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best perennial chicken feed  RSS feed

 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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For those who use a chicken run and are tired of it looking like a giant dust bath (or mud puddle) after a few weeks, try this.  After the soil is prepped for reseeding, put down a layer of chicken wire or hardware cloth, then seed.  The seed will grow up through the wire, and the chickens can still eat it, and most of the bugs, but they cannot scratch it into oblivion.  Leave an 'unwired' patch right outside the coop, as they do need their dust bath area...they don't need to convert their entire run into a dust bath!
 
rose macaskie
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Dave Bennet, how do you grow meal worms? rose.
 
Dave Bennett
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rose macaskie wrote:
Dave Bennet, how do you grow meal worms? rose.

This site has very good information:
http://www.sialis.org/feeder.htm
This site has pretty good information:
http://www.efinch.com/mealworms/mealworm.htm

I used large rectangular plastic "tubs" about 4 inches deep that had a lid.  I drilled lots of small holes in the lid for air but not big enough for the beetles to escape if some of the older worms made it that far. The chickens will eat them too.  I used cheap rolled oats to feed the meal worms.
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
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Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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Nutsedge is allelopathic?  Does that mean that it is also bad to chop and drop?

I am infested with this stuff.  I just mow it and mulch it.  I have given up trying to control it.
 
Dave Bennett
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South Carolina wrote:
Nutsedge is allelopathic?  Does that mean that it is also bad to chop and drop?

I am infested with this stuff.  I just mow it and mulch it.  I have given up trying to control it.
It took me several years to get rid of it in my Fiddlehead Fern patch.  If you chop and drop it that stuff will not die.  Well that has been my experience anyway.  I dig it up and try to get all of it.  Then I lay it on a huge piece of granite that I found in the dumpster behind one of those granite counter top companies. It is too slippery on the polished side but the unpolished side made a nice mini patio.   I hate that stuff.  I let it dry until it is brown then I burn it.
 
                                
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Location: Two Rivers, WI
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OK, I have chickens, ordinary Red Sex Linked egg layers, so I feel qualified to comment on what they'll eat.  So far, they seem fond of chickweed, plaintain, all clovers, lambsquarters, prickly lettuce, raspberry leaves, burdock, rhubarb leaves (?I know, but they love them and never get sick), dock, wild mustard, wood violets, dandelions, purslane, ground ivy, tradescantia, pigweed, jerusalem artichoke leaves... strawberries (all parts), and any sort of insect.  They will ignore cracked corn or scratch grains in favor of these foods whenever they have the chance.  They also eat grass, but only last when the other goodies have been high-graded out.  I am using mine to systematically de-grass my urban yard and convert the entire thing to food systems, with eggs and free fertilizer as a nice bonus.
Meanwhile, I have pea shrubs, a mulberry, and various other trees like chestnuts.  These are taking much longer to get established, so unless you have a 5-10 year head start on your chicken pasture you might want to take that into account.  These won't be producing much of anything for a while yet, but the "weeds" are doing great.  I am thinking of adding millet and quinoa next year, scattered about.  They really aren't crazy about corn, and will eat just about anything else first.  I can lead them about by dangling a strawberry in front of them.  They'll go anywhere for a strawberry. 
 
rose macaskie
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  Thinking of Sepp Holzers special wheat that he say bares droughts very well and has a long stalk and wondering where to buy old type cereal grains and i was thiniking of chicken seed as i dont think much bigger than chicken, so i googled a string of words i thought might give me results, "organic cereal seed" or some such and found plenty of information though i am too impaitient to talk about it to have read much. It is possible to find old varieties of cereals and it seems there are people collecting them.
      The first sight i have searched through a bit  has a chicken feed mix and mention numerous plants in its mix including pumpkins a plant one of the contributers here mentioned I remember, it would be polite of me to read the thread through and say who but it is a long thread.  It seems feeding pumkins to chickens used to be treaditional normal, their eggs come out with beautifully coloured yolks in the pumkin season according to this site.
  The site is- sustainable seed company -, it also offers seeds for producing plenty of compost, long stalked oats foor example whose stalks provide a lot of vegetable matter for te granimals ound  it say take a sheath of oats into your yfarm yard and dump it there the horse and cows eat the straw and the chickens the grain, easy feeding system. They also sell things like vegetable seeds.
  with the grains have less of are startign out on it seems they are offering specially priced grain if the farmer will give some of the grain he grows back to them. they are looking for farmers to produce grain for them. agri rose macaskie.
 
