I noticed something surprising about our girls after feeding them cucumbers the other week: They went straight for the seeds and left the rest of the juicy fruit to rot on the ground.

The only other time I raised chickens was the year of my life I spent as a teacher-in-residence at Slide Ranch in Marin County, CA. The flock we kept was pretty different from the spoiled Sunset girls. They didn't have names; they were taken to the axe (not the vet) if they fell sick; and they often ended up in soup (not that we didn't love them. I LOVED them).

Feeding was also handled differently. The Slide Ranch flock was fed a crumble mix once in the morning, allowed to free-range all day, and would devour kitchen scraps at night. By contrast the Sunset girls have access to a crumble all day long, don't free-range, and don't finish kitchen scraps. The Slide Ranch hens might leave a few peels or stalks that weren't appealing, but they never would have let juicy cukes slip by.

Are our chickens really as spoiled as I think they are? Does having access to crumble all day fill them up more than free-ranging would? What has made them so picky as to only eat seeds?

We'd love to hear your experiences. Does your flock finish their tasty kitchen scraps?

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