Post your ideas: Growing food for chickens

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

  1. chantecler

    chantecler Chillin' With My Peeps

    273
    0
    129
    Aug 25, 2008
    Moncton New Brunswick
    I'll be planting lots and lots of greens - swiss chard, spinach, kale and I think I will try planting sunflowers for them too.
    N;_)
     
  2. danischi24

    danischi24 Loves naked pets

    1,591
    10
    174
    Aug 17, 2008
    Australia
  3. mcfarlandteresa

    mcfarlandteresa Chillin' With My Peeps

    134
    1
    129
    Mar 24, 2008
    McAlester, Oklahoma
    That is a wonderful list. Found it weeks ago and printed it off and stuck it on the fridge. The kids love it![​IMG]
     
  4. Tweeza

    Tweeza Chillin' With My Peeps

    335
    1
    132
    Aug 17, 2008
    New England
    Last spring I planted Jerusalum Artichokes (Sunchokes) not for the chickens but for us since I was still dreaming of chickens. Well, we had never had this veggie before and although they're good my first experience preparing it was not a hit. A week or two ago I started to feed the tubers to the chickens. I take a minute or two to fish around in the ground to find a handful every morning. The chickens love them!! During the growing season, I'm told, chickens love the green leaves of the plant. They say once you plant sunchokes you'll never have to replant again.
     
  5. MrGreenJeans

    MrGreenJeans Out Of The Brooder

    62
    0
    29
    Jun 10, 2008
    COS
    I'm going to try out kohlrabi this year since I've heard good things about it growing quickly, and I can put it in the ground sooner. I may not do corn again this time around since squirrels pretty much got my entire second planting (even tho the girls loved stripping the cobs after we enjoyed the sweet corn).

    I can't wait until it gets warm enough to break ground !
     
  6. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,119
    18
    201
    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    I think you could just about put one vegetable plant in for you, one vegetable plant in for your chickens.

    More traditional field crops: I've grown foxtail millet, wheat, and sunflowers for the chickens. They are easy but I only planted beds in the veggie garden. (Actually, I've planted wheat in farm fields but that's a different story. [​IMG])

    The first vegetable that the chicks ate last year was lettuce. They grew tired of lettuce and by the Fall had very little interest in the plants. Zucchini is well liked and so is pumpkin. The pumpkin can be kept into the Fall for several months. I cut up, steamed and froze the Halloween Jack-o'lanterns for them.

    I was a little surprised to learn in 'o8 how well the chickens like beets. However, they wanted them cooked. And, the coop looked like a butcher shop for several days after they got beets [​IMG].

    Steve
     
  7. Hattie the Hen

    Hattie the Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    HI THERE! I've noticed in the last few days---After nearly 3 weeks of below freezing temperatures---That my chickens were tucking into the huge leaves of my cardoon plant. I've never seen them do that before !! Now there's a magnificent plant to have around, 7-9ft tall in the summer, you can eat it if you blanch it for a few weeks. It's related to the globe artichoke & produces decorative (but not edible)seed heads---which you can use in autumn and Christmas displays. I think the birds couldn't find much else that was edible after the snow but they certainly tucked into it. A row of these would certainly, along say a boundary fence, would give your birds shelter against the wind, shade in the summer, a tasty treat for you and your birds. Mine have been in for six or seven years and I just love the way they look, standing so tall & stately!! You can grow them fairly easily from seed or from root cutting. Mine came from one small cutting I got at a farmers market--It's now about 4ft across and shades my little pond beautifully.
     
  8. zewei

    zewei New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Jan 25, 2009
    Salem, OR, USA
    Quote:Do you feed the "corn on the cob" to the chicken when the corn is still fresh or when they are all dried?
    Does anyone has suggestions on what type (a variety name, maybe?) of corn to grow that will produce the most dry corn kernels for chicken feed?
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2009
  9. foxcrossing26

    foxcrossing26 Out Of The Brooder

    29
    0
    22
    Jul 4, 2008
    Peaceful Valley Garden Supply sells a field mix that's supposed to be specifically formulated as chicken forage. It has a mix of grasses and legumes. Chickens need protein in order to lay eggs. I assume that meat birds need to eat protein as well, altho I have only layers so I dont know for sure. The more protein your girls eat, the better they will lay. Chickens probably can survive on forage alone, if it's a rural property with plenty of wild vegetation (as has been pointed out already). Farmers in my area used to grow acres of wheat specifically to feed to their layers, which was their livelihood. So I figure they must have known what they were doing.

    I feed a mix of scratch, sunflower seeds (both bought and grown), and laying pellets. When I spilled some TVP (tex. veg protein i.e. soybeans) on the floor and fed it to them, they fought like tigers for it. They love bread (whole grain, not white), pasta (ditto), and greens as a supplement. I think they know what they need -- they fight the hardest for the protein-rich foods and leave the white bread alone. Smart girls.
     
  10. CARS

    CARS Chillin' With My Peeps

    Other than all the garden scraps and weeds (well, not peppers and that sort of stuff) I made some cages in their outdoor run about 2 feet in diameter that I planted Comfrey in. The chickens can reach through the 2"X4" wire and eat but they can't reach in far enough for them to kill off the plant.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by