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"Cover crop" for chickens?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Don't have a big area to work with, just want to know if chickens prefer one kind of grass over another? Or maybe some clover. If so what kind is best? I'm just reseeding some bare spots in the backyard & letting them fill in a little before I turn the chickens loose on them.

Thanks for any suggestions!

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post #2 of 14

*trying to remember... excuse the fact that I'm a sleep deprived sleep tech at the moment...*

I believe Mother Earth News just had an article about this in one of their recent magazines I picked up at the library not long ago. Not the current issue, I think it was the one before? I just remember it mentioning specific cover crops for gardens that chickens liked.

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post #3 of 14

White clover!
Stays short, blends in well with lawn.  Matter of fact in our harsh climate it grows better than grass..
ON
Oh yes Chickens love love love it.

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"Nothing is lost, nothing is created ... all is transformed. Nothing is the prey of death. All is the prey of life."-- Antoine Béchamp

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post #4 of 14

I overseeded a part of my lawn a couple of years ago. It was getting very thin under a large tree, so I bought a shade mix that was a blend of fescues. There were some other grasses already there but not much.

A bag of alfalfa pellets was sprinkled over the grass seed and soon, there were grass seedlings coming up throughout this area. There seems to be no white clover here, altho' it is in other parts of the backyard.

I never see the chickens spend any time on the lawn in this area. Maybe it is because the shade does not allow the grass to grow to their liking or because of the fescue that I planted.

Elsewhere, on my primarily Kentucky bluegrass and white clover (oh yeah, some weeds) lawn, they spend plenty of time. And, it is the grass that they are most interested in. They eat very little of the clover. I'm pleased that they like the bluegrass.

And, they will go after the dandelion - no question about that smile!

Steve

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post #5 of 14

digitS' :

And, they will go after the dandelion - no question about that smile!

Steve


Oh that's good, our yard is like a dandilion field!

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

Great info everyone, thanks! Anybody else want to chime in?

BTW, can I buy white clover seed at a feed store?

"We'll know for the first time
    if we're evil, or divine....we're the last in line"
RIP- Ronnie James Dio
You the MAN
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"We'll know for the first time
    if we're evil, or divine....we're the last in line"
RIP- Ronnie James Dio
You the MAN
Reply
post #7 of 14

My chickens eat grass, grass seed, new blades of grass-pretty much anything green.

post #8 of 14

they seem to like our bermuda.

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mess with me I can handle it.....mess with my child and I will bury u where nobody will find u! 
quote from facebook

" Scars remind us where we've been. They don't have to dictate where we're going."
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post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by dchickenman 

Great info everyone, thanks! Anybody else want to chime in?

BTW, can I buy white clover seed at a feed store?


You might not want the clover seed at your feed store. White Dutch may just be thought of as a lawn choice rather than for livestock pasture. There are a number of clover species (including other white clovers) for pasture but they will be coarse plants compared to white Dutch.

The garden center may be the best place to find it. And, it won't take much to cover your backyard - the seed is very tiny and goes far. Probably no more than a pound for most backyard grass/clover lawns.

Of course, you'll have to keep your chickens away from the seed wink.

Steve

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post #10 of 14

I have some wheat that I plan to grow a small plot of, bout enough to bake a loaf of bread.  I live in the desert, and my run is pretty much dirt.  I have chooks, and am thinking of planting the whole run with wheat before they get too big, so the chooks have something to do.  Any thoughts about whether this will work, or just be a waste of time and effort?
Thanks
Jonathan

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