Lesson 808 – Eating from the adult menu

Chickens don’t like raw potatoes. Anyone who has a flock and has tried to feed them potatoes peels knows this. The birds will eat your corn, your apple peels, and even your watermelon rinds, but they will not touch uncooked potatoes.

There’s just something about them.

Knowing this, of course, doesn’t stop us from attempting to feed our old potatoes to our chickens. Each year, a few end up near the coop, along with a hope and a prayer that maybe, just a child grows up to eventually like the taste of adult foods like olives, our chickens would learn to like the taste of potatoes.

But nothing doing.

In fact, our chickens so dislike potatoes, that some of the ones we had discarded earlier in the season ended up sprouting and growing plants. Because absolutely everything else that even remotely resembled the color green had long been eaten save for the potato plant, I figured that not only did chickens not like potatoes proper, but they also didn’t like the plant that went along with them.

Stands to reason, perhaps there’s some kind of chemical infused throughout the entire plant. Like the story I read of a farmer who fed his pigs nothing but apples and then swore that he could taste applesauce in the meat.

It could happen.

Except that this morning, I found our chickens picking the potato plant clean of all its leaves.

Perhaps it was because they finally realized it was green, perhaps it was because it was hot and the plant held extra moisture, or perhaps it was just that our little chickens are finally growing up and are ready to start ordering off of the adult menu instead of going for the bland pizza and pasta on the kids’.

Who know? All I do know is that our chickens still don’t like raw potatoes and it also doesn’t look like we’ll be able to grow potatoes in our backyard anytime soon.

Our chickens with our ex-potato plant

Our chickens with our ex-potato plant

Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.


Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, chicken care, Life Lessons, Mama Hen

4 responses to “Lesson 808 – Eating from the adult menu

  1. We grow lots of potatoes and peas. The chickens love the peas. They combine well in a dish for us. Our head of the pecking order (my wife’s favorite), Big Mama, is failing. Today she and #2, Lucy, had a big spat in the middle of the run. Each did some damage to the other. The pullets watched (from their separate pen) watched with interest, each perhaps thinking, “Some day I will be head hen.”

  2. My chicken Lulu will eat raw potatoes. Last year when I had a pail of potatoes in the shop and left the door open, she would peck at all the potatoes she could reach. She is a house chicken and will do that if I leave the pail of potatoes on the floor. I blogged about her eating potatoes with pics here. http://mountaingardengleanings.blogspot.ca/2013/01/garden-gossip-with-lulu.html

  3. Cindy

    Hi Wendy, I read that you should never feed chickens raw potatoes. They love cooked ones. When I make mashed potatoes and actually peel them (I prefer to have the peels in my mashed potatoes) I cook the peels and if there are any old ones that need to go I cook them also. Just make sure they are cooled before giving them to eat. (Are my chickens spoiled or what?)

  4. My hens won’t eat green vegetables. They won’t eat broccoli, beans, or cabbage. They love rice though, and strawberries.

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