cover crops for chickens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by tbunyard, Aug 1, 2016.

  1. tbunyard

    tbunyard New Egg

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    IM thinking about planting something better than grass in my yard for the chickens. Ive got the hillside planted in buckwheat and they love that but I'm leaning more towards some crimson clover for the yard. any suggestions?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    You're right for moving away from grass. It isn't particularly nutritious for poultry and is one of the last things they choose to eat.
    Any type of forb like clover/ladino, also alfalfa, beets, turnips, radish and in cold weather you could do peas. There is a forage type of turnip called 7top. Most of the energy goes into greenery rather than a tuber.
     
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    I think that mixed plantings are best rather than monoculture. Check out pasture blends, native plants, wildlife mixes. Also fruiting shrubs, both for cover and food. you will also bring in beneficial (and yummy) insects, and critters in the soil. Mary
     
  4. tbunyard

    tbunyard New Egg

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    ok thanks. what about some vetch in winter. too thick?
     
  5. tbunyard

    tbunyard New Egg

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    thanks. yea I'm amazed at how many bees and crickets the buckwheat pulled in.
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    1 person likes this.
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    How big is your yard? Do you want to maintain somewhat of a resemblance to lawn, or are you ok with a wilder, meadow/mixed shrub type of yard? Will your front yard be used for any type of family recreation? White clover mixes into lawns well, attracts lots of pollinators. (can be an issue with young kids who like to romp and play) Give more details about available space, soil type, sun exposure, dry/wet spots, do you have time or water available to take care of dry soil issues?
     
  8. grnidone

    grnidone Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not a cover crop, but my chickens love love LOVE eating pumpkin leaves.
     
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    At end of season, when they are on the dry side, when they are wolfing them down, It reminds me of potato chips!
     
  10. amynrichie

    amynrichie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What are some ideas for overseeding with some wilder type grasses? I have some natural grass, and LOTS of cheat grass. I'm going to seed something over that will choke out the cheat.
     

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