Dave Bennett
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rose macaskie wrote:
  Thinking of Sepp Holzers special wheat that he say bares droughts very well and has a long stalk and wondering where to buy old type cereal grains and i was thiniking of chicken seed as i dont think much bigger than chicken, so i googled a string of words i thought might give me results, "organic cereal seed" or some such and found plenty of information though i am too impaitient to talk about it to have read much. It is possible to find old varieties of cereals and it seems there are people collecting them.
      The first sight i have searched through a bit  has a chicken feed mix and mention numerous plants in its mix including pumpkins a plant one of the contributers here mentioned I remember, it would be polite of me to read the thread through and say who but it is a long thread.  It seems feeding pumkins to chickens used to be treaditional normal, their eggs come out with beautifully coloured yolks in the pumkin season according to this site.
  The site is- sustainable seed company -, it also offers seeds for producing plenty of compost, long stalked oats foor example whose stalks provide a lot of vegetable matter for te granimals ound  it say take a sheath of oats into your yfarm yard and dump it there the horse and cows eat the straw and the chickens the grain, easy feeding system. They also sell things like vegetable seeds.
  with the grains have less of are startign out on it seems they are offering specially priced grain if the farmer will give some of the grain he grows back to them. they are looking for farmers to produce grain for them. agri rose macaskie.

http://www.growseed.org/index3.html
 
Amit Enventres
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Location: Ohio, USA
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Wow! A lot going on here!
In summary:
alfalfa
american persimmon
apple
apricot
barely
black locust??
blackberry
borage
brassicas
buckwheat, grain
caragana sp.
cherries
clover
comfrey
corn
dandelion
day lily
elaeagnus
elderberry, blue
forage pea
hairy vetch
hickory nuts
hulless oats
lamb's quarters
lentils
medic
millet
milo
moringa
mulberry
oaks (acorns)
oats
oilseed radish
pasture grass
peanuts
plum
purslane
quinoa
raspberry
rice
sea buckthorn
sesame
siberian pea shrub
strawberry
sunflower
wheat
xanothocarns sorbifolia

(Feel Free to post this as a reference) Did I miss anything? I added a few that I read about working well. Also, someone smartly put in nectary plants. Perhaps setting up a bug-friendly environment may also result in a chicken friendly environment. I also wonder if rotting squash wouldn't be something chickens dream about.

Not to impose, but I am soooo curious! Would people be so kind as to list the planties listed above they have had experience with as a yay or nay for the best chicken feed?? I think it would really reinforce our goal and strengthen the list. Thanks!!!
 
Austin Max
Posts: 98
Location: South Central Kentucky
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Lambs quarters - ducks inhale it, chickens turn their little noses up at it.

Mulberries - the robins get them all the instant they show any color around here.

Comfrey - ducks inhale it, chickens will eat if no other greens are available

Dandelion - root and leaves a chicken favorite, though they don't seem to eat a lot of it at once

Grass - eaten in moderation. Although I did read of a guy who claimed to get his chicks up to 50% of their diet on grass by mixing fresh clippings with feed from day 1 in a brooder. Maybe possible?

Cherries - chicken crack, they (and ducks) especially love the little black wild cherries which grow and produce like crazy around here. These trees are always stop #1 of duck patrol.

Figs - Chickens will munch on the lower leaves a little bit, we have yet to get many figs on ours yet though... I'm sure they would enjoy them though

Blackberries - they love them when I have some that I can't use, but I have yet to see a chicken venture into thorn territory to harvest any themselves

Wheat - I use wheat straw as bedding in the brooder, and the babies will spend all day scratching around looking for seeds. Big chickens will do the same given a nice pile o' straw.
Corn is crack cocaine for chickens - but these aren't perennials of course.

Any fruit is chicken crack really. Strawberries, blueberries, apples, etc. My vote would go to the cherries, wild or not, and mulberries for the protein (if I or the chickens could ever get any before the other birds)

Bugs are still chicken food #1 without fail, and I guess they are perennial.
 
Melba Corbett
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Location: North Carolina
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Leah Sattler wrote:You could always raise turkeys too. They eat acorns and other nuts which are an excellent fend for yourself feed. I don't think chickens could choke down acorns though.


Leah,
I used to take those acorns and smash them with a hammer and the chickens loved them, but its just too darn labor intensive to be practical.

