Post your ideas: Growing food for chickens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by MsBentleyboy, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. MsBentleyboy

    MsBentleyboy Songster 10 Years

    Jul 16, 2008
    Kentucky girl
    I've read somewhere in the past about growing certain foods for chickens that are very healthy for them. We raise a huge garden every year and this year I would like to grow one entire bed of nothing but food to give my chickens. I know that you can give chickens just about anything but I was wondering what others give theirs that might be very healthy for them. (One example is pumpkin. I read somewhere that the pumpkin seeds are a natural dewormer for your chickens. The seeds have to be crushed down which takes some time but I'm willing to give it a try).

    Please post anything you may have read that is healthy for your chickens. I'm preparing my garden layout in the next month and would like some ideas.

    I hope to get lots of response. [​IMG]

    Thank you and God bless!
  2. SterlingAcres

    SterlingAcres Songster

    Apr 17, 2008
    Poconos, PA
    I planned on planting a patch of pumpkins just for the chooks this year... have no idea what else to plant. They'll end up getting the majority of the leftovers anyways.
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I raise a fairly large quantity of food for the chickens. It's called "weeds" [​IMG] Most of the stuff I weed out of my beds goes straight to the chicken run where they eat the parts they want and have fun scratching thru the parts they don't.

    Excess or non-table-worthy veggies go there too.

    When I strip off turf for a new bed, if it is too weedy or ripped-up to transplant elsewhere I give them that too, woo hoo do they love THAT.

    And when those stupid harvester ants build too large a nest in one of my beds I 'reduce' it by chopping the main bulk out with a shovel and ferrying it *real quick* to the chickens, who have a happy and exciting half-hour or so snapping up all the surplus ants.

    I know that's probably not what you meant but it counts, doesn't it? [​IMG]

  4. mcfarlandteresa

    mcfarlandteresa Songster

    Mar 24, 2008
    McAlester, Oklahoma
    I am also doing a section in my garden for my chickens and goats and rabbits. We are planting cabbage, pumpkins, watermelons, cantelopes, lettuce and whatever else we can think of. I plant those anyways but this year I have critters that will eat it so we are planting double!! I can't wait to see what we come up with.
  5. rdranch

    rdranch Songster

    Apr 13, 2007
    As for growing things just for the girls, I make sure we plant plenty of collards, chard and turnip greens. These are their favorite and you just can't go wrong with the nutrition from collards and chard.[​IMG][​IMG]
  6. MsBentleyboy

    MsBentleyboy Songster 10 Years

    Jul 16, 2008
    Kentucky girl
    Yes, these are all good ideas. One person mentioned giving their chickens all the scrap leaves from what she grows. The only thing I've been cautioned of is giving tomato leaves to chickens. I've read that these are poisonous. I'm assuming just about everything else goes though.

    I would love to give weeds to my chickens but I have arthritis too bad to pull them out myself. My husband doesn't want the chickens loose in the garden b/c he fears that they will destroy some of "our" vegetables we plan to eat. So, I'm hoping to come up with other ideas as people post their replies.

    thank you to all that have posted.
  7. rainbowgardens

    rainbowgardens Songster

    Nov 19, 2008
    Central Virginia
    I grow pumpkins for fall decoration and then slice off wedges to give to the chickens all winter. I grew brocolli and cabbage for the humans, but would give the chickens the outer leaves. This spring and fall I will plant kale for them. It does very well where I live and will last all winter if I cover it.
    Last summer I got overloaded with cucumbers and couldn't keep them picked. They grew huge! I would slice them open and let them peck out the pulp and seeds.
    They love lettuce and any corn that the worms ruin for us humans. I have comfrey planted in a corner that they love.
  8. erthymom2

    erthymom2 Songster

    May 23, 2008
    i have storage totes that i grow sprouts in for my chickens - just spread the tiny sprout seeds in the bottom, cover with water, put on a small table in the bathroom (dark & warm there) and drain/rinse them once a day. W/in 5 days i have sprouts and if i let them go 7-8 days i have really long mung bean sprouts. My chickens love 'em.

    I get bulk 1 lbs. bags of sporuting seeds at the local co-op for about $5 per bag and they will last me all winter. A great investment for supplying greens and veggies to them along with what we throw out.
    1 person likes this.
  9. We always have extra corn for the chickens. My husband took a square piece of plywood and drilled 4 screws on the corners and I "twist " an ear of corn down on each screw. It keeps the corn immobile and clean. I always remove it when they are done so they won't get hurt on the sharp screw. We don't put pesticides etc down on the lawn and have a catcher on the back for clippings when we mow. Most of these go right in the chicken pen for them to enjoy. I hung a cup hook on a supporting post in the pen and hang broccolli or lettuce, sometimes suet for them. They love tomatos also. Merry
  10. Our birds (and other animals too) get pretty much everything in the garden. If we plant it one way or another they will end up eatting it too.
    When I can I give the animals the scraps left behind. Peelings, stems, leaves, whatever it is.
    When the corn is done I pull the stalks out and different animal pens each get some. The pumpkins are fun (and benifical) for all the animals. Cuccumbers when I am over loaded with them go to the animals.
    I guess if it's ok for us, it's ok for them for the most part.
    When the garden is done for the year the animals get all the 'leftovers' too....

    Oh yeah.....Can't forget the weeds....The animals get ALL the weeds. Our geese will walk the rows and pick the weeds out themselves. I have seen the chickens do this too, but once in awhile they get carried away and they'll get that tomato I was just waiting for.

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