Any suggestions for what to plant to help feed the chickens?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by MadChickensVT, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. MadChickensVT

    MadChickensVT Chirping

    Sep 5, 2011
    Middlebury, Vermont
    We have 17 birds and are expecting to increase a bit this summer [​IMG] When they were free-ranging they only ate 1lb or so of pellets per day, but now with the cold weather they're going through 5lbs a day.

    The seed catalogs are coming in the mail and we're starting to think about what to grow next year. I'm wondering if folks have had any luck with growing things to feed their chickens? I'm especially interested in crops that store well so we can feed them in the winter.

  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Quote:Pumpkins and edible squashes store well into winter.
    I have grown sugar snap peas for me and the chickens, then fed the vines to the chickens.
    It'll take awhile, but grapes, both the fruit and leaves are edible.

  3. Kassaundra

    Kassaundra Sonic screwdrivers are cool!

    Sep 1, 2010
    This isn't garden, but I grow insects for my chickens. There are several types that are easy to raise. I raise dubia (S. American roaches) that is my biggest, oldest insect colony. I just started mealworms (the colony isn't big enough yet to feed out) there are a lot more feeder insects that can be raised. This next year I plan to do a few black soldier fly larva buckets. I intend to let them "harvest" into the run itself, but if you collect the harvest you could freeze them for winter.

    Garden wise I've had a lot of success w/ cold crop greens and roots, but I'm in zone 7 so I'm not having to store them, I'm still picking them and feeding them out, along w/ pumpkin.
  4. Appalachian Chickens

    Appalachian Chickens In the Brooder

    Sep 25, 2011
    I am going to open up a little extra garden space in the spring. I'm thinking I'll
    plant some Pink Eye Purple Hull Peas there to help the soil and provide some extra
    chicken food.
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    If you have an acre or two to plant field corn, that would be great. An acre of dried peas or beans would good. Lots of labor in shelling them, though.

    During the late summer, it is pretty easy to supply the chickens with a lot of garden scraps, but that window of opportunity is very short, and it comes at time when the forage is good anyhow. What you need is 70 bushels of grains, dried and stored, for the winter months. Doing that is a bit more challenging.

  6. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Songster

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    I planted a fall garden with collards, kale, & mustard greens & other goodies but the stuff mentioned I feed to my quail & chickens. They love having something green during the winter months & it keeps the yolks orange. It definately helps with the feed bill. Spring garden I plant tomatoes,watermelon, cantelope,cucumbers, & other stuff but the ones mentioned you can freeze which will help the birds stay cool in the heat. I have also gone from a 17 % laying pellet to a 20 % laying pellet to offset the treats that I'm feeding them. Don't over feed them treats.
  7. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Crowing

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    One thing l like to do is buy day old bread and give them that as a treat. I get it at the breadstore $1.25 for five or six loaves. They call it bird bread. I also grow squash and pumpkins that store well. I've read that Mangles are good too. Mashing them up. I sometimes cook up a mix of things, carrots, milk and give them a warm breakfast. I get some leftovers from the school I volunteer at and give them things they like. I even get the outdated milk that is still good but they can't sell. You can freeze many things and thaw them out for treats. Any veg they eat that can be frozen and thawed would work too. Just don't over do it. I believe a lot of problems come from over doing treats and not having a balanced diet.

    I wish you well,

  8. kizanne

    kizanne Songster

    Mar 28, 2011
    Tallahassee, FL
    I plant collards for them .

    Last summer I did some sunflowers

    This summer I'm going to try amaranth I is very nutritious

    It is between 14 and 16 % protein and one of the only complete proteins for veggies.

    It also has some calcium, My layers have free choice calcium so this shouldn't overload them.
  9. trooper

    trooper Songster

    Apr 26, 2010
    [​IMG][​IMG] I'm glad that you brought this up.Ive been trying to get some ideas myself.I seen this one sometime back on byc and I can't find it.A garden made with 4x4's or 6x6's was made in the run.It had wire with bracing over top and winter or summer crops were planted.This way they can't dig or scratch it up.It grows up above the fence so they can eat it and it will still grow and they fertilize it at the same time.I thought about planting rye or oats in it to give them fresh folage.I want to put a few in my run and plant various plants to see how it does.I'm also in the process of putting flower and veg gardens around my run so that it brings in bugs and plants they can eat.Just a few ideas and I'm looking for more.[​IMG]:cd

  10. justafeedboy

    justafeedboy In the Brooder

    Oct 8, 2011
    in my own little world
    Inside their run I scattered a pound per 100 sq ft of pasture mix seed. They love to eat it and rip it up, It helps hold down the mud its cheap. I'm using horse pasture mix. It has equil parts white clover, alfalfa, timothy, brome and orchard grass. My flock has never left it alone long enough to mature. There is always something to eat. I over seed it twice a year. It costs about $5/lb a lb per 100 square feet is heavy. So far I have had no ill results

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