What do you grow for your chickens?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Dark Dozens, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. Dark Dozens

    Dark Dozens Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 9, 2010
    Berkshire County, MA
    I'm thinking about planting a garden for the chickens this year. Looking for suggestions on what to plant. I'll probably have a couple of raised beds, each measuring 4' X 8'.
  2. darkmatter

    darkmatter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2009
    See my BYC page. I have mature Illinois Everbearing Mulberries in the Run. They drop mulberries for 10 to 12 weeks starting in June. I've also planted Apples and Persimmons to extend the free food dropping harvest well into the fall. The Run shares a fence with my garden and when I'm done in the fall, I let the chickens in to glean and till and fertilize the soil. In the spring, it tills up great for planting. I also grow tomatoes in the Run inside a cage which grows up into a trellis and drops tomatoes for them to eat. Anything in my garden that I don't use, gets tossed over the fence into the run.
  3. hencrazy

    hencrazy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2009
    Swiss chard, tomatoes, zucchini, and anything else left over.
  4. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    Some really good ideas are:

    Winter Squashes
    Pumpkins (seeds act as a natural de-wormer, too)
    Heirloom corn (so it isn't GMO)
    Beets (people prefer mangal beets)
    Quinoa (beautiful, tall, and very nutritious)

    It is also a good idea to have fruit trees around. Especially if you free range your chickens, they can forage on what has fallen.

    Really, ANY vegetable you can eat from your garden, so can your chickens. I always recommend a high intake of veggie greens, as most chickens these days are cooped up in a small run where even grass isn't available.
  5. grendel

    grendel Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2010
    Walbridge ohio
    good weed eaters ,chickens love dandelions.
  6. OwensMom

    OwensMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 4, 2009
    CO Western Slope
    I agree with all of the above. And fruit trees in the run-what a great idea!! It is COLD here-3 below at night- and I just roasted a pumpkin for the girls. You can store pumpkins for winter along with winter squash. lynn
  7. cluckberry

    cluckberry New Egg

    Jan 2, 2011
    I got a bit carried away last year (got my chickens in the spring) and planted more 'chicken food' than I did for us! Cabbage, swiss chard, lettuces of all sorts, kales. I've bought a few cabbages to hang in the run, but most days I clip leaves off the ones grown for the cluckers and tie them together and let them peck at that.

    Their run is under a mature apple tree, so they love that. I'm about to relocate half of my raspberry patch to extend their run...so apparently I'm still chicken-crazed. Over the summer they had strawberries, raspberries, and every weed I could find in the garden, including bindweed/morning glory!

    Gosh it's lovely to convert weeds to eggs. Oh, and that goes X100 for slugs and snails.

    This year, for the chickens I'm going to grow beets, sunflowers, more lettuce and cabbages (sprinkled throughout the garden) along with flats of green manures, and earmark the raised beds for OUR food.

    [​IMG] Jen
  8. karl E lutz

    karl E lutz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 29, 2010
    I only give them the old stuff ,watermelon, tomatoes whatever is not good enough for the folks.
  9. HeritageHens

    HeritageHens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 9, 2010
    Quote:Good idea! Quinoa is high in protein too!
  10. NottinghamChicks

    NottinghamChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    I grow sunflowers for all the birds, chickens included. The rest of the garden is off limits until autumn.

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