M.K. Petesch: If only I ate like my chickens

September 30, 2013 

I’ve spoiled my chicks, much as I claimed when we got them as day-old chicks they were not pets.

They were to be producers of eggs and when they were too old for that, they would become stewing hens. But they are so entertaining. They make me laugh.

I started giving them treats now and then – a few leaves of tender lettuce from the garden, some cooked rice, a handful of blueberries and sunflower kernels. Then I read where chicks will eat quite the wide variety of foods: Turns out they love yogurt, cottage cheese and bits of mashed banana, although they have to stop and wipe both sides of their beaks in the grass every few minutes.

They like Rice Krispies, Cheerios, and uncooked rolled oats. And of course peas, butter beans, lima beans, tomatoes, corn and cooked carrots. Dried cranberries, raisins and flax seeds are also on the list. As is canteloupe and corn on the cob.

I’ve decided if I mimic their diet of treats, I shouldn’t have to worry about gaining weight. And I'll have a more balanced diet than most.

Oh, and they love to drink GatorAde. On a whim one afternoon, I poured a bit into the bottle’s cap. My Australorp emptied the cap in about seven slurps. I must have refilled the cap 20 times as each chick took her turn.

Thankfully, they don't care for Merlot. Or Pino Grigio.

M.K. Petesch lives n Silk Hope, in Chatham County, where she has raised Piney Woods cattle, heritage chickens, and four guinea hens, who, sadly, recently died at the claws of an owl.

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