Anyone feed Duckweed to Chickens?

jenica(7B)April 6, 2009

Hi everyone,

I've been researching feeds and I came across some info on duckweed. For those who don't know it's a tiny plant that grows on the surface of ponds and other still water and it is one of the fastest growing plants around. It caught my attention because if grown under the right conditions it has over 40% protein content. I recently read that my current protein source, soybean meal, can cause reproductive cancers in chickens due to the photo-estrogens it contains. This also concerns me because I wonder how much of this estrogen gets passed on in the eggs. So I was looking for an alternative that's locally available and stumbled on duckweed. I have a pond on my property and I was thinking about trying to grow some. Apparently you can dry duckweed and it retains it's protein content. It also has a bunch of other vitamins and minerals and seems to be more nutritious in general than soybean meal. The big question is will the chickens eat it? I'd hate to go through all the trouble of growing and harvesting it for them to turn up their little beaks at it. So has anyone tried this?

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posy_pet(z6Mo.)

I have not fed it but read about feeding it in organic gardening(I think) years ago.It may have been Mother Earth news.I would get some and try it and see if they will eat it.I think it is so cool looking,pretty.Posy Pet

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 7:47PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

It isn't hard to grow, and it can be a great way to fight pond scum. I have no clue if chickens will eat it, typically ducks will, perhaps you should get some laying ducks.

As for the phytoestrogens, I would imagine that someone ported information about humans over to chickens and claimed that that effect was something to expect. The truth is that there is conflicting evidence on the subject, and that given the 10-15 year lifespan of chickens (sometimes much shorter) you could probably keep a huge flock for years and never see a single case of reproductive tract cancer. This of course all goes out the window if there is in fact a study demonstrating that effect in chickens, I didn't find one in my 5 minute search however, so I'm working under the assumption that it doesn't exist.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 8:06PM
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