Edible Plants for Poultry

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by NewChick, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. NewChick

    NewChick Hatching

    Mar 30, 2007
    I'm trying to improve my poultry pen. It currently houses three ducks and I'll be adding several chickens, soon. I currently have only grass growing in there. I'd like to add some plants that will be nutritious foraging material for the birds and hardy enough to live through constant pecking. It would be an added bonus if they happened to look nice.

    I've heard that chamomile might be a good option - I've also been told to try butterbur (although I can't find the plants or seeds for sale anywhere)... any suggestions? [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2007
  2. Picco

    Picco Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    Unless your pen is very large there will be little chance of any plants surviving the scratcing of your chickens and ducks. I allow my hens to forage throughout my back yard which is a large enough area that they don't destroy all of the vegetation.

    Dandelions are the best plant in my opinion, they seed themselves and grow like crazy (its likely that you already have these in your lawn). All parts of the plant are edible and highly nutritious. when I had ducks I used to pick the leaves by the handful and put them in the ducks water bowl... they thouroughly enjoyed it!
  3. Blisschick

    Blisschick not rusty

    Feb 20, 2007
    Shepherd, Texas
    I have a mulching mower and will catch a bag full of grass clippings for mine. Since I live in a rural area and my "yard" is pretty much controlled weeds, they get choice cuttings. They like to scratch through the heap of cuttings and will pick what they like out. Occasionally, they'll get a bug or two.

    Note that if you have a mower without a mulching blade, the grass clippings will be longer, which could be dangerous for the birds. They could possibly eat a blade or two that are too long and end up getting impacted in their gizzard. Mulcher blades chop up the blades in finer pieces, which make it easy for them to digest.


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