe in, various perches and are fed mealworms everyday. When I lived at my parents' house I used to make up all sorts of concoctions for the chickens, I remember one year on their birthday I cooked up some spaghetti and veggie mince, covered some digestive biscuits in icing and wrote their initials on them...it's always fun spoiling your pets! :smile:

    I did a little research and stumbled across this, but that's pretty much all I could find on chickens eating comfrey. There were a few other sites that said hens enjoyed eating comfrey, and I couldn't find anything that explicitly said no don't do it...
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeMar 24th, 2014 5:07pm (Mar 24th 2014)
     
    Yes, you make a poultice from the comfrey and it sets like plaster of paris, I believe..
    My three are spoiled rotten; leftovers and grapes for breakfast, corn on tap, sunflower seeds scattered to encourage them to rummage, and then there's the buffet restaurant in the rabbits' cage to eat their leftover bread/greens/rich tea biscuits. My husband often remarks that 'they get fed better'n i do...' Everybody has free rein of the garden (the two rabbits too) with the result that it looks like the Somme out there...but they enjoy themselves! We have had fox problems so everyone gets locked up at dusk and let out not long after dawn.
  1.  
    It's nice to hear that others love their chooks as much as we do.
    Our girls are mostly maulting at present, except for our 4 newer ones. One of my black Australorpe cross girls was quite naked last week. She 'dumped' most of her feathers in only a few days and had very large bare patches on her back, bottom, legs and neck. She looked quite funny at first, now her new feathers are about an inch long, so she doesn't look quite so naked anymore. I have found that they all mault in a different way and they don't all mault every year. Some mault earlier and others mault later. I've even had a few at different times, who started to mault and then stopped, started laying again and then finished maulting later!
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeApr 11th, 2014 7:33pm (Apr 11th 2014)
     
    One of mine is called Sinead after Sinead O'Connor because she was largely bald...but not because of moulting, because she suffered the...um...attentions of the roosters!
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeApr 20th, 2014 11:11pm (Apr 20th 2014)
     
    I only found this post because Pink Roses and CC mentioned it on another thread!

    I've never even heard of comfrey, let alone used it for anything! Seems chickens will eat most things. I wonder if what they eat affects the make-up of their eggs, e.g. more iron rich or higher in protein?