Fresh greens for free all winter collard greens amazing and easy

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Janice123456, Mar 2, 2016.

  1. Janice123456

    Janice123456 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 16, 2015
    brockton mass
    I wanted to share how I fed my chickens fresh greens for free all winter. I grew several large collard green plants in my garden . In late November I dug them up planted them in a large rubber container three to a container and moved them into the plastic enclosed run. Even through the deep freeze the plants lived . The chickens ate fresh green leaves off the plant all winter and they roosted on the large stalks . So turned out to be food and another place for them to jump on . It's March and about 30-50 degrees during the day. The stalks are sprouting new leaves so the girls will get more fresh leaves. I plan to do this again this year . Collards are so easy to grow. I had three large plants for three chickens .so one plant for 1-2 chickens should work. Collards have lots of calcium too so good for egg layers. Mine layed all through the winter one egg a day.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016
  2. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well unfortunately, collards also contain a significant amount of oxalic acid which interferes with calcium absorption...so I wouldn't count on collards as a calcium supplement. However, since you don't seem to have noted any ill effects from it in terms of shell quality, I'd say that feeding it in the amounts that you have makes this experiment in winter greens a successful one!
     
  3. nissalovescats

    nissalovescats Out Of The Brooder

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    That's a good idea for getting them greens in winter. I have tried feeding them small amounts of hay daily and also sprouting alfalfa or wheat seeds for them.
     
  4. Janice123456

    Janice123456 Out Of The Brooder

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    This is no work At all. I water the collards about once a week too keep them going. So far no adverse affects. Im raising meal worms for them too. Figured out putting the colony next to the dryer for warmth has caused an explosion in the mealworm numbers. Im feeding the worms carrots and cabbage leaves on top of a bed ofdried cat food that had beencrushed and oats. So far it's been working great. You can get a chicken to do anything for a meal worm.
     
  5. nissalovescats

    nissalovescats Out Of The Brooder

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    I wonder if there are other plants other than collard greens that would be good for this?
     
  6. glib

    glib Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I live in Michigan and collards are my go-to winter greens. Typically two 4X12 beds, covered with hoop houses, give enough greens for the winter, family of two (we also grow a lot of sprouts and have a large root cellar, where we store also whole cardoon plants). There is nothing that beats collards for ease of production and mass of greens. Some low greens like miner lettuce are reputed to be hardier, but you would not be able to transplant them. so it is collards or fodder during the cold season.
     
  7. tinahoggard

    tinahoggard New Egg

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    May 25, 2015
    Im in bc and grow kale and Swiss chard for our hens super easy grows all year
     
  8. Janice123456

    Janice123456 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 16, 2015
    brockton mass
    Do you grow kale and swiss chard in a hot house?
    My kale wilted with the first few frosts. And swiss chard died
     
  9. tinahoggard

    tinahoggard New Egg

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    No actually I have some raised beds but some with higher boards due to crazy winds at my place and that's what helps them I think. Plus I have been able to keep the parsley growing in there too. We do have such mild winters here in bc
     
  10. glib

    glib Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chard is not that cold hardy, and kale is good because it does not die and re-sprouts in spring and gives you a small crop in April in Michigan. but if you want to have greens that are fresh in mid-winter, collards is the best.
     

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