What kind of grain or grass ahould i cultivate around the outside of pen to provide green feed.l? - Page 3
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The deer plot mixes is an excellent suggestion, and the chickens do not eat oats because, obviously, it is less palatable to them. What is most palatable is broadleafs in general. They give them more nutrition compared to grass. An alternative to deer plot mixes is cover crop mixes, it may be cheaper, and they are all plants that put out tons of green material. In general, a mix with a grain (rye is better than oats, as it does not winterkill), a legume (any), and a radish (most useful to break the soil, but also has tasty tops) gives them a complete salad bar. You may even buy forage chicory seeds and add them to the mix. That, they will eat with great gusto.
I am in south Alabama and am new to chickens as well. You can grow cilantro well here, basil, okra, watermelon, and other melons in the summer. I am going to pick up some alfalfa as I think they will like that and it comes up everywhere. What you can do and some hunters do it here is to put chicken wire around a slight raised bed "doesn't have to be done with wood or cinderblock can just be piled up manure" and they cover it and put the feed inside to keep the hogs out on the permiter from eating up the food plot. I have often thought this would work well with chickens as it sounds like the decimate everything as well that they like to eat.
Alfalfa and clover are both well received by chickens and birds. My ornamental birds also enjoy parsley plants, but left oregano for last haha, guess they are not fans of Italian.
I like that idea of a wire covered raised bed. It would save a fortune on seed if they can't reach the roots of the plants.