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Chicken Forage

 
pollinator
Posts: 235
Location: Zone 8b Portland
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We have a run setup for our chickens and I've been adding tons of straw to it.  It's turning into a nice crumbly blackish soil.  Great!  Now the question becomes what high nutrient requirement forage can I grow in there for the chickens?  We have had squash sprout out of the soil and it has produced MASSIVE squashes.  I was thinking of fencing off a section, growing something in there and then allowing the chickens back in to enjoy their harvest.  Any ideas what I could grow in there?  We designed a small movable cage that we put the chickens out in during the day but they don't like to stay there very long.  Thanks for the help, I'm sure the chickens will appreciate it.  I'm in zone 7a around Philadelphia. 
 
Posts: 715
Location: PA-Zone 6
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My chickens really seemed to like the flax and buckwheat I planted. Early in the season it functioned as a cover crop, after it went to seed I let the chickens in that area and they ate a good chunk of the seed and "mowed" over the stalks making a mat of brush.
 
Posts: 183
Location: Vashon WA, near Seattle and Tacoma
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First thing I'd plant would be comfrey. My chickens can't get enough of it. Plant it in rich soil and you'll have it to feed to your chickens forever.
 
Posts: 192
Location: SW of France
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ivan. wrote:
First thing I'd plant would be comfrey. My chickens can't get enough of it. Plant it in rich soil and you'll have it to feed to your chickens forever.



How do you feed comfrey to your chickens ?

thx
 
Ivan Weiss
Posts: 183
Location: Vashon WA, near Seattle and Tacoma
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Pick a bucket full of leaves and throw it to them.
 
Guy De Pompignac
Posts: 192
Location: SW of France
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Thanks. Sometimes i read that comfrey must be wilted before chicken eat it.

I've got two russian comfrey stocking b4 near the chicken house, and chickens ignore it (which is fine for now, i want my comfrey healthy to clone it)


Here is a cool article, but a lot a plant are of zone 9 ...

Upgrading the scavenging feed resource base (SFRB) for scavenging chickens; Part I. Preferred perennial species
 
Posts: 108
Location: Taos, New Mexico
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A few I never see which seem very promising as chicken food

- Hackberry:  They produce abundant, reliable crops of large high protein fruits / seeds.  Also, they typically get insect gall, making the leaves a possible secondary protein source.   The seed and fruit are also good human food when prepared correctly.  You can make a tasty nut milk with them in a blender.  I believe they can also be roasted.

- Elms:  Siberian and Lacebark elms produce samaras that are high in protein.  Siberian in the spring; Lacebark in the fall.

- Maples:  Sugar, Box Elder, Red Maples, etc, all produce edible seeds.  I believe the leaves may also be edible.
 
Posts: 130
Location: Wyoming Zone 4
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My chickens go nuts over currants.  They also really like sun flower seeds.
 
Posts: 65
Location: SE Alaska
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Mine love berries of all kinds.  A raspberry of blackberry thicket is great for them.  Cover and food both.  You just need to protect the roots from being scratched up.  I place rounds of old rotting wood or rocks around the base of mine.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1793
Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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My chickens go crazy for autumn olive berries.
 
Think of how stupid the average person is. And how half of them are stupider than that. - Carlin But who reads this tiny ad?
Native Bee Guide by Crown Bees
https://permies.com/wiki/105944/Native-Bee-Guide-Crown-Bees
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