What to plant for a "pasture".

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by HenPecked_bychildren, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. HenPecked_bychildren

    HenPecked_bychildren Songster

    Feb 24, 2010
    SW Florida
    We have 1/2 acre and only 1/2 is sodded. We would like to raise some birds for meat one day, but don't want to just raise some fast growing broilers that don't need any space. We would like to raise some chickens more on "pasture". So what would be a good thing to plant on the back of our property that would help give them some "pasture". Obviously this would have to be replanted every year as the chickens to tear it up quickly.

    We are in Southwest Florida, so I'm sure that will limit what we can plant. It's pretty sandy back there, full sun.

  2. HorizonSon

    HorizonSon Songster

    Oct 5, 2010
    Pacific NW
    Comfrey, stinging nettle, chickweed, duckweed in a pond, buckwheat, red clover, mangel beets, dock, sunflower...

    That should get you started [​IMG]
  3. darkmatter

    darkmatter Songster

    Jul 10, 2009
    An Orchard, you get the fruit, the chickens get the windfalls. The chickens keep the ground cleaned up and add fertilizer. If you chose carefully the type and variety of fruit trees, you can get food from spring to fall and even into winter. (Persimmons are good into November even) Mulberries are early and Apples have different varieties that ripen early to late.
  4. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    Pensacola Bahia or a good strain of Bermuda grass. It'll soak up all the manure they drop and grow rampantly in the warm season. Overseed with winter rye in the cool season.

    Don't let them scratch it to the bare ground and it'll grow right back.

  5. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    So what would be a good thing to plant on the back of our property that would help give them some "pasture".

    Cheap bird seed, Sunflowers, Millet, Milo

    In Winter, Wheat and Rye​
  6. mkearsley

    mkearsley Chirping

    Jul 19, 2010
    South-west Idaho
    Whatever you do decide to plant, please, please check with your state Noxious Weed list & make sure that nothing in your seed mix is on that list, particularly if you buy "wildflower mixes" or wild birdseed mixes. The last thing you need to do is spread nasty plants. Most of the noxious & invasive weeds we have in the west were brought on "accident" as ornamental plants because they have pretty flowers, others were brought in seed mixes.

    Here's a few websites to check out for the state of Florida:



    Sorry for the soap-box, but part of what I do in my job is education about noxious & invasive weeds. [​IMG] Good luck with your pasture. I would suggest getting a mix of local grasses and flowering plants. I like the idea of the orchard, you could plant an orchard & put grasses & flowering plants in the understory. I would talk to your local county extension agent about what kinds of grasses & flowering plants grow best in your area. My suggestion would be to limit it to 3 different grasses, & try to get 2 or three plants that flower at different times of the year. Unless you plan on getting dozens of chickens, I'm sure that your flock will do just fine on 1/2 an acre. I've got 4 birds in a town-lot (something like .14 acres) and I have one spot where they've done some damage, but it's winter here now, & the spot is right next to their coop. All summer long, they foraged throughout the whole yard with no problems. You will have a few spots that they make for their dust baths, but that's inevitable.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by