Growing chickenfeed?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Meesh, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. Meesh

    Meesh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 12, 2008
    Rocky Mountains
    Hi,

    What can I grow in the garden over the summer and store to feed my chickens over winter? I thought about sunflower seed heads & millet. I am not sure how I'd harvest wheat, unless I could do it somehow with a lawn mower?

    What other treats can I grow & store??? Oh, I am supposed to have alfalfa/wheat mix hay for my horses, which I presume chickens would like to nibble at over winter.

    Thanks,
    Michelle
     
  2. carolinacooper

    carolinacooper Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 29, 2008
    HI!I had the same thoughts about growing and storing for the winter.I am going to try some sunflowers and I am gonna plant plenty of extra corn,since its worth its wait in gold around here.(I am in NC)
     
  3. warren

    warren Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 29, 2007
    UK
    how about pumpkin or squash? They contain lots of seeds and keep over winter.
     
  4. hooligan

    hooligan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 20, 2007
    Arkansas
    Amaranthus! There are so many colors and its very pretty growing. Do a google search and check it out.
    I agree with the squash suggestion. There are several "winter" types that are pretty and the chickens find tasty.


    Hot Biscuits Amaranthus
    [​IMG]

    Love Lies Bleeding Amaranthus:
    [​IMG]

    Ribbons and Beads Amaranthus
    [​IMG]

    Fat Spike Amaranthus
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2008
  5. Meesh

    Meesh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 12, 2008
    Rocky Mountains
    Ok, I wrote this in the AM before I had to take my grandma to the ER (she's OK, but they are keeping her overnight)

    Red millet sounds very easy to grow.

    I was also thinking about corn - I wonder if whole cobbs can be dried and saved for winter treats?

    I know for endurance horses, some people sprout oats in a bucket. I bet that would be a good winter chicken treat.

    Sounds like they can have some amount offield peas, which are easy to grow.

    Beets, potatoes, and squash keeps well in a root cellar (if you have one - as we do).

    And then things like cabbage, broccoli, etc. can be grown late into winter...

    So that's what I have come up with so far.

    The Amaranthus is very pretty!!!!

    Cheers,
    Michelle
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2008
  6. CHICKENHEAD

    CHICKENHEAD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 20, 2008
    I have the room to grow extra corn. Yet, I dont know what to do with the ears after I harvest them. What could a person use as a grinder or something? What else would be easy to grow that a person could harvest and grind up easily? What kind of tool or machine could a person stick a ear of corn into to kinda break off the kernals or grind it all up?
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2008
  7. carolinacooper

    carolinacooper Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 29, 2008
    Hi!I am gonna dry some ears of corn for winter.I saw a 'contraption'at a living history farm from the turn of the century that I am going to try to recreate because I have not been able to find one. It looked similar to an old timey meat grinder.It mounted to the side of the grain box full of dried ears, and when you needed shelled corn,you dropped the ear in,cranked on the grinder and your corn landed in a tray underneath leaving a clean cobb to treat your cow or goat with.It would be perfect for someone with chickens.I am sure you could even beef it up to crack the corn.If I ever find one or 're-invent'a working example I will post it.
    I love the squash idea.That is soeasy to grow.My chickens love broccoli
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    you can buy hand cranked or powered machines to do that.

    they are expensive, like hundreds and hundreds of dollars.

    I am skeptical that worthwhile versions can be homemade by typical folks, but if they *can*, you might find the info in books published in the 1930s or so, for Depression-era homesteaders/farmers in tight straits (the kind that show how to turn a broken plowshare into a fanblade or anything else, you know?)


    Good luck though,

    Pat
     
  9. CHICKENHEAD

    CHICKENHEAD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 20, 2008
    I would like to have something where I can mass produce on a small scale. Enough to have enough corn to make it through the winter.
     
  10. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I go out in the field every fall when we're done harvesting corn and pick up the ears that the combine missed. I store it through the winter in metal trash cans and just throw an ear or two out to them when it's cold. I don't shell it....they go after it and peck the kernals off in no time.
     

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