Seeds to Plant For Food

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Gatekeeper, May 6, 2008.

  1. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    Can Milo or other grains/seeds be planted to supplement chicken's diets? Rape or other type plants ... What do you suggest?

  2. banter

    banter Songster

    Mar 3, 2008
    Raymond Maine
    Ist of all, Groucho would say " Rape or Milo? That's Dat's da most ridiculous question I ever heard! Yes! chicken eat a wide variety of food (if their not spoiled as mine are) and I think any supplemental food you can grow (as buying food is getting out of reach for most of us) would be a wise idea!
  3. fivebigreds

    fivebigreds Songster

    Sep 9, 2007
    middle Tennessee
    I have planted pumpkins and black oil sunflowers for my pampered poultry.
  4. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Any small grain works. Just pick one which will grow easiest in your climate. Milo would work very well. I've used winter Rye and oats which I just swathed and threw into the chicken pen. It kept them entertained for a good long time.

    Probalby the thing they liked most, though, were the field peas.
  5. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    One thing to keep in mind is the space required to grow any sufficient amount of grain.
  6. S0rcy

    S0rcy Songster

    Probably the LEAST used places for grain is in bedding borders and along fencelines. People want to keep things "neat and tidy" but using that space really counts! A bit labor intensive if you are harvesting by hand. Also a very nice background grass for flowers in beds.

    I just finished seeding half the chickens run with lettuce/spring rye/wheat for them to pluck on. They can have at it when it grows a bit. My sunflowers won't go in for another week and in triple the amounts as I am going to be feeding goats this year too.

    A winter crop such as winter rye can be alternately or interseeded with rapid harvest plants such as lettuces/mustards. I don't know about rape for chickens, we're very restricted about planting rape here. How about millet? This seemed like an interesting paper on it:

    When the chickens have at the half of the run that is planted, I will plant the other half by just tossing mixed seed out there and covering it up lightly with a rake, etc. I'll keep that going back and forth for them, letting them mix up the ground, scratch and peck at it, poop all over it, then I will move them to a third run on the opposite side of the coop. I will plant that area in good grass and let it grow while they are in the third area. When it is established, I'll put them on it and when they have torn it up sufficiently, the process will start all over again. It won't get too pecked and scratched this year with only 4 hens, but next year there will be more [​IMG]

    You really got me thinking about chicken feed now! I can't wait to take the poultry nutrition class next term!
  7. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    All eggcellent ideas!!! Nothing better than brain-storming!

  8. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    SOrcy, you are having a cooler start to Spring and the growing season than anywhere in the US. I was just looking at the growing degree days across the nation and the northern Willamette is 70% below normal. And, your weather ends up here after you are done with it :eek:!

    What I'm hoping for is that the Weather Service is correct that this will be a normal Spring in the NorthWest when all is said and done. That can only mean that the second half of the season will be remarkably warm because this first half has been darn cool!

    Foxtail millet germinates better in my garden than sweet corn. It probably can't take a frost but lower soil temperatures don't seem to bother it. I'll grow a little millet with peas and I've already planted wheat with peas about a month ago.

    If the peas can take Winter cold (& they should do fine in your part of the world), these crops (wheat/peas in Winter, millet/peas in Summer) could be grown year around for livestock.


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