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. glib

    glib Songster

    Dec 8, 2007
    how much space do you have? do you want greens or staples?
  3. Glib,
    Sorry about the delay in reply to your question. I just thought it would be good to raise some food for them period, I guess they would be supplemental since I can only do so much work and weeding due to my bad back and knees and at the prices of all food, let alone the prices and limited selection in this small town, I have to do a large shopping once a month and fill it in locally. I've heard of giving your chickens carrots and cabbage but don't they like corn and other veggies? I believe I've read about Kale and that there are pro's and cons. I just thought that since I'm doing seed starts for us, perhaps I should make a small garden section for our future chickens as well. I have a lot of greens seeds (probably twelve types more or less since I like variety in my salads, and I've heard to give them the greens and most things you would put in a compost pile. Are there veggies that make them sick for example? Cabbage tether balls are supposed to be great fun and a healthy snack.
    Do I just put the veggies on the ground or in a bowl of sorts? Silly questions I'm sure for someone who's been raising chickens for a long time but... We'll be getting started pullets to begin with, key word beginner.
    I have a decent amount of space but I am hand tilling the dirt/grass and so far have made one somewhat large section and am working on the last bit of my second one. I outlined a third with twigs to give myself an idea of where to begin it. I need to keep them as close together as I can since I need to put up deer netting around them. Artichokes, Rhubarb, and Corn will take up a bit of room on the outskirts of the regular sections. I've heard that I am getting carried away and I can only physically do so much at a time, so that limits me as well. I believe I posted a pic/photo from an angle that included the garden spot, perhaps that would give you an idea.
    Anyhow thanks for your time and consideration!

    Ellen S.
  4. Bradfordj

    Bradfordj Chirping

    Mar 11, 2015
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    Any grains would be good, weather or not you want to start planting grains though. Wheat oats etc, Corn should be planted in blocks for pollination. I have a huge cooler full of corn from last year, I put a couple cobs a day in they go crazy for it. Peas, Beans Corn, are higher in protein, good winter supplement's, helps keep warm if you have cold winters like I do. Most veggies though they eat fine.
  5. Thanks Bradfordj! I was just about to order some more seeds from SeedsNow.com and I realized I should check for a reply regarding my post. I saw something about spinach and I realized I hadn't ordered any. Chickens don't eat stuff veggies like onions do they? I have my doubts about them and I was thinking of turnips and their greens as well. I just don't want to feed them anything that would be toxic like onions, garlic and chocolate are to dogs. I was planning on planting some corn so the hint that they should be in blocks. I think I should just make a chicken's garden section and plant lots of greens and corn. I love corn on the cob but my teeth aren't as strong as they once were so the appeal isn't there like it once was. I'm a country girl at heart but living in the burbs and the desert... I'm learning though.
    Thanks again for your input!

    Ellen S.
  6. Akrnaf2

    Akrnaf2 The educated Rhino Premium Member

    Jul 5, 2014
    Center of Israel
    You can seed,Spelt,Teff,Sourgum,Barley,Soya,Kale,lettuce,
    Wheat,Alfalfa,etc. they will eat any kind of seedlings they can lay a beak on!
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2015
  7. JadedPhoenix

    JadedPhoenix Songster

    Oct 29, 2012
    Tyro-Lexington, NC
    I found the "Back and Knee" friendly way to grow grains for my chickens. At the beginning of spring, I throw an entire bag of whole oats around the chicken run. They will eat some but not all. What they don't eat, sprouts. Then throughout the spring and summer, I will toss out a hand full ever so often as well. It keeps my run green and gives the chickens something to eat when I don't let them out to free-range. This may not work for everyone but it does for me. Then I love showing pics of my run with oats growing when people tell me that nothing can grown in a chicken run. Not true. So long as you stay ahead of their appetite, don't cram them into a small area, and give them plenty of other things to eat as well.
  8. speedy2020

    speedy2020 Songster

    Jul 24, 2010
    If you have decent size of land that don't use, I would suggest setup 2 pile scraps or growth food in the area. The coop must be in the middle. You just move the chicken back and fore as you see fit. This would cut your cost down and everyone is happy. The issue is control the rats population. Here is a simple plan that I been working on (see link below). I don't have a truck to bring stuff home to speed up the project so it take too long.


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