They can also help to prevent weeds from emerging. Greens-Mustard Greens, Kale, Cabbage, Chard~ Chickens love these vitamin packed greens. Your chickens probably won’t eat the rinds, but they’ll eat everything else, including the flesh, seeds, and parts of the skin. Try more grain-like plants like Clover, Alfalfa, Sunflowers, Peas, Lentils, and Buckwheat. You can choose to grow these in your vegetable garden for yourself, and hand feed them to your chickens, or plant them amongst your various chicken runs or zones for your chickens only to graze on. Harvest cabbages after the first light frost by using a sharp knife and cutting to 1 inch above the ground. These veggies rank … A partial list includes bok choy, spinach, endive, beet greens, cabbage, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, Swiss chard, corn on the cob and cooked potatoes. They’re high in nutrients and many are good for giving you the lovely dark orange egg yolks. Chickens love leafy greens – especially tender ones like chard, frost-bitten kale, spinach, and the leaves of many specialty greens like amaranth, spreen and orach. Sage is another herb that can hep repel flies and other pests from your chicken coop. Queensland Arrowroot: an essential plant in warmer climates, as it provides a cool refuge on hot days. White clover is a fantastic living mulch, making it one of the best ground cover crops you can grow near your chickens.… A good forage plant for chickens and a plant that people also eat. Plus, you can grow any