gardening for the flock...

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by stake, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. stake

    stake Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2013
    Malvern, pa

    I am a newbie so any advise is appreciated. I plan to put a compost pile(fall leaves only) in my chicks run and have lots of bug/worms for the girls to eat...I also plant a garden, and was trying to estimate how much to grow to feed x6 chicks...I am thinking spinach, romaine lettuce, radish(tops), green beans, summer squash....tomatos(?).....your thought?
  2. Kjordanov

    Kjordanov Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2012
    Are you planning on feeding them strictly good from your garden? You can feed your chickens a lot of the stuff for in your compost.
  3. stake

    stake Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2013
    Malvern, pa

    I have piles of dead leaves that I compost....I have 100+ oak on my acre.....I will feed the chicks my left over veggies and will add food from the garden...the idea is to get them off feed when I can and have feed when I cannot...just wanted to see what others were feeding theirs and how much....I'm pretty new to this...
  4. bj taylor

    bj taylor Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 28, 2011
    North Central Texas
    i too want to grow food for the chickens. i am adding rabbits to the mix as well. i want to arrange my set up w/the rabbits in such a way that their poop rolls to the front. i lift that section off & dump the rabbit poo in the wheel barrow. take that a few feet to the raised beds & dump it in. i let my chickens free range too much to get any real manure from them.
    i'm growing some buckwheat, field peas, and oats right now. it's just small quantity - but it will help me understand them better so i can have more success on a bigger scale.
  5. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana
    You don't want a compost pile in your chick or chicken run. Your compost bin or pile is best close to your garden. Your chicks will need chick feed daily for awhile until you move them to layer feed. You can certainly give them garden scraps and table scraps (there are lists to show the advisable scraps). Eating bugs and veggie scraps help supplement their food needs but they will need some type of poultry feed from you as well. Your garden will love the chicken poo as fertilizer and your birds will love garden scraps. Your spent bedding can go into your compost bin to break down and then that also goes on your garden.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013
  6. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    I compost fall leaves in the run and it works great! No muddy feet and their scratching really speeds up the composting process. I rake in the fall until my arms almost fall off and store the leaves near the coop in giant sacks (a bottomless trash can really helps to pack the leaves in). Add a sack whenever you see muddy spots. You don't even need to spread them out -- the chickens will do a fine job of it. Everything else that can be composted goes in a different pile that gets the coop litter mixed in.

    I don't garden for the chickens, they just enjoy the excess. I recently gave them a huge beet that had overwintered. They really enjoyed it! But yes, premixed feed is a huge help with making sure their diet is balanced. Ranging and garden scraps are a bonus around here.
  7. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    I don't have the 100+ oaks you have, but if I where to put them all the run to compost the run would be full. Certainly a small pile for them to root through would work. You could change them out when they have them thoroughly shredded. Trial and error would give you the amount that works best. About growing things for them, grow extra of what you would eat. I never tried them on radish tops, but they certainly will eat the leaves of a lot of the plants we eat. But not tomato or potato leaves. They will eat most of the plants we call weeds in a garden.
  8. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    I think it is completely possible to grow your own foods for your birds and forgo feed. However, chickens are omnivores with complex nutritional needs. It is not just about feeding healthy foods but about feeding the right balance of healthy foods. I would make sure you do a lot of research in advance on how to achieve this balance, keeping protein and calcium percentages firmly in mind.

    You can also look into growing your own fodder. It is really easy. I just started sprouting a mix of wheat, barley and BOSS and am really happy with the results.

    If you are going to do a feed with your own supplements I would recommend buying a higher protein feed like a grower, game bird or unmedicated starter so that you have the leeway to add snacks, veggies, fodder, etc without lowering their overall protein intake too much.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013
  9. homesteadlizzy

    homesteadlizzy Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 5, 2007
    I don't know if you care about the little extras, but letting your chickens eat marigold petals will make your yolks a deeper golden yellow color
  10. binza1979

    binza1979 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 6, 2011
    I grew Kale for my girl behind some chicken wire so they couldn't dig up the roots. The LOVE kale.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by