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scratch yard plants for chickens and ducks in Texas

 
leah gibson
Posts: 7
Location: Central TX prairie
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Hi all,

I'm currently raising chickens and will be getting ducks soon. I will have them in two fenced in areas (ducks will be separate from chickens) that will then be fenced into 2 or 3 paddocks that I will seed for forage.

Around the perimeter of the fences I'd like to plant some hardy shrubs and small trees (to be protected) that could maybe provide food for them. So far on my drawing board I have Agarita, Mulberry, and Mexican Plum. The idea is to fence off these plantings for most of the year and only let the ducks/chickens in when there is fallen fruit, etc. to clean up.

But while I'm on the subject, it would also be nice to have some shrubbery around the 1000 gallon stock tank I have for the ducks. Something that they won't tear up. I could try and protect it with fencing until it's established.

Any ideas for either area? I have looked around but have had a hard time finding stuff for my area. I have clay soil (that I will amend with compost); our summers can be very hot and dry (105 degree days are common in August), and our winters are mild, with the occasional dip down to 25 degrees (but typically only for a couple of hours). The dryness shouldn't be a major problem since I will be digging swales, planting the trees adjacent to them, and filling the swales every few weeks when I clean out the pond. The pond will have a swirl filter system.

Even if you can't directly answer my question, I'm still interested in hearing your comments. We've just bought this homestead and this is our first major project. Have had chickens for a long time but never ducks. Thanks for your input.
 
Jack Edmondson
Posts: 233
Location: Central Texas zone 8a, 800 chill hours 28 blessed inches of rain
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Bamboo and figs. Both will grow well in your soil, even though not ideal. (I am in Houston with heavy clay gumbo. A little mulch in the soil and the figs tree went wild.)

http://www.inbar.int/2012/03/bamboo-chicken-feed/
 
jimmy gallop
Pie
Posts: 194
Location: east and dfw texas
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East Texas I grow a lot of Cole and cover crops in winter for my chickens
mustard,collard,turnip,oat,elbon rye,rutabaga,clover.
there is a lot that will grow in Texas in winter
I get some seeds from
http://www.highmowingseeds.com/home.php?xid=7a89c0c2348eee540088f0fde1e0c142
I do buy from a lot of other seed co
 
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