I need gardening help

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by rrrsmom, Jun 18, 2007.

  1. rrrsmom

    rrrsmom Out Of The Brooder

    73
    4
    41
    Jun 2, 2007
    salt lake city, Ut
    Ok, you'll be able to tell right away that I'm new by the silly questions I'm going to ask. I'm sure everything has been tried and I just don't know about it yet. We have a 12'x12' chicken yard with a seperate coop. We have it screened top and sides and the bottom is ... I swear... like 100 year old cement that has broken out and now is just a big hard spot. I can't even get weeds to grow in this area. Anyway, what I wanted was some kind of natural shade for the birds so I've got some of those big terracota pots and planted grapes in them. I chicken wired around the pot so the chickens can't get into the plant and I'm hoping it will grow and someday give the birds some natural shade, attract bugs, and drop grapes. Then I planted some wheat grass in some of those oblong rectangle pots and I bring it in the chicken yard with me when I go in. I can't leave it in there because the chickens would devour the entire pot in 5 minutes. Well, now I'm thinking that what I need to do is plant wheat grass and flax in a planter the length of the coop on 3 sides of the coop with chicken wire over it so the birds can only eat the grass and the flax once it's reached a certain height. I can reseed once a month or so, so when the birds get the entire plant to come up it will keep growing. I'm thinking wheat grass for the calcium and flax for the omega 3's. Does anyone have this kind of setup? Does it work? Wheatgrass is a breeze to grow but what about flax? I don't know anything about it. Do I have to let it seed before there is nutritional value? Are there outdoor plants that are dangerous to chickens? I don't live in an area where you can grow avacados but I know avacados are poison to parrots. What other plants should I be leary of? I live in Utah- extreme weather - very cold winters, very hot summers and dry, dry, dry. Any suggestions?
    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2007
  2. poppycat

    poppycat Chillin' With My Peeps

    283
    3
    151
    Jan 26, 2007
    Well, now I'm thinking that what I need to do is plant wheat grass and flax in a planter the length of the coop on 3 sides of the coop with chicken wire over it so the birds can only eat the grass and the flax once it's reached a certain height.

    Sound's like a good idea, and inexpensive enough to try.

    The cool thing about chickens is they are like a long lasting science experiment. You can try lots of interesting stuff, sometimes it works and sometimes, well...
    Just do your research beforehand. [​IMG]
     
  3. Barb Schuetz

    Barb Schuetz Chillin' With My Peeps

    182
    0
    129
    May 24, 2007
    Viroqua, WI
    I went to the bulk section of my local food coop and got a bunch of whole grains; weat berries, rye, barley, flax etc., mixed it all together and portioned it out into about one cup per baggie. Then I spread one baggie at a time every two weeks. I've just started this and my chicks aren't free ranging yet but I figure when they do, they'll have good, young, healthy grass to chew. If not, the geese love it!
     
  4. SandraChick

    SandraChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, when my grass get's too dry in late fall before the "monsoons" begin...I plant the wheat seeds in those planting trays. I have 2 to 4 going at the same time at differing stages and I swap them out (they free range, so for me it's about keeping the growing ones away from them.

    Your idea is good in theory, but don't know how successful it will be. My only suggestion is to perhaps use the smaller welded wire as it is sturdier (less likely to "cave" in the center) and also less likely to get injured when trying to peck through the wire to reach that small blade of grass (thinking of chicken putting head through stretched chicken wire or being stopped right at the eyes and scratching them).

    Let us know how it works!
    Sandra
     
  5. Napalongtail

    Napalongtail Longtail Longtimer

    420
    2
    151
    Jan 31, 2007
    NE Washington
    Plants that are good are easier to find than those that are bad. Storeys guide to poultry sites a few: castor bean plant Very bad, raw potatoe peels very bad as well as all partially spoiled or questionable foods from your fridge, Those are just a couple of them , as for yummies, my birds enjoy fresh vegetables, fresh frozen when out of season, watermelon on super hot days, pumpkin cooked and raw in the fall, and lotsa pasta!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by