Chicken Garden

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Fiona-Chickens, Apr 2, 2017.

  1. Fiona-Chickens

    Fiona-Chickens New Egg

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    Thinking about doing a garden for my chickens this year, just wondering what their favourite veggies are.
     
  2. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    Mine gets a lot of collards as well as the rabbits. Now that I let them free range a lot----They got a lot of green grass so I do not plant as much.
     
  3. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is this for them to graze on direct or are you going to pick it and feed it? Perhaps both?

    For the most part, the same as you. Green leafy vegetables like lettuce, spinach, cabbage, swiss chard, beets, turnips, tillage radishes, clovers, lespedeza, various peas, etc.

    Then there are the "playground" canopy plants like sweet corn and sunflowers for them to run around under, both of which eventually produce seeds the birds will eat.

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    In addition to the greens are the bugs that grow on the bugs.
     
  4. Fiona-Chickens

    Fiona-Chickens New Egg

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    Hi Howard, my chickens are free range but we are thinking of making a pen for them because they are destroying my flower beds and we are going to do a garden for them so they can still get greens
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I forget the cute name for them, maybe “grazing frame”, but if you build a frame on the ground and cover it with chicken wire, they can eat the greens as they grow through the wire without scratching up the roots. There are some threads and photos on here about them.

    You can grow whatever you want in them based on your climate and what grows well in your area. I think clover, lespedeza, alfalfa, and grasses are pretty good choices. You want something that will last. Kale and chard might work well in frames too if they keep them eaten back so they don’t bolt to seed.

    If you are growing it in your garden to give to them, in addition to Howard’s list I’d add kale, ripe tomatoes, ripe peppers, and most fruits and berries. I’m kind of hitting a wall after that, I’m sure there are many more.
     
  6. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How big of an area are you wanting to plant?
     
  7. lynnehd

    lynnehd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine love chicory, which is rich in calcium, so that's a win-win.

    I grow some along with other chicken safe weeds and greens separately and harvest for them.

    I also have grazing frames (mentioned earlier) seeded with grasses, greens, etc. (I get a mix made for chickens). These can remain in the run, but the roots are preserved to the grasses/weeds regrow. I keep them covered for 3-4 months, then open them up, let the chickens demolish them, and then reseed.

    In the link, they grow mainly grasses, so 1/2 inch hardware cloth is fine. If you grow broader leaved plants, maybe 1/2 by 1 inch or 1 inch by 1 inch welded wire would be better.
    http://www.thegardencoop.com/blog/2012/02/07/grazing-frames-backyard-chickens/
     
  8. treefarmer42

    treefarmer42 Out Of The Brooder

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    Zucchini... Easy to grow from seeds. Let them grow big and slice them long ways. My chickens will eat all but some of the skin. Great treat and gives them something to do for awhile.
     
  9. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    Just for the record----mine Love the Zucchini, squash and cucumbers, but like yours they leave the peeling/outsides so for a change I have a gas turkey fryer type cooker, a big pot and a commercial slicer. It takes about 2 minutes to slice over a 5 gal bucket of them about 1" thick. I drop them in this big pot, bring it to a boil while I am feeding----turn it off with the lid on and the next morning it is all cooled, I scoop them some and they devour it---peelings and all.
     
  10. treefarmer42

    treefarmer42 Out Of The Brooder

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    Any person that deep fries for their chickens, when they die they will go to heaven.
     
    PD-Riverman likes this.

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