I’m standing out here next to this American Beautyberry bush, and if you’re part of any homesteading group on any social network, then this is the season, from about a month ago and probably for another month, that people keep posting pictures wondering what is this? Is it edible? And so forth.
Well, it’s American Beautyberry. I’ve got a post and another video about it along with poke berry, which is not edible. Somebody’s gonna argue with me about that. But just go watch the video and read the blog post that I’m attaching to this. Beautyberry is used by many to make a jelly. What I am doing is seeing if my chickens like it. I’m more interested right now in some chicken feed and I’ve got 7 acres with this stuff scattered all about. So I’m gonna clip off several strands of the Beautyberry and take them to the chickens.
We have discovered that our chickens and ducks don’t particularly like okra pods. They just haven’t figured out how to get into those yet. We have also tried feeding them eggplant.
It’s a pretty cold morning out here, so it takes a minute for somebody to realize they can eat off that before everybody else says that they want some too. They’re pretty slow to go, but they find it. You know, with feed for chickens being anywhere from $10-20 a bag depending on if you’re getting the cheap stuff or the organic stuff or what not, it makes a lot of sense to me that, just as you would for your own consumption, looking for wild edibles, that if you can find something that your animals can use, that you ought to feed them that as well.
We really didn’t get a mad craze for this today. We do have a brand new automatic feeder for the chickens and ducks so they’re probably not starving to death, and it’s in the low 50’s out here this morning, so they’re just not all that active either, but they’re over here and they’re eating. And it’s just one more thing that, like I said before, if you’re looking to feed your animals, look around your property first. You might be able to give them something more natural and not have to spend the money on store bought feed. But if you’re going to feed your animals this way, make sure that you understand the nutritional content of what you’re feeding them and that you’re not leaving anything out by just feeding them individual wild edibles. Make sure they’re getting a good round balanced diet with all the proteins and such that they need.