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Do chickens eat radish greens? May 26, 2009

Posted by ourfriendben in chickens, gardening, wit and wisdom.
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An alert reader just came on our blog, Poor Richard’s Almanac, with this query. The answer is yes.

Our friend Ben and Silence Dogood were out yesterday visiting Mennonite farm stands and Jim Weaver’s Meadow View Farm out in Bowers, PA with our black German Shepherd puppy Shiloh, and Silence found a long white radish at one farm stand that she just couldn’t resist. (Not that we don’t already have French Breakfast, Easter Egg, and Cherry Red radishes in the fridge, but for the devout radish lover, the lure of an unknown radish is admittedly hard to ignore.)

After walking Shiloh in the Bowers community park, where she had a quite comical encounter with another mostly-black puppy (both had a splotch of white on their chests) the size of a hotdog—thank God, Shiloh was quiet and gentle with him—we meandered back to our cottage home, Hawk’s Haven. At which point, Silence removed the massive growth of prickly, muddy radish foliage prior to washing the white radishes (4-6″ long and, it turns out, quite good) and storing them with our radish stash in the fridge. Trying to have as little contact with the radish foliage as possible, Silence gingerly handed it over to our friend Ben to take out to our chickens.

Which I did, and of course they loved it. Our friend Ben rejoiced that the chickens were enjoying such a rich source of nutrients, sort of a free bonus for our $1 bunch of radishes. And as always, it feels good to know that our kitchen scraps are making healthy chickens and incredible eggs. 

So, dear reader, by all means give your radish greens to your chickens. And any other greens, for that matter. The only greens we don’t give our chickens are onion, garlic, chives and other allium (onion family) greens, which might give the eggs an off-flavor. Otherwise, all bets are on! Your chickens will thank you.