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Growing animal feed the lazy way

 
Grace Gierucki
Posts: 15
Location: Southern Michigan
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Hello from Southern Michigan, I'm trying to figure out the best way to grow some supplemental food for our chickens this year. The seeds I already have available are Dundale (field) peas, Buckwheat, Forerunner Triticale, Harris Early Parsnips, (very) small amounts of corn and an accidental order of 2lbs extra Pole beans. I will have lots of garden rejects, tons of edible volunteer plants and they will be rotated across the fields in their electronet all day during the summer but this winter I'd like to be less reliant on bagged food. My space dedicated to this is limited only by my time (no tractor) and fencing to keep the deer out.
My latest, probably ridiculous, idea is to plant the triticale and parnsips together and let them stand the longest (possibly just letting the chickens forage it themselves, I'll go out and knock some down and spade up some parsnips). Is this a reasonable possibility or will everything just rot?
I would like to plant the peas and buckwheat together, scythe down and finish drying inside if necessary, the weather here is so unpredictable. I've never grown any grains before and have NO idea what to expect, could this work? Even if it fails as a food crop, I'm desperate to get some organic matter into my soil and all of these seem to fit the bill.
I could add something to this mix if it's prudent, all the seeds are on super clearance around here right now (seed potatoes at $0.22/ lb!) Maybe oats?

Thanks

 
alex Keenan
Posts: 487
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What about cow peas. My chickens wiped out a few patches of these I had planted too close to their range area.
You can use tiller radish, diakon radish, along with the cow peas to improve your soils.
What cow peas the birds do not eat you can dry for winter feed.
radish and cow peas will die in the winter in your area and you will have a place for spring planting of Kale, peas, and other greens for spring feed.
 
Grace Gierucki
Posts: 15
Location: Southern Michigan
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Thanks for the advice. I picked up radish seed yesterday and will add it in. I can't believe how much cheaper seed is in bulk instead of packets. Headed out to the garden!
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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