Plantings in pen.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by fishkiller, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. fishkiller

    fishkiller In the Brooder

    Aug 12, 2007
    I have an area for a new pen and i was thinking of planting some type of grass or cover crop that they can pick through and destroy. I know it wont last long term. Any suggestions on type? I was thinking oats or a winter rye. The birds wont occupy new area for at least a month or maybe two. The soil is not in the best shape, sandy, water is easily available. I do live in an area with minor frost. Thank you.
  2. Bubba

    Bubba Songster

    Jun 18, 2007
    Alfalfa grows well in sandy loam. It is great for your soil to as it fixs Nitrogen (Not that you need it with the chickens coming in behind it). It is high in protein. Grows well even if it gets a light frost in the winter. If your birds let it live which I doubt the plant can live for many years. Just don't overwater it.

    You can also just get any type of bird seed and water it. They will of course devour it. [​IMG]


    PS If that doesn't work for you I have more ideas you can try.
  3. fishkiller

    fishkiller In the Brooder

    Aug 12, 2007
    Bubba- Yes i considered alfalfa. Only thing i was not sure about was i read that it will winter kill. I was kinda hopinig I could find something that didnt winter kill, but now that you mention it will do well in my soil it is in the top 5. Will i need to mow the alfalfa before putting the ladies in there. Any other suggestions?

    Woodlandwoman-Do you have any experience with that mix in the link you provided?

    Thank you.
  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    I just heard about it this year and haven't tried it, yet. I thought I might get some next spring. There's no shortage of edibles on our acreage, I just thought it looked good.
  5. seedcorn

    seedcorn Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    NE. IN
    Depending on number of chickens/size of pen, my best guess is no matter what you plant, they are going to mow it down in a week or so. The only plant I've seen survive chickens and their manure is horseradish.
  6. LindaN

    LindaN Songster

    Jul 28, 2007
    Winter rye is hardy and will germinate down to 30 degrees F. I sowed it as a winter cover crop on my veggie beds a couple years ago and it worked great. It stopped growing in the really cold weather, but picked up where it left off as the weather warmed in late winter/early spring. In another spot that I was trying to cover, I let it get really tall and form seed heads and it was quite beautiful, too. Not that the chickens would let it get that tall!

    Alfalfa may be hardier than you think, too. I sowed some one summer as a cover crop in a small area and never turned it into the soil. Instead, I just figured I'd let it get winter-killed. The next year, much of it started growing again. I'm in Chicago, and our winters involve more than a "light frost," too!
  7. erinm

    erinm Posting For A change

    Feb 24, 2007
    Central Massachusetts
    I also have a worm bin. I just started. Got any advice? ErinM

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: