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Ferns in chicken pastures

 
                                    
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Will chickens eat ferns? Where we are putting our coops/pastures, the ground is covered in ferns. I'm not sure what type of fern, I'm still learning how to identify everything on our land. Maybe sword fern? Anyway, our chicks are only 2 weeks old right now, so I'm wondering if I should just leave the ferns be, or try and pull some up and plant some better fodder crops so they have a chance to establish before the chickens end up in their coop. Or I could just throw some seed around and hope something is able to grow with all those ferns there, but that seems like a bit of a waste of seed potentially.

The area is very wet, but the rainy season is ending soon(ish) and we plan to perhaps put in a pond and redirect the water so it's more useful. That won't happen until later this year or maybe next year though. We have a lot of projects on the go here already.
 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
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If the ferns are growing there right now I'll bet that not much useful will grow there until you improve the fertility and drainage. The chickens will probably destroy the ferns but I suspect that they will not eat much of them. They will fertilize for you though, so that's nice. Dig your pond, then maybe plant some inexpensive annual rye or something for the chickens to eat while you figure out what will grow on a more long term basis.
 
Have you seen Paul's rant on CFLs?
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