Avian Aqua Miser: Automatic, poop-free chicken waterers

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Chickweed is a winter pick-me-up for chickens

Throwing chickweed in the chicken tractorsEvery winter around this time, I rediscover my hens' love for chickweed.  Common chickweed (Stellaria media) is a weed on my garden beds, and by February it has often spread out in large masses across any bare ground. I rip it out by the roots and toss handfuls into the chicken tractors.

In the summer, our hens could care less about chickweed --- they get enough lush, green growth picking through the weeds under their feet.  But in the winter, they're mostly scratching through brown Chickens scratching at chickweedgrass, and chickweed is much appreciated.  I filled up the wheelbarrow and spread the contents between our three tractors --- by the next morning, I couldn't see any hint of chickweed left.  It had all gone down my girls' gullets!

Unfortunately, the USDA doesn't provide nutritional analyses of common backyard weeds, but various sources report that chickweed is a dynamic accumulator of potassium, phosphorus, and manganese.  I can just feel our hens shaking off those winter blues!

Don't forget to start your homemade chicken waterers to prepare for spring!

Learn more about cover crops in my 99 cent ebook!This post is part of our Homemade Chicken Feed series.  Read all of the entries:

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think this is a great idea for winter feeding & would have appreciated a good identification pic of what chickweed actually looks like since i have no idea!
Comment by Danetta Sunday afternoon, November 25th, 2012
Danetta --- Excellent point! This post might help you find chickweed in your winter garden.
Comment by anna at lunch time on Monday, November 26th, 2012

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