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What to plant in poultry pasture?

 
Nathan Hale
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I want to start a paddock shift system in Nashville in order to potentially eliminate the need to buy chicken feed. I have a black soldier fly box to offer as feed as well. So, what seed/plants should I put out in the paddocks for the chickens to get the nutrition that they won't get from BSFL and other naturally occuring insects?
 
Chris Holcombe
Posts: 97
Location: Zone 8b Portland
food preservation forest garden fungi
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I've had a thought about planting Maximillian Sunflower plants to provide seeds for them. I too am looking for pasture plants for my birds. They seem to particularly love brassica plants. If there are perennial brassica's that might be worth looking into planting.
 
Ivan Weiss
Posts: 172
Location: Vashon WA, near Seattle and Tacoma
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I'll be planting clover, forage chicory, all klinds of brassicas, and comfrey, plenty of comfrey.
 
Chris Holcombe
Posts: 97
Location: Zone 8b Portland
food preservation forest garden fungi
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Great point about the clovers. The birds devour them!
 
Nathan Hale
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I have noticed that my young pullets really like dandelion leaves, which is awesome, because I've heard they have good nutrient content. I haven't noticed if my older hens eat it or not.
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1355
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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This is a very interesting question, here is a general pasture plantlist. I look forward to hearing what others recommend for a more chicken pasture list.
mustard
burdock
alfalfa
lamb's quarter
fava bean
sweet clover
lupine
landino clover
buckwheat
hairy vetch
daikon
black-eyed peas
comfrey
sun flower
yarrow
borage
chamomile
dandelion
turnip
bee balm
lavender
mullein
pea (pisum arvitiuse)
stinging nettle
chard
maximillian sunflower
sorghum
 
David Hartley
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Don't forget amaranth, oat (or barley if you have a high pH) and sunchokes with groundnuts
 
Mark Lipscomb
Posts: 60
Location: North Plains, OR
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Nathan Hale wrote:I have noticed that my young pullets really like dandelion leaves, which is awesome, because I've heard they have good nutrient content. I haven't noticed if my older hens eat it or not.


My egg birds are about 7 months old now. I am doing pasture rotation with them. When I move them on to new pasture they go straight to the dandelion leaves first.

 
ben harpo
Posts: 76
Location: Illinois, zone 6b
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All the suggestions here are good.

Sunflower is great if you need to save feed for the winter. You can cut the whole head and dry it without any further processing. Give a dry sunflower head to the chickens any time and they will do the rest.
 
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