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What crops should I grow for chickens? Expand / Collapse
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Posted 12/27/2009 8:05:16 AM
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I know that I need to give them grain (corn) and grit, but I remember reading somewhere that there where other crops that I could grow too. Maybe not as their primary source of food, but something for them to pick around in for a little extra neutrition or as a treat.
Post #14859
Posted 12/27/2009 9:24:29 AM
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I grow zuk its easy and cheep. 

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Post #14860
Posted 12/27/2009 10:52:53 AM
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my chickens ate everything i gave them from the garden lettuce,watermelon,tomatoes,green beans,corn,i didnt give them peppers cause i heard it would make their eggs taste funny
Post #14862
Posted 12/27/2009 2:26:11 PM
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mustard greens, clovers, wheat

We grow beans and peas and cook them for ourself and the chickens

Post #14867
Posted 12/28/2009 10:58:37 AM
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Flax seeds, barley, oats, safflower seeds, alfalfa, plus they eat a lot of garden vegetables and fruits too. These are all really good for them.
Post #14895
Posted 12/28/2009 10:34:52 PM


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Sow in winter rye and let the chickens have that. Winter rye grows as long as the soil is not frozen, then goes dormant when it is, only to pop back up in the spring. You could get an early crop of rye grain with winter rye, then do as the other suggested for other times of the year.

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Post #14908
Posted 12/30/2009 4:42:51 PM


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My chickens eat almost anything. If I turn them loose in the garden they will strip everything edible. Almost any green plant or grain you can grow yourself, cheaply, will benefit your birds. The key is to find nutritional plants you can raise inexpensively. It's not an improvement over a balanced commercial feed if it cost too much. Some specific plants I recommend are:

1. Any kind of greens, such as spinach, turnip, mustard, collard, kale, etc. these plants are high in vitamins that grains lack.

2. If you have room try growing a small patch of wheat. Wheat has different nutritional properties than corn, and can help balance a corn-heavy diet.

3. If you have time and want to experiment, try raising earthworms. Most grains and plants are not high in protein, and if you get some good earthworm bins started you can supplement their feed with earthworms.

4. Some type of legume, such as clover or alfalfa, or a type of bean.

These are just a few suggestions. I am a firm believer that anything we can raise ourselves to reduce our feed bill and our dependence on the feed store is an asset. And don't overlook kitchen waste. I chop up almost every piece of kitchen waste, as long as it's not spoiled, and feed to my chickens. My wife thinks I'm crazy, but the chickens have not failed to eat anything I've given them so far. I've given them bacon grease (for extra fat in the winter), pepper seeds and the parts of the pepper we don't eat, egg shells ground fine and mixed with other feed, the tough stems of the broccoli chopped fine. Anything. I also pick dandelions and feed to greens to my chickens. I still have sone dandelion greens in my yard in December.

Post #14941
Posted 1/14/2010 8:03:35 PM
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Last year I grew sunflowers for my girls.  This year, I'm planting a ton more!  I like to cut them down and store the whole heads for the winter.  I, of course, have already ran out this year.  I also agree with the poster about zukes, they grow non-stop.
Post #15385
Posted 1/22/2010 7:52:28 AM


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Whatever your grow, try to stay away from strong-flavored things like cauliflower, union, and garlic. These will taint the egg flavor. Tho I do know some people that purposely feed their chickens garlic b/c they say it keeps them healthy and they like their eggs w/ some garlic flavor to them!

I fully believe that what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. I believe in dirt and germs!
Post #15614
Posted 2/7/2010 7:11:28 PM
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Our chickens also get anything that isn't spoiled, including meat. They'll pick a turkey carcass clean!

We are growing Swiss chard in our greenhouse for them (well, and also for us); I've also got a pot of chickweed going (gasp!) which they practically kill each other for. Any unsprayed weeds also end up in the chicken pen.

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