A garden for your animals?

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by bettymae83, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. bettymae83

    bettymae83 Out Of The Brooder

    111
    5
    43
    Oct 16, 2015
    Hoopa, Ca.
    I'm currently planning a raised bed garden for my huge family, and I want to plan one for my animals. This is for several reasons. A few of those being I want to spoil them before I eat them, to help with the feed cost, and to alleviate some of the worry of what they, and then us, are really eating, and the list goes on. The animals will be for sure, approx. 25 Chickens, 6 Ducks, several Rabbits, a handful of Quail and a few Goats. Oh and a nice size flock of Guinea fowl. Possibly a milk cow, peacock, and couple geese, but that is still in the air.

    Can anyone suggest what to plant, and who for?

    Do you have a Livestock Garden?

    Would you like to share pictures of your Livestock Garden, or just pictures of your animals enjoying the veggies or fruits from your garden?

    I will try to share pictures of my plans once they are done. Hopefully they can help another newbie like me, or at least inspire them.
    I look forward to any replies.
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

    19,602
    7,641
    546
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE
    How much land do you have available?

    Chickens: Sorghum, sunflowers, millet, any grassy forage crop. Important, IMO is DL in the run if it is void of vegetation. I've been tossing all of my garden debris into the run, converting the garden to Back to Eden. Toss any veggies that are past their prime to the chickens.

    It's helpful if you put your location in your profile. It helps to give climate specific recommendations.
     
  3. bettymae83

    bettymae83 Out Of The Brooder

    111
    5
    43
    Oct 16, 2015
    Hoopa, Ca.
    Im in norther Cali, about 4 hours south of Oregon. I'm zoned 9 I believe. Hot temps around 110 in summer, and lows about 40 to 35 in winter. We never have snow that sticks, but water does freeze.
     
  4. bettymae83

    bettymae83 Out Of The Brooder

    111
    5
    43
    Oct 16, 2015
    Hoopa, Ca.
    Oh darn I forgot to mention I have about 50' X 50' for my garden and my Livestock Garden. Now thats just a guesstimation, and not 100% but it "looks" right. I was thinking of joining my garden to the north side of my orchard.
     
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

    19,602
    7,641
    546
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE
    If you have a 50 x 50 area for garden, you can grow a lot of your own veggies. I'd concentrate on that, perhaps reserve one bed for animal feed, and just give them the extras. How big is your orchard? Do the animals have their own space or will they be housed on the 50 x 50 plot? Have you looked at "back to Eden" gardening method. That might be great for where you are.
     
  6. bettymae83

    bettymae83 Out Of The Brooder

    111
    5
    43
    Oct 16, 2015
    Hoopa, Ca.
    I myself have slightly over an acre that I own. Then I can lease up to 15 acres behind me for livestock, but I will be requesting only 5 acres. I have a youtube video on my homestead thread that shows what I am working with currently. I have to clear the land first. I currently have two apple trees in the "orchard" but I will be planting two peach, 2 cherry,and two pears with the apples. The garden will pretty much be in the smack dab middle of the property.



    its a little over 15 minutes
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,536
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Your property has great potential from what I can see [​IMG]. I'm guessing there's no irrigation? That could sure help, but even without the land looks very nice. A good mix of trees and open spaces will let you have garden areas and a variety of animals.

    I know you're excited to jump in, but I'd say start slow. Clean up on the property first. Infrastructure for the animals--coops, pens, etc. Start your garden for the humans, lay in your raised beds if that's how you're going. Your animals will eat pretty much whatever you plant for yourself and I'd just start there for the first year or so. After that, you'll have an idea about what grows well. Maybe you can devote a patch to some feed corn, or some type of grain. I'm not sure about cows, but I know chickens, goat and pigs will eat pumpkins and winter squash happily, so planting extra of those is good as they can store well. Everyone loves greens, so beds of lettuce/spinach/swiss chard with glass covers or row covers can help during the winter. As you go, you'll build up more to feed to offset feed costs, but that's not going to happen a lot at first. At first it will just be treats and a little nutrition boost, like greens for oranger yolks in your birds.
     
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

    19,602
    7,641
    546
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE
    Suggested reading: The small flock poultry keeper by Harvey Ussery. Lasagna gardening by Patricia Lanza. Any of the excellent books written by Ruth Stout. And, finally, the following video:
     
  9. tash

    tash Chillin' With My Peeps

    134
    12
    151
    Jun 5, 2009
    ohio
    Another thing to think about is a coop with at least four or five runs coming off of it. Rotate out which run they have acces too (how quickly depends on how fast the vegetation is growing and how many chickens you have for the space, could be every day, could be every week). On the south side of the coop/run area plant a tree if you can. I would do a mullberry here, a cherry might work for you. That will provide shade and drops will provide the chickens with a pleasant surprise. Mulberries are also known for being an attractant to keep wild birds away from your other crops (and they have long seasons). In the coop just plant whatever grows well in your area, chickens like tender stuff like clover. Anything that attracts bugs is always welcome to chickens IME.

    My chickens get nearly all of our kitchen scraps, stale bread, tomatoes, apple cores, salad that is close to getting slimy, carrot tops, etc. They are in a tractor now and love it when I move it.

    Another thing I have heard of is growing crickets in tubs for chickens.

    You should be able to grow greens all winter where you are (with a cold frame of some sort for the really chilly days). Anything you can't eat give to the animals. It's nice to have fresh lettuce in the middle of winter, and to know it's not wasted since your animals will love it.
     
  10. bettymae83

    bettymae83 Out Of The Brooder

    111
    5
    43
    Oct 16, 2015
    Hoopa, Ca.
    The property has everything; water, electricity, and septic. We have public water now. Uncle used to have water from the creek, but the crack heads that I evicted sold all the supplies and barrels for that water. I understand its a lot to chew and that its going to take a lot of time, work, and money, but we are willing to do it. The clean up is number one. It has been a long time coming. My Aunt and Uncle would roll in their graves, if they had them (cremated).


    I will be googling this book. I love to read!! I have heard of the lasagna gardening before. But I don't remember what it was. I think it had to do with raised garden beds.


    I was thinking multiple runs, and in my largest I was planning on chicken composting in half. Kind of doing the kill two birds with one stone thing. I had crickets for my geckos, when I was raising them. Man did they stink. The rats I had for my snakes stunk too!

    okay, so now I know what to grow for them, what do I need to KEEP away from them? I have acorns and madrones that drop berries... Will these hurt my animals?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by