Native grasses?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Eggcentric One, Jun 23, 2019.

  1. Eggcentric One

    Eggcentric One Songster

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    What is your opinion of sowing native grasses in your runs, yards, paddocks and pastures over the current desire for nice green all year lawns and annual pasture grasses? Do your Chickens do well? I know historically they survived well under these grasses, but are the genetics conducive for them now?
     
    fldiver97 and Eggscaping like this.
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Got my Puppy

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    Our yard and fields here are native grasses and weeds. Birds do well foraging during the warmer months.
     
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

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    Mixed grasses and other plants make for good habitat, including under trees and shrubs, so birds can find worms and bugs, and plants they will eat. It's no substitute for chicken feed free choice in their feeder though.
    Mary
     
  4. Eggcentric One

    Eggcentric One Songster

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    That is what I was hoping for. I want to offer them safety, security and supplemental feed, as I desire a symbiotic relationship with them. But I also desire to have them utilize their natural skills as much as possible, as you never know what is going to happen in this world and feed may become a limited resource. I have no issue with planting their preferred forage. However, I have a strong desire to return as much to nature as possible.
    Do you think that sowing in some winter grasses will help or should I just plan on feed from in the colder months?
    Thanks a million for your reply!
     
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  5. Eggcentric One

    Eggcentric One Songster

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    Thank you.
     
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Got my Puppy

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    You will have to fence them out of anything you plant. Chickens will destroy any freshly planted areas. I always offer a ration free choice and my birds forage all they want. In winter they get hay to pick through made from our hay fields, as well as a ration.
     
  7. Eggcentric One

    Eggcentric One Songster

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    I anticipated that I would have to do so and have plans to fence the garden and greenhouse off together. I desire to plant things they would enjoy and that would supplement them somewhat. Having said this, I have never been charged with the care and well being for chickens before and will accept any and all tidbits of education. So, I appreciate your input. Thank you.
     
  8. Eggscaping

    Eggscaping Enjoying Life!

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    Good for you! If you can, find out what's native to your area and plant that. Not only will your chickens have someplace to forage, but you will be providing natural plants that native pollinators need to feed on and/or lay eggs on. Whatever might escape the attentions of the chickens will probably be something native to your biome.
     
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  9. Mybackyardpeepers

    Mybackyardpeepers Crowing

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    This is exactly the post I needed. I am getting ready to make my run over and was going to add some Lemon Grass plants. Are these ok for my chickens? I read hosta's are ok?
     
  10. Eggscaping

    Eggscaping Enjoying Life!

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    People can and do make tea out of lemon grass, but I'm not experienced enough to know if it would hurt chickens. I'd *think* not, but as said - not an expert. Here's a site that might help you. https://www.chickenkeepingsecrets.com/chicken-health/plants-that-are-toxic-to-chickens/
    Some folks say that chickens seem to know what's poisonous to them, but if you put a toxic plant in a run where they don't have much else to interact with/eat...that might tempt them.
     

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