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Would winter wheat be ok to use?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by wannabe_goatmom, Nov 8, 2010.

  1. wannabe_goatmom

    wannabe_goatmom Songster

    Jul 30, 2009
    Wellington KY
    I have electric net fencing so that I can change the chicken yard around. There is one area that is their favorite place to dig and dustbathe so it is down to dirt and they have dug several large holes. Since it is time to move the fencing around I was going to work on re-habing the area for when I move the fence back. It is cold here in KY now so I was wondering if I could plant winter wheat on the area. I have a large bag of seed left over after covering the garden with it. Will they eat it after it grows and is it ok for them? Is there something else that would be better suited for the area?

    Thanks for any ideas [​IMG]

  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Certainly it is okay for them to eat, it's perfectly good food [​IMG] Indeed if you do not keep them off it til it is very well growing-along, they will just eat the seeds or sprouts right off the bat and that'll be the end of the project [​IMG] Even if you wait til the stand is like 4" high, it will not survive very long under chicken grazing. Basically they will eat it to the ground and that's all she wrote, it will regrow poorly if at all *even if* you remove the chickens at that point.

    So if the goal is to just provide temporary entertainment for them, sure, go for it (just keep them off it til it is well enough on its way that they can't pick up seeds or sprouted plants and eat them whole). Just don't expect it to have any lasting effect.

    Good luck, have fun,

  3. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    How long it will last will depend on how big of an area and how many birds you have on it. If you let it get growing good and they just "graze" it and don't scratch it all up it would last you till early spring. We grow winter wheat and graze our cows on it.....they can graze it down all winter and it'll still grow back in the spring so we can harvest a grain crop from it.
  4. wannabe_goatmom

    wannabe_goatmom Songster

    Jul 30, 2009
    Wellington KY
    That sounds good. I was mostly just wanting to level out all the holes and since it is on a small slope I did not want to have erosion "grooves" if it rains. I was hoping the wheat would grow fast enough to help keep this from happening. It is supposed to be in the 60s and possibly 70s here this week so it should get a pretty good start. Plus we are having company for Thanksgiving and I thought some pretty green wheat sprouting would look lots better than the huge ruts and holes the girls have dug up [​IMG]
    I fully expect the chickens to eat up all the growth and then proceed to dig new holes [​IMG] within a week of me moving the fence back over there. I just wasn't sure if it would be safe for them to eat. Thanks for helping me out!
  5. sydney13

    sydney13 Songster

    Mar 11, 2010
    i throw done some winter wheat one day for the chickens to eat and a few days latter i noticed some had started to grow in the run. so i decided to throw down a bunch in the run so it would be greener. i didn't;t fence it off so the girls probably ate a good percent of the seeds, but still a lot grew. my birds free range each day so it lasted for about a month until they had to stay in the run for a week while we were away and they ate it all.
    its totally safe for them to eat but i don't think they care for the taste (one of the reasons it last pretty long in the run)
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2010

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