Help Me Plant a Chicken Garden!


8 Years
Feb 23, 2011
Crossville, Tennessee
Here is what I have already planted:

Wild mustard, bitter cress, violets, ox-eye daisies, catnip, meadowsweet, clover and dock. There are a few other weeds like chickweed, fleabane, dandelion, goldenrod and yarrow I am going to gather to cultivate.

I also want to plant some,

Alfalfa, melons, tomatoes, amaranth, duckweed, squash, comfrey (anyone know where I can find comfrey rootstock pretty cheap?) and garlic.

Some plants are mainly medicinal, like the garlic.

I am open to all suggestions. Space isn't much of an issue.

I mainly want stuff that is either perennial or will reseed itself each year. Were in zone 7.

I also wanna grow some sort of grain. What is a good grain for chickens that has decent yield, can tolerate dry-to-moist conditions and full sun? Maybe just use amaranth? Its beautiful and useful, lol.

Thanks for helping!


May 16, 2010
Washington State
I don't have a lot of advice, and most of my garden was purely annual, but here's what my chickens ate straight out of the ground: radishes, zucchini, carrots, and tomatoes. They ate the leaves of the carrots and radishes, in addition to the actual vegetable. They didn't eat the leaves of the zucchini or tomatoes, but the fruits/veggies were absolutely devoured! The best part about the tomatoes was that I accidentally let the plant get hugely out of control, and on really hot days they took shelter under it! It was adorable. I'm going to try kale this year, since my girls go crazy for it, and if possible, broccoli, although I might not be in the right zone. Have fun! I love watching them dig around in the garden, despite getting a smaller yield of crops


8 Years
Feb 23, 2011
Crossville, Tennessee
Zucchini bread! I am so planting that now, LOL.

I read about kale--I'll see what seeds I can find around town.

I grew these tomatoes last year--I forget what kind, some sort of grape/cherry heirloom. We got THOUSANDS of fruit off two plants. I rarely watered or fertilized and the plants grew well over 12 ft wide! My son and dog ate them all summer/fall. The chickens should like them then, huh'!

Its a lot of fun wannabechick. I want my animals to be as free to keep and organic as possible.

I was thinking about dehydrating much of the harvest for the winter. Gonna dehydrate soldier flies too. What do you think?

I have most of the salvaged supplies to build a solar dehydrator so am hoping to do it this year.

Were getting some miniature dairy goats *
* and I wanna grow for them and the rabbits as well. Permalicious!
Wonder what milk-fed chicken eggs taste like, LOL.
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7L Farm

9 Years
Jul 22, 2010
Anderson, Texas
Last summer here's what the chicken's liked the most out of my garden Cherry Tomatoes, cold watermelon, cantalope cold, squash, cucumbers & I gave them the weeds I pulled.


12 Years
May 8, 2007
It's hard to beat tomatoes. I plant cherry tomatoes for them, too. Not that they don't love the big ones!

I'd definitely plant a selection of greens, too. Kale, collards, spinach, chard and leaf lettuce are all good. You can get the chard in different colors, including a rainbow assortment packet. You might like the way that looks. They all take cool weather well in the fall, for late season eating. The non-lettuce greens even take some snow here. We are in zone 4, with a lot of snow. In your zone, that might be a winter garden!

I'd also add some parsley to the garden. That also takes some snow in the fall. I love yellow summer squash and always plant some of those. It's so tender and buttery. Mmm... If you plant winter squash or pumpkins, they'll store the longest for feeding after the growing season is over. You could also plant beets and turnips.

Buckwheat might be an option for you, too. Maybe some sunflowers.


Free Ranging
10 Years
Jan 20, 2011
middle TN
I planted cilantro, basil, and dill once several years ago and haven't needed to plant them again. In fact, I pull piles of it out while weeding and still have more than I can use from the plants I leave. Parsley will also re-seed itself as evidenced by the parsley growing in my lawn.

I'm just planting my regular (human) garden and the chickens will benefit from the overabundance and the parts I don't generally eat (like the squash leaves or the tougher, mature beet greens). I'm also trying callaloo for the first time this year. I figured that if I don't love it, the chickens will.

I keep joking that one year I'm not going to plant anything -- just eat whatever comes up -- because so many of the plants do reseed. I skipped planting cucumbers one year by just leaving the ones that came up in a decent location. That's the beauty of choosing heirlooms.


8 Years
Feb 23, 2011
Crossville, Tennessee
I am growing the duckweed in my rain barrels and growing pools. I am using it to feed not only the chooks but goats, worms and other animals as well. Yummy.

I just read in Backyard Poultry about parsley for chickens. It sounds like something we need to plant.

The rainbow kale-- that is something I wanted to plant because the leaves are so pretty. Makes sense to feed it to the chickens!

We'll look into buckwheat. Our weather gets really hot and humid but maybe it will produce well in the fall.

We have some dill growing wild on the property--I will try and remember to gather seeds this year!

Our squash reseeds, never had our cukes do it. Maybe the gherkins will since they are so weedy.

Ohh I where did you get your callaloo seeds? That sounds like a winner in our climate!

I am going to try and grow enough produce that I can dehydrate plenty for winter. We'll see I guess!

We've got a hay field so thankfully we don't have to purchase that for the animals.

This is such an exciting hobby!

13 days til chicks arrive!

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