Melba
 
Melba Corbett
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Location: North Carolina
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I have three adjoining covered chicken runs (2 x 4 inch welded wire). This was to stop predation by raccoons primarily and foxes, as I was losing at least one a day. I just plant the two I'm not using and leave them in a run for a season. That way I have corn which the raccoons and crows can't get to to strip, but the problem is that squirrels are still going through the wire. They go in and eat any chicken feed the chickens have left. I plant one run ahead of the chickens, had turnips, beets, wheat in the one they were just turned into. Lamb's quarters and smartweed came up also and were rampant in the area, and they eat some of those, which are very nutritious. I harvested the beets and some turnips and part of the wheat. The wheat was getting knocked down by wind so I left it, expecting the chickens to clean it up, but the squirrels beat them to it. Before I could turn them in, the wheat was gone. I try to pull some clover every day to feed the chickens so they are getting enough protein. They get a mix of cooked field peas, wheat and oats every day too, with a bit of added kelp or yogurt, whatever I have on hand. Could not find a commercial feed I liked which was organic. Tried feeding sprouts, and mixed results. They didn't particularly like it and were not laying well on it. Also too labor intensive. I only have a dozen hens, 5 large breed and the rest bantam/game mix as I use them for setting on eggs.

I've also put down untreated old boards on the ground so the rolly pollies will hide under them and occasionally go out and flip a board over. The chickens love it! I put leaves in the runs so they have something to scratch through and find crickets. The crickets love to hide in the leaves. The chickens make a nicely turned, shredded leaf pile into high quality compost very quickly.

This covered run expense has been considerable but I'm still not able to keep the squirrels out and it is too far from a power source to put up electric fence. Any suggestions?
 
Jami McBride
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Melba Corbett wrote:This covered run expense has been considerable but I'm still not able to keep the squirrels out and it is too far from a power source to put up electric fence. Any suggestions?



Melba, I love your set up..... your really doing a great job! I would love to see pictures

As for your squirrel problem - I don't believe fencing out is very successful much of the time.

I had a squirrel problem once, first tried trapping, there is a learning curve with using those catch and release traps while I was learning... a neighbor used poison in peanut butter. That squirrel made it to their tree in my chicken yard and then drop to the ground. New squirrel replaced him, but by then I had my trapping skills and caught it for release in BLM land, if I had a gun I'd of shot it, I'm very competitive. Next squirrel, living under my house (the nerve) also caught him.... he he he. Buy then we got our dog back and no more squirrels.

If hunting or trapping it's helpful to have a good view from inside the house to watch and learn their ways around your place. Then you can set traps, bait or whatever fits your methodology and have success.

I hope this gives you some ideas.
 
Elisabeth Tea
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Does anyone know where to get perennial grain seed now that Peters is out of business?
 
Devon Olsen
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Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
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yeah its so hard to find it seems, id also like to know...

for research purpose only i suppose, if anyone has a setup that they could guarentee getting some to grow from seed to seed, please order some and distribute your excess if you ahve any:
http://www.ars-grin.gov/

search perrennial wheat or whatever and request a germplasm - you can only get a handful one time which is why i aint ordering any yet cus i cant guarentee that mine will grow lol
 
Jay Green
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paul wheaton wrote:I definitely plan on raising a bunch as meat birds and another bunch as egg birds. 

For meat, nothing comes close to cornish/rock cross.  I just have to find a way to teach them to forage better.

As for egg layers, I plan on getting six different egg laying breeds, having them intermix a lot, and then trying to come up with my own strain that has a good feed-to-egg ratio in a forage situation.

But, both of these topics are best for another thread.



The Cornish Cross were the best foragers I've ever seen in a chicken and I've kept many breeds of layer birds for 36 years now. If started out at a young age on forage (2 wks) they learn to forage very well, particularly if you do not provide a full feeder as an alternative food source. They are opportunistic eaters like all chickens and their increased metabolism drives them to be a little hungrier. The quickest, easiest feed source is where they will always take their fill, so not providing grain feeds and providing good foraging areas turns these hungry hippos into master foragers. (ANY breed of chicken will turn into the best forager you ever saw if you stop feeding continuous feed and point them in the direction of great forage....hunger is the motivation and each creature will respond.)

The CX don't stop foraging, like most of my layers do to take a break in the sun or to dust a little. The CX move constantly from daylight to dark on the search for food and are very successful in their efforts. Watch the videos to see just how quickly these birds move out to forage and how far they range to get it:

YouTube

YouTube


The best ground cover perennial that I have found for chickens is White Dutch Clover, but whoever mentioned the forage areas that combine meadow and woodland has the key. Providing areas where bugs thrive and healthy soils that promote worm and bug life is the best larder that could ever service a chicken flock.

