Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Country Parson, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. Country Parson

    Country Parson Songster

    Oct 1, 2010
    Bellefontaine, OH
    Calling out to anyone who has ever grown mangels (which I'm growing for winter chicken feed):

    I'm laying out my garden plan for the Spring, and in a week or so will put in my earlier crops (carrots, peas, onions, etc). But, I want to make sure I leave enough room for mangels. I have enough seeds for at least 150ft of mangels (the garden is 55 ft long).

    Here is the question, what is the minimum space between rows? I have an old Planet Jr. push cultivator, so I can get my rows fairly close and still keep them weeded, but I'm new to this vegetable and don't want to overcrowd.

    Also, how far apart to you thin the mangel plants within the row?
  2. lotzahenz

    lotzahenz Songster

    Aug 28, 2008
    Lexington, Kentucky
    OK, I will bite. What ARE mangels? So sorry, I have no idea and am pretty up on plants and veggies. I can google them, but was curious. HenZ
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2011
  3. ladybug99

    ladybug99 Songster

    Aug 10, 2010
    Monroe New Jersey
    I did not know what they were either.. had a difficult time finding out as well....this is what I found


    Mangle-wurzel is a 'dual-purpose' vegetable because both the roots and the leaves are edible. It's sometimes known as the 'Yellowbeet', the 'Mangold' the 'Mangold-wurzel' or the 'Manglebeet.' It's closely related to beetroot, silverbeet and sugarbeet, and they all share the same scientific name, Beta vulgaris.

    I guess we don't grow those in New Jersey.. I have to say I am a farm girl and "mangles" stumped me....but I think my girls would eat them. [​IMG]
  4. mythkat

    mythkat Songster

    The source I am going to use says 12 inches apart and 28" to 36" between rows. They can grow to 20 pounds each. In addition to chicken feed I'm using them to break up the clay and hard pan soil we have.
  5. ladybug99

    ladybug99 Songster

    Aug 10, 2010
    Monroe New Jersey
    wow that is a really big vegetable!!! let us know how well they grew for you and if the chickens liked them. Someone gave me some special "squash "seeds last year and I planted them at work not at home.... good thing I did as for one seed sent out a vine that was well over 50 feet long.. grew into the tree (Like overnight!) and then produced a squash that grew to be 5 feet long... I am not kidding you.... chickens ate it fine... and so did our employees.. it had like 10 to 15 squash.....some of our employees were from the Phillipenes and made this awesome soup from it.. they say in thier country this squash was a delicacy.. they are growing more this year in thier own gardens not mine LOL
  6. greenSearcher

    greenSearcher Songster

    Aug 22, 2010
    Mangels do grow huge. They can be eaten as table food, but it is mostly for animal feed. Harvest the greens, a few from each beet during the season to give the your girls for greens. Years ago when I lived in Germany, we were in a small town surrounded by farms. The whole family would go to the fields at harvest time, even the little old ladies. The end of the day had wagons full of 20+ lb sweet potato looking things. Speaking of which, sweet potatoes have a huge harvest for the amount of slips planted in the late spring. I had 10 slips that grew into sweet potato vines, and after 4 months (plus lots of TX heat) I harvested close to 150 lbs of sweet potatoes. I dehydrated more than half, and every so often cook up a pot, like I do white potatoes, chop them up and give them to the girls. Just put a few of the smaller ones that had tiny roots starting in jars of water, as if I was making sweet potato vines for house plants. In 6 wks or so I will have at least 12 good slips for the garden. So we now have Winter Squash, Sweet potatoes and Mangel for good winter storing foods for the chickens!
  7. wekiva bird

    wekiva bird Songster

    Mar 18, 2010
    South Carolina
    I am trying them this year. My garden is in south carolina should I plant them now or wait till fall? [​IMG]
  8. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Songster

    May 15, 2009
    I'm growing mangles also! Took a while to find seeds but they came in 2 weeks ago. I'm going to plant them away from my garden because they take up so much room. I want to use them as winter feed for my girls. I'm also going to grow extra winter squash to store in the basement like I did last year. This past winter whenever I used the oven for a roast or turkey I would also bake 2 or 3 squash for the chickens. Gives them variety and lots of vitamins.

    The way things are going I want to grow more food for them ( and us) so I don't have to buy as much feed. Mangles are easy....till a row or 2 really well, plant the seeds and hoe or weed a few times a year.

    Farmers used to plant them to feed their sheep, cows, goats and chickens during the winter. I'm not sure about horses. In an emergency the farmers family could also eat them if their food stocks were way down.

    I probably look like the guy from Friday the 13th when I chop up the mangles with a machete but other than a very sharp shovel it's the only way to cut them down to size.

    Interesting topic. Glad I found it. I'll be back tonight to read more.[​IMG][​IMG]

    wekiva bird........plant them when you plant beets in your area. I'm sure you can plant them now before your southern sun gets too hot. They are a huge beet and I would think you could store them right in the ground until you need a few as feed.

    Sigh......I'm in NH...we had 2 blizzards this year and a ton of snow. My garden fence is only exposed 2 feet and it's a 4 foot fence. I'm getting desperate. Spring fever is killing me. Maybe I'll go shovel out the garden.[​IMG]
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2011

    ODS-n-ENS FARM Songster

    Sep 16, 2008
  10. cybercat

    cybercat Songster

    May 22, 2007
    Greeneville, Tn
    I will be growing mangles this year also. Bought mine from Rare seed .com. BYP magazine has a article on them. There is also a thread on the IDIGMYGARDEN.COM forum. What mangles are a large beet. They have been used for stock feed for many centuries. They can be kept over winter but usually not in ground unless they are in a pot in the ground. Many just tack them to the wall of a coop and let the chickens peck at it till all gone.

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