What would you put in your garden for poultry?

BReeder!

Free Ranging
Mar 12, 2018
1,847
6,774
522
Plainfield, IL
My Coop
My Coop
We currently have chickens (8), turkeys (2), ducks (4) and quail (lots!). Although it's the dead of winter here in Illinois this time of year, Spring is not very far off. We will be prepping the garden in late March and starting to plant in mid/late April. We like to grow all sorts of vegetables, leafy greens and herbs. If I can keep the weeds down this year, we could be eating form the garden from late Summer to the start of winter, and possible longer if we have a surplus to can or freeze for the winter months. After all, our garden is ~1000 sqft (and I may decide to move the fence and till over more soil this year...). While the garden will hopefully feed us well, we'd like it to also supplement the feed for our poultry friends this year. What should we plant in the garden that chickens can eat?

So far here's the list of likely plants for the garden this year [and my thoughts on whether or not each is chicken friendly]:

Root vegetables:
- potatoes (2-3 varieties) [not for chickens]
- carrots [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]

Vegetables
- tomatoes (3-4 varieties) [not for chickens] I know they're fruit...
- hot peppers (2-3 varieties) [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]
- sweet peppers [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]
- sweet corn [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]
- pumpkins [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]
- zucchini [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]
- yellow squash [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]
- cucumbers (pickle and salad varieties) [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]
- winter squash (mixed variety) [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]
- cauliflower [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]

Leafy Greens and Herbs
- lettuce (2-3 varieties) [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]
- spinach [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]
- kale [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]
- parsley [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]
- oregano [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]
- basil [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]
- thyme [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]
- rosemary [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]
- dill [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]

Most of what we intend to plant is safe for the chickens to eat. I'm wonder though, what plants are beneficial and should be added? It wouldn't hurt to have healthier, happier chickens. Please share your thoughts and opinions.
 

Acre4Me

Free Ranging
Nov 12, 2017
3,420
7,346
517
Western Ohio
Our girls love Turnip and beet tops. Also peas which have entertainment value when you toss them to the chickens a few at a time. Plant some grasses or grains for tossing them some basic greens and seed heads, and marigolds which enhance the yolk color -they love to eat the flowers.
 

BReeder!

Free Ranging
Mar 12, 2018
1,847
6,774
522
Plainfield, IL
My Coop
My Coop
We currently have chickens (8), turkeys (2), ducks (4) and quail (lots!). Although it's the dead of winter here in Illinois this time of year, Spring is not very far off. We will be prepping the garden in late March and starting to plant in mid/late April. We like to grow all sorts of vegetables, leafy greens and herbs. If I can keep the weeds down this year, we could be eating form the garden from late Summer to the start of winter, and possible longer if we have a surplus to can or freeze for the winter months. After all, our garden is ~1000 sqft (and I may decide to move the fence and till over more soil this year...). While the garden will hopefully feed us well, we'd like it to also supplement the feed for our poultry friends this year. What should we plant in the garden that chickens can eat?

So far here's the list of likely plants for the garden this year [and my thoughts on whether or not each is chicken friendly]:

Root vegetables:
- potatoes (2-3 varieties) [not for chickens]
- carrots [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]

Vegetables
- tomatoes (3-4 varieties) [not for chickens] I know they're fruit...
- hot peppers (2-3 varieties) [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]
- sweet peppers [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]
- sweet corn [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]
- pumpkins [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]
- zucchini [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]
- yellow squash [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]
- cucumbers (pickle and salad varieties) [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]
- winter squash (mixed variety) [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]
- cauliflower [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]

Leafy Greens and Herbs
- lettuce (2-3 varieties) [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]
- spinach [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]
- kale [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]
- parsley [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]
- oregano [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]
- basil [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]
- thyme [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]
- rosemary [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]
- dill [CHICKEN FRIENDLY]

Most of what we intend to plant is safe for the chickens to eat. I'm wonder though, what plants are beneficial and should be added? It wouldn't hurt to have healthier, happier chickens. Please share your thoughts and opinions.
For some reason I ended up narrowing in on our chickens. I meant to make this inclusive of our ducks, turkeys and quail also. So I welcome thoughts on plants that are beneficial to each type of bird or all of them.
 

ErnieBerley

Chirping
Aug 28, 2019
151
294
97
Marshall NC (western NC mountains)
oh Chard for sure! chickens love tender chard leaves and even the stems. In the spring chickens go NUTS over chickweed, so if you can plant or find some of that they will peck loud and fast!! Seeds that sprout are good too, like wheat, cabbage, sesame seed, chia seed. Cabbage and broccoli are cruciferous veggies, so they help regulate hormones in the GUT especially estrogens (yes, estrogen is metabolized somewhat in the GUT) so these are good for laying hens.

Cilantro and parsley are other chicken favorites and they help detoxify heavy metals and impurities so really beneficial for the chickens.

Also think of a small clump of non-running bamboo. Chickens love the leaves to eat and play/hide in the branches. Bamboo has been reported to be high in nutrients for chickens and helps support their microbiome in the GUT. My chickens also love summer squashes like acorn and butternut. 'they will peck at raw squash and you can cook it for them also . !!!!!!
 
Last edited:

BReeder!

Free Ranging
Mar 12, 2018
1,847
6,774
522
Plainfield, IL
My Coop
My Coop
My ducks are crazy for Peppermint! I have to fence it in, otherwise they would dig out the roots to eat them.
That's great to know. Mint will grow aggressively (some would say invasively) here. Perhaps I should plant some along the fence around the pond so the ducks can poke their heads out and eat it.
 
Top Bottom