Winter Garden for the Hens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by heyjami, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. heyjami

    heyjami Out Of The Brooder

    62
    0
    39
    Jul 7, 2008
    Any recommendations on veggies to put in the ground & grow for the hens?

    I was thinking that they love any time of green, but beyond that I'm stumped.

    Thanks!
     
  2. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,119
    17
    201
    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    I'll assume you are talking about Autumn sowing, heyjami.

    Sand Hill Preservation has a "Tasty Chicken Treats" with seed for Essex Rape, Millet, Mustard, Turnips, and Winter Radishes.

    I would include annual rye planted outdoors as does Mother Earth News for indoor "foraging."

    I think it is likely that any of these forage crops recommended by South Dakota State University would be acceptable to your hens.

    Steve

    blushing furiously and edited to say, I just noticed the title of your post . . . of course you didn't mean Spring sowing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2008
  3. heyjami

    heyjami Out Of The Brooder

    62
    0
    39
    Jul 7, 2008
    Thanks Steve! That's exactly the info I was looking for.
     
  4. banter

    banter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2008
    Raymond Maine
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    5,719
    42
    283
    May 8, 2007
    Wisconsin
    How cold do your winters get? You're right, a lot of the various greens do well in cool weather and are really good for the chickens. Although my chickens think chard is a fantastic summertime food, too! They recently ate all mine down to the ground. Then they took a dust bath where it used to grow, after digging up the roots. Bad girls...

    Kale and parsley grow well into the colder weather. I've harvested parsley that I've had to dig out of the snow. It's the last thing to die off in my herb bed.

    Turnips, beets and carrots would be good late in the year. They take cool weather and have a short season. Winter squash is a fall harvest and a good keeper, although for me it has to go in sooner that this.
     
  6. Heather J

    Heather J Chillin' With My Peeps

    955
    1
    141
    May 29, 2008
    Another benefit for carrots in cold areas, if you mulch them good in the fall, they can be dug up and eaten all winter long.
     
  7. heyjami

    heyjami Out Of The Brooder

    62
    0
    39
    Jul 7, 2008
    I'm in Northern California and our winters are mild. Just a few frozen nights. No snow.

    I'm devising my plan, checking the sun in a few spots. I want to do some plants for us and some for them. The lettuce and greens shoot up fast so maybe I'll toss some where the grass has died and let the girls enjoy them.

    Thanks for the great ideas! Carrots are going in for sure!
     
  8. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

    6,966
    20
    283
    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    We unroll a large bale of hay, not straw, in the run and it keeps the chickens up off the cold ground. It also keeps the ground from freezing since it is so deep and is full of seeds that the chickens scratch for. Lots of the seeds drop to the ground and come late winter are growing under the hay and the chickens scratch for those tender young greens, too. We love using the bale of hay.
     
  9. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    5,719
    42
    283
    May 8, 2007
    Wisconsin
    Although I like leafy lettuces in multiple varieties and spinach, chard is a real favorite of mine. If you get the pack of rainbow colored seeds, I think they really look fantastic in the yard.

    Peas are another crop that takes cool weather, if you like those. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussel sprouts are often grown in the fall. Brussel sprouts in particular are sweetened by a frost before harvesting. Talking about mulching carrots made me think of parsnips. They can overwinter even here in zone 4 and be dug up in the spring for a really early vegetable. Now that's hardy! [​IMG]
     
  10. tvtaber

    tvtaber Chillin' With My Peeps

    350
    2
    141
    Aug 2, 2007
    Central CA
    I love in northern CA too (Salinas area) and we have so many weeds when the rains come that I feed those to the chickens. Ipull up a nice juicy one with the dirt still attached and give them the whole thing! I don't have many weeds left this time of year, but still pull those that come up in the irrigated garden ares and feed those to them.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by