What would be helpful to raise chickens if you can grow what you want?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Two Chicksahs, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. It's getting to be time to sow the seeds. I'm still hand tilling the soil and after reading an article about grains and feed ratio I thought I should find out what I can plant besides corn, beans, peas and sunflower seeds. I bought some amaranth seeds because they were pretty and are supposed to be healthy but I was wondering what else I can grow in this moist climate of the Southwest Washington State area. Any suggestions?
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Free Ranging

    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    Sounds like you are doing gardening rather than farming. (hand tilling the soil) kind of gives it away. Here is my opinion;;; Grow any assortment of seeds that you can. Feed the fresh green growth to the chickens. You will know which plants they prefer over others. If you can grow a plot and let them free range, It would be best. Now for the KILLER STOCK PLANT . Grow some dill. My chickens almost kill for it . =D=D=D

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  3. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Songster

    Jun 13, 2013
    Definitely grow lots of curly Kale. “Redbor” matures in 55 to 65 days and “True Siberian” is ready to eat in 70 days. Broccoli, tomatoes, snow or snap peas- avoid uncooked beans for chickens there is a chemical in them that is bad for them. Mustard herb (Brassica juncea) Oriental mustard. We grow carrots, but shred it when given it to them. (They won't eat it plain, but will eat every bite if shredded.) Lots of yellow and green squash of different types, and pumpkins for late in the season. For us, smaller plants that yielded higher amounts of pumpkins vs. large pumpkins worked better. We found our chickens enjoy basil, mint and marigolds for dark yolks, so we grow lots of these. The bees like this too.

    Also, beetberry (strawberry spinach or Chenopodium capitatum). In late summer when everything else is nearing an end, beetberries continue to thrive- even unwatered, and in poor soil conditions. They will reseed themselves for many volunteers the following year. It's kind of a freebie, and nice to have as a bonus, even in October. Also try, Tetraploid perennial ryegrass and sunchokes. Clover, alfalfa, buckwheat, etc.

    Also, grow some trees and fruit type bushes. We have Anna's Apples, and have found them to yield good amounts of large, delicious apples, even in young trees. Brazilian cherry, nectarines, peaches, Olive trees- messy, but chickens like them. Try table grapes as borders on your fenceline, and thornless blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries.
    1 person likes this.
  4. glib

    glib Songster

    Dec 8, 2007
    disagree with kale. It will catch diseases and die in moist, warm climates when you do not have full sun, it does not develop as much nutrition as other plants, nor it will take the least amount of time to maturity . Large legume plants are best, failing that, some sort of clover. If you have to go out of legumes, the best performing green I discovered came from a collection of wild chicories sold by Territorial Seeds, and only worked with plenty of water and July-August seeding (they are probably not selling anymore). Although farther south, one may consider amaranth and/or spinach vines. Note that as soon as you look at something other than legumes you are looking at fodder, not real macronutrient nutrition.
  5. cavemanrich, thanks for the dilly of a reply! I have thought about dill but I was considering it for my pickles and cukes! I'll be sure to add some. Thanks again!
  6. Wow! One Chick Two you gave me a lot of food for thought! I have lots of blackberries growing on our property and I have just planted an apricot, pears (four varieties), wild cherries, Granny Smith apples, mixed cherries (grafted mix) and a plum tree. I believe we have some Kale seeds and all kinds of lettuce and greens. I am just a gardener and not a very experience one, but I'm excited about both gardening and raising chickens. They were both our dream when we moved from the Vegas Valley to Washington State.
    Do chickens eat pine cones and are they good or bad for them? We have our chicken run or pen just on the edge of some huge conifers (blue spruce and other types) and the yard gets pine needles and cones in it. Your help is greatly appreciated! Our coop is on back order for now so I'm trying to get it as prepared as I can before we get some pullets. Hopefully I/we can get them locally.
    Ellen S.
  7. Thanks Glib? for your reply and suggestions! I will be planting some Amaranth legumes (four or five varieties) and am thinking of planting clover under a maple tree where the grass seed didn't fill it in good enough. I can always throw some of the seed in there, the pen, now so it will be coming in before the hens arrive. Thanks again for the ideas. I grew up in the suburbs and then lived in the desert for 14 years so I'm new to country life but I'm eager.

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