Planting for the chickens??

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Dixiedoodle, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    Since the economy is so gloomy, prices are going out of site and many are increasing their flock numbers and we must keep our chickens fed...I would like to know what you are planning to plant this yr--for your chickens. Have you planned to add extra veggies for the birds?? How will you store it?

    Since we have a large garden and always plant several acres of peas, corn and black oil sunflowers, -usually we have veggies that are not harvested because 'everyone and their brother' has all they want to pick. I have an orchard and a small vineyard and can feed them the leftovers. We use oats and rye as cover crops so I could harvest this for the girls.

    The big problem I have is storage. I do not have a clue as to how to keep these for long periods of time. My freezers are full of people food..

    IF I use the corn, oats and rye, do I have to do something to the dried items BEFORE I feed it to the birds?? Can I have the oats and rye baled into hay bales and feed that to them?? Do I need to cut it into tiny little pcs???

    So, If you have plans for growing food for your birds will you share your thoughts and ideas with us?? Thank you in advanced..Dixie
  2. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    I give them leftovers.....
  3. Rosalind

    Rosalind Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2007
    I got a bunch of stuff that is going into 4 experimental garden beds this year. Quinoa, amaranth (higher protein grain -> don't have to add as much fishmeal or eggs for protein content), lentils, sunflower seeds, Sand Hill greens mix, beetberry, flax, calendula. I really didn't want corn or oats or any of that for the chooks because of the processing issues you mention; the quinoa and amaranth just need to be cut down and dried upside down in the hayloft for a few days, then you shake the seedheads into a bucket or something. Store in a secure mouse-proof bin in cellar or barn until needed.

    Flax and lentils are a little more intensive, you have to pop the seed pods open manually, then let dry. After that, though, you can store them at room temp.

    Calendula flowers are easy to harvest, just pick 'em and let dry on a kitchen countertop. The greens and beetberry I was just going to blanch and freeze in plastic baggies.

    For fishmeal--I go fishing as many weekends as I can, so I was going to save the fillet leftovers and the too-small-to-eats, gut them and grind 'em whole in the KitchenAid grinder. We're not terribly far from the ocean, either, so kelp is easy to come by.

    Corn and rye and so forth, I think you have to let them dry, remove the seeds with some sort of threshing mechanism, winnow away the straw, then mill the seeds a bit to crack them open and make them digestible. Seems like a lot of work to me, for something that's almost all carbs and needs a lot of supplements.
  4. swampducks

    swampducks Overrun With Guineas

    Feb 29, 2008
    Barton City, MI
    Last fall DH planted me some winter wheat. Assuming we have reasonably good weather I could get anywhere between 40-70 bushels. My chickens love it. I'm thinking of planting some cabbages for them too, have no idea how to store them though. The wheat would get stored in the barn probably in bags we saved from the cracked corn I buy.

    Been feeding the birds some store bought oats too, only $6.50 per 50 pound bag. They love them mixed in with their crumbles.

    BTW don't be surprised if this thread gets moved to the Feeding Section. [​IMG]

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