These CX would finish up their day of foraging for bugs by grazing on the clover...actually biting off the tops and mowing each patch down that they came to. Fortunately, we've been sowing quite a bit of clover around here and could provide all they needed.





The biggest mistake folks make when raising "pastured" layers or meat birds is that most of the natural proteins they will forage aren't on pasture...they are hidden under the leaves and forest debris found on the pasture's edge. Sure, there's bugs in the grass but there are more available bugs in the cool, moist, protected areas of forage than there are out in the bright sunlight and tightly grown grasses in a pasture. Hard to run temporary fencing or chicken tractors into wooded areas, so these areas are often left underutilized as a source of potential protein.
 
Cj Sloane
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I'm surprised no one has mentioned pumpkins yet. Although it's an annual it will reseed and poultry love it:


That pumpkin was a volunteer from the cow paddock. I planted them last year. I don't think the chickens/turkeys leave seeds though so you'd have some in a paddock with a critter that doesn't do such a great job of crushing the seeds.

I harvested 75lbs of pumpkins/blue hubbard squash volunteers. Would've been more but the sheep started eating the plants.
 
Jay Green
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I too grow pumpkins for my livestock, particularly the chickens and sheep. They both benefit from them and love them best when they are fermented. The seeds are a natural antihelminic and the pumpkins store well and are of great benefit during the winter months. I also store apples and give to the livestock in the winter months..the dogs love them also.



 
Cj Sloane
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Do you do anything to ferment a pumpkin or do you just let it rot?
 
John Wahlmeier
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Maybe Kudzu would work better than locust. I just finished reading the book of kudzu by William Shurtleff and Akiko Aoyagi and they both maintain that kudzu leaves are a great forage for animals including poultry. Considering you are in Montana, the cool climate should prevent it from completely taking over and it is a nitrogen fixer as well. It might be a better choice than black locust. Just be sure to keep the vines from strangling your other trees.

 
Jay Green
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Cj Verde wrote:Do you do anything to ferment a pumpkin or do you just let it rot?


For mine, I store them next to the barn and they naturally freeze, thaw, refreeze...somewhere in the process they lose a lot of moisture and when Jan/Feb comes around and they are a little thawed and obviously rotted/fermented in places, I use them for feed supplement. Whenever I've fed them raw, the livestock show very little interest in them and ccould not eat the skins. In the fermented state, they will rip the skins off like a shark feeding frenzy and nothing is left of the whole pumpkin when they are finished. Every part is used except the moisture that had already leeched out during the winter. In this form, the chickens and sheep consume the seeds, the pulp and the skin. The fermentation changes the sugar content and also provides the enzymes they need in their bowel flora at that time of the year.

I store my apples in the cellar for this season also and feed them when they are just starting to ferment but not completely rotten.

If a person doesn't grow the pumpkins themselves, there are many people who decorate with them for the fall/Halloween season and then have no idea what to do with them. I ask folks for these and store them and also ask the local grocer for any they may have left over that they didn't sell. You can never really have enough pumpkins stored for winter.
 
Devon Olsen
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Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
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A list of Chicken forages that ALSO serve as Dynamic accumulators, a cross-reference taken from gaia's garden:

Black Locust N-K-Ca
Eleagnus N ?
Siberian Pea Shrub N ?
Buckwheat P-K
Chickweed P-K-Mn
Chicory K-Ca
Cleavers Ca
Clover N-P
Comfrey N-K-Ca-Mg-Fe-Si
Dandelion P-K-Ca-Mg-Fe-Cu-Si
Dock P-K-Ca-Fe
Fennel N-P
Lamb's Quarters N-P-K-Ca-Mn
Mustard P-Ca-S-Mn-Cu-Zn
stinging nettle N-K-Ca-S-Mn-Fe
Pigweed P-K-Ca-Fe
Plantain Ca-S-Mg-Mn-Fe
Sherpard's Purse Ca-S
Sunflower Ca-Mn-Cu-Zn


I plan on using a chicken tractor system to prepare areas for planting, so I made this list awhile back. Thought you all might appreciate it.
 
Rick Roman
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My chickens love blueberries. They choose blue over black or raspberries. I have a dozen plus blue varieties, wild, low, and high bush spreads out the fruiting season.
 
