What to plant for free range chickens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by schellie69, May 18, 2010.

  1. schellie69

    schellie69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2009
    Kansas
    I free range my girls in my backyard and they have wiped out most of the grass in yard I was thinking of planting more grass but do not want to pen the girls up for a month while it grows so I was looking for some plants that I could plant that they could eat that would help and maybe make a easy to roll tractor and take them to the front yard to eat weeds and grass while grass grows in the backyard does anyone have an ideas on what I could do to help them out their yokes are getting lighter which means they are not getting as much vegetation as I would like does anyone have any ideas of plants that I could plant for them what about flowers I know they will kill them but give them something to eat while the grass grows back or what about a easy to move tractor plan just to put them out in the front yard for a while under my supervision since my front yard is not fenced it thanks for any help in this matter.
     
  2. schellie69

    schellie69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2009
    Kansas
    anyone have any ideas
     
  3. Grand-hen-ma

    Grand-hen-ma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 25, 2010
    Hudson Florida
    I have an idea and do this for my girls. I take little flats, partially fill them with soil and plant rye seed. I plant several a week at different days to keep them growing. When one tray is nice and grown, I place it in the pen with my girls. They go nuts! They will clean up every blade! When they are done, I remove the tray and replant more seed. Rye grows very fast.

    Hope this helps you.
     
  4. schellie69

    schellie69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2009
    Kansas
    Thank you can you plant it in the ground or just in planters I was thinking about the ground since they have eaten most of the weeds and grass in the back yard. its amazing how much they will eat in a short time
     
  5. dchickenman

    dchickenman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2010
    Is that rye ( as in the grain), or rye grass? Where do you get the seeds?
     
  6. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 19, 2009
    You might try contacting your local extension office to find out what high-traffic pasture grasses grow best in your area, but depending on the size of the yard and the number of chickens you're keeping on it you will likely still need to implement a good ground management plan to keep this from happening again. Remember, taking them off it for a few days when it's low but not completely gone is much easier than letting them kill the whole lot and having to start over from scratch. Designate one area of the yard a run and commit to it as your sacrifice area and practice good management on the rest of the land in order to get the most out of it.
     
  7. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 19, 2009
    Forgot to add, if you want flowers and landscaping ours love things that grow about as tall as they are that they can go in amongst and scratch about. Especially things that grow in thick clumps so that they can walk between and scratch in the soil and mulch. Hardy varieties hold up nicely even with the chicken traffic (provided no overcrowding). Look in people's yards where you are and ask around, again the local extension is a good place to start, and see what grows well where you are. Things like hardy day lillies and irises ...
     
  8. schellie69

    schellie69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2009
    Kansas
    thanks for the advice I live in town so my backyard is not that big, I hate to keep them penned up due to boredom so I guess I will have to find a fast growing sturdy grass thank you for all your help.
     
  9. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Are they eating free choice layer feed?? I wouldn't think their egg yolks would turn lighter if they were, with or without eating grass. I've planted raspberries and blue berries for my chickens, but they are slow growing and are more for treats than "grazing." I know you don't want to, but you might consider penning them in an area that's pretty much dead for a month or so. Some folks build something that resembles raised garden beds (but smaller) covered in hardware cloth to grow greens for their chickens. As the grass grows, the chickens can only eat it down to the wire, but no further. They keep eating it as it grows through the wire. So you could try the rye in something like that until your yard grows back...???
     
  10. schellie69

    schellie69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2009
    Kansas
    yes they have layer feed 24/7 and free range I also give them the weeds from my garden I have thought about going and getting some of the feed call sunfresh it is only vegetable/flower mix to give them until I can get the grass to grow back. between the chickens and they traffic with building the new coop and wood pile the grass has died out I have thought about when I cut the front grass throwing the cuttings in the back yard for the chickens I also know our mulberry tree will be coming to fruit soon so that should help. I might have to pen them up for a while to see if I can find a fast growing grass and see how that goes once again thanks for the help to a newbie who is still learning as I go.
     

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