What to put in a garden for chicken

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by comish83, Nov 10, 2019.

  1. comish83

    comish83 In the Brooder

    Oct 8, 2019
    Northern Virginia
    I plan on fencing in another (fourth) paddock (15x15) next to my run and letting my 10 chickens pick that area clean this winter. I would then like to turn the area into a garden in the spring with the purpose of growing plants that the chicken will eat (while planted so I don't have to do a lot of picking) to offer a little diversity over the grass paddocks. Can anyone recommend what to grow? I am trying to maximize yield for the area but a little diversity would be nice. I have no idea if the chickens would let something live a watermelon vine actually grow or if they would just eat the plant at infancy. With that logic, should I just stick to herbs, spinach, romaine lettuce, ruby red, etc?
    Imaniful, MROO, Sequel and 2 others like this.
  2. ValerieJ

    ValerieJ Crossing the Road

    Jul 24, 2016
    Washington State
    If you have the current run still, you could keep them there until the garden grows too big for them to demolish.
    Imaniful, MROO, Sequel and 1 other person like this.
  3. Sequel

    Sequel Free Ranging

    Plant some kale and let the plants get big before you let the chickens in. They love eating and hiding in it! I’ve also planted it against the run fence so they can nibble but not destroy the plants.
    I have red Russian which gets quite tall here.
    Imaniful, ValerieJ and MROO like this.
  4. MROO

    MROO Crossing the Road

    Lots of herbs ... and mine love marigolds. I plant them just outside their run so the plants grow inside, but the roots stay out of reach of scratching toes and beaks. You could plant fennel along your fence line. It gets tall and bushy, but stays airy enough for you to see through. Mine eat the leaves, but like the seed heads, best. You can plant carrots, too. The chickens eat most of the greens, but the carrots still grow, underneath. My birds won't touch them, whole, so I pull them at harvest and either shred or cook them. Then, they can't get enough of them. As a bonus, both carrots and marigold flowers can turn yolks a rich, bright orange. They're really pretty!
    Kiwibird, Sequel and ValerieJ like this.
  5. PTA Chicks

    PTA Chicks Songster

    Jan 15, 2012
    KZN, South Africa
    I've recently planted a chicken garden. So far I have a block of corn (for them to mostly hide in), carrots,radishes,beetroot,kale,Chinese cabbage, lettuce, origanum, catmint, nasturtiums,pumpkin. They LOVE my butternut squash leaves and shred them so I already have one growing up over their run.
    I plan to leave the area fenced off for 2 months before I left them in there so things can grow. I also plan to plant some Swiss chard and some rosemary or lavender. They also like sweet potato leaves so maybe I'll put in a runner of that too. I'll also see which herbs I can find in my garden that are a bit bigger and transplant them there.
    I'm not adding tomatoes in,I'm not so sure they're not toxic to chickens.
    In the rest of my garden they like to scratch in,they have lots of sunflowers (left over from treats that grew) and oats and wheat plants so at the end of summer I think I might plant some winter wheat and oats for them too.
    Sequel, MROO and ValerieJ like this.
  6. ellenscoop

    ellenscoop Songster

    Feb 21, 2015
    Sequel likes this.
  7. MROO

    MROO Crossing the Road

    From what I understand, the fruits of a tomato are fine, but any green or brown (including stems and rosettes on picked fruit) are toxic. That actually makes sense, since they are part of the nightshade family, which includes poisonous belladonna.
    Sequel likes this.
  8. Kiwibird

    Kiwibird Crowing

    Jan 24, 2008
    MROO likes this.

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