David Hartley
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Some west coast favorites: Outside Pride & Sustainable Seed Co


If neither have what I'm looking for, then Horizon Herbs
 
Melba Corbett
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My younger, replacement chickens (hatched by several bantam cross hens), along with their mothers, range into the woodlands around the house. Before guardian dogs were in place (actually two mixed breeds), I lost every single chicken if they were free ranging, to coyotes, raccoons, Bobcats. Now I NEVER lose a single one and they range pretty far. They've grown off well scratching in those leaves in the woods, so must be finding lots of worms and other tasty treats.

Love the idea about the pumpkins, will try it. Come to think of it, they do that in Portugal a lot, especially for their pigs on the homestead, where they usually only raise one a year.

 
chris cromeens
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Half my acreage is in oaks, and if you don't have something eat them, the chickens will eat the ones w/ bugs in them. If you crack the acorn the chickens will eat them. There have been some studies on acorn as chicken feed. 6% protein, lower egg to feed ratio than corn at all levels of supplementation, 30% as supplemental protein w/ no ill effects. Thats what I remember will have to dig for the citation.
 
Cj Sloane
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Chris, I think that's mentioned on a thread somewhere on permies.
 
Willy Walker
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We could also look at this as which plants will bring the most bugs.. Like grasshoppers,etc.
 
Paul Gutches
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rose macaskie wrote: Dave Bennet, how do you grow meal worms? rose.


I accidentally grew a torrent of meal worms once when I tossed a bunch of old cat food and dry beans into a hole, then covered it with some straw, a little compost, and a couple of old florescent lamp covers.

I really was just trying to compost it. Then in the summer I stumbled on it because I'd completely forgotten about it, and it was leaping with the buggers. Scared the crap out of me really.

I read somewhere that crickets love to eat chicken droppings, and that if you provide a board or stone with a shallow gap under it and place it over some chicken manure in a cool damp place, you can periodically lift it up to provide a protein feast.

 
Rachell Koenig
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What about plantains? they are perennial, green (for the most part) all year (zone 6), wild, tough, and have low seed stalks (psyllium husks, just learned that). But I have no clue as to weather the chickens will know to eat the seeds. I wonder what hawthorn berries are like?
 
Lisa Paulson
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I can also confirm that chickens will eat alfalpha and the egg yolks are a rich apricot colour .
I was surprised my free ranging hens loved privet seed when it was falling , a hedgeplant I only have near my house as I had read its greenery was toxic for horses.
I am planting amaranth , millet and quinoa , thinking to harvest the seedheads on the stocks, hang them to dry from the roof of the poultry shed until i throw them to the chickens in winter to let them do the seed harvesting .
More than anything I think my focus will be alternating avenues of shelterbelts that provide feed and safety , with avenues of open pasture for other grass foraging stock . I am hoping that the insect life in the leaf litter mulch will be a primary source of protein rich chicken feed as per their natural forest forage . I am not thinking this will be adequate in winter in my cold climate and i absolutely will be supplementing, as I mentioned trying to grow supplemental seed head plants to keep until winter use. I have seen so many mentions of the advantages of optimizing nutrition through fermenting or sprouting grains , I am then thinking of experimenting with that a bit with the winter feed but have not thought that through much at this point .

I definitely think that when we think chicken feed, we might benefit most thinking planting things that benefit other animals to move through a space in rotation to browse leaves, forage grass , and think of the droppings as host to the insect reproductive cycle that will feed chickens for a good part of the year and I am wondering s mentioned if chicks raised by the hens in protected small paddocks or tractors would not be much better foragers ?

I love the idea of worm bins or some sort of meal worms that might process rabbit droppings in bins and then be dumped to fertilize plants and have the chickens scratch up and eat the worms in sort of a worm farming rotation too.
 
kai weeks
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Location: The forest, Sweden. Zone 7. Sandy, acidic soils.
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Another discussion and good article on the topic at:


Mother Earth News
 
Dan Grubbs
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Carrion is certainly "perennial" in that you can find it everywhere. I recently saw a video of Paul's where dead animals were put into a five-gallon bucket and covered in a layer of straw. The bucket had quite a few small holes drilled into it all around the side. When the flies deposted their eggs in the carrion, the larvae would eventually emerge out the drilled holes and drop on the ground if the bucket was suspended off the ground a foot or so by a tripod. Instant chicken food. If there are flies then you can make instant chicken food this way. It was a great video, but I don't have the link. I'm sure someone here has it.

I'm planning on amaranth as a multi-purpose plant, though not perennial. The heads do shatter easily at a later stage in their lifecycle, so they do self seed, as others have already mentioned. I've chosen amaranth because I've also read where goats will like the leaves. Since the seed and leaves are also excellent food for humans, this seems to be a triple-whammy of a plant.

 
Alicia Gauld
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Hi! Great in depth discussion...greenharvest.com.au has great info on chooks & are permies/horticulturalists.
 
Tony Hill
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Very interesting read, this thread!

Our chickens eat EVERYTHING. Grass, clover, any poor bugs or spiders unfortunate enough to cross their path, our ENTIRE strawberry and blueberry and blackberry crop (!!!) mice (not sure if chickens or cats killed) dog food, cat food, styrofoam, guts from their killed brethren... I mean ANYTHING.

Somewhere during the summer, my wife noticed that there were no dog-poop piles in the yard anymore... Yeah, you guessed it. I HATE to think about that one, but isn't commercial dog food mostly corn? I'd rather think that the flies attract the birds, and then the chickens eat the larvae... Yeah, that's what's really happening, must be.

Anyway, I like the mulberry idea. Mulberry trees around here tend to get big and make a LOT of fruit naturally. Need to find out what variety lives around here and buy 3-4 trees and put them in the north edge of the woods. Will have to protect them, as these birds will strip them BARE like they did the grape vines. Killed them completely before year's end. Ate EVERY leaf and every emerging leaf.

I agree about Cornish X Rocks... GREAT foragers, and VERY intelligent! No... We don't just leave a full feeder. Throw a couple of coffee cans of food out in the morning and evening, and they have to figure out the rest... And they DO!!! One of the big Rocks figured out that mice taste good, and he seemed to find one or two every week! Not sure if he killed them, or if the cats did, but he was the one who ate them! Really hated killing that bird, but he started attacking my wife, so he had to go.

I finally got tired of defending my wife from the birds, and I told her she could NOT allow herself to be at the bottom of the pecking order! A bird comes after me, and I'll instantly grab him and shake him up good! They are all a bit afraid of me, as it should be. She took my advice. Next rooster that attacked her, she grabbed a long switch and chased him around and whipped his tail relentlessly until he was cowering under my boat, and I told her that was enough. NO birds bother her anymore! We still have 4 roosters, and they have mucho respecto for both of us. That's why they still are alive. But they have NO respect for the cats. We have to feed the cats after dark, otherwise they get mugged for the meow mix!

But getting back to food, our chickens LOVE grass clippings. We get bags of fresh clippings from our neighbors, and I started out dumping the bags in bare spots in my lawn, to help them get reestablished.. It is amazing how fast it vanishes. We had 30 chickens, 17 layers, and the rest either meat birds or roosters, and they can eat 4 big, heavy bags of grass clippings in a week, just in time for more.

And for what it's worth, our hens are great layers. The 17 birds usually produced 12-15 eggs a day, plus the hidden ones we'd find every once in a while. Yeah, every once in a while, we would find a couple of dozen in some hidden spot, usually after a hen "disappeared." We'd search, and there she would be, under the tractor or somewhere, trying to incubate 28 eggs at once! Yesterday, I found 23 eggs under my storage trailer. Stupid Brahmas! Always hiding their eggs!

Anyway, sorry for the long rant.

-TH
 
Flick Johnston
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Location: Western Australia
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Has anyone mentioned the tiny fern Azolla? It's supposed to be very good chicken food, fast and easy to grow in small container of water near the chook house, just scoop out handfuls and throw it over the fence for them.
 
Andy Reed
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It's hard to imagine a mulberry beating an apple tree in sugar or yield per acre, and apples will drop for a good three months or longer. Per tree the mulberry could win because they are massive. I think once we put this to the test, the mighty apple will win.
White clover should be a great source of protein. For layers you'll also need calcium, I imagine you will have to add some from somewhere to replace all the calcium that leaves with the eggshells, if you plan on selling the eggs. I feed my chickens their eggshells, perfect recycling.
 
Cj Sloane
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According to my research, a full size apple tree can yield 800 lbs or 20,000 lbs /acre and a mulberry can yield 100 lbs or 3,000 lbs /acre .

That doesn't mean chickens would eat them, though. I collected 1000 lbs of drops and fed them to all my animals: cattle, pigs, sheep, turkeys, and chickens. The chickens were the least excited about the apples. I would imagine if nothing else ate the apples that bugs would go for them and then the apples would go for the bugs.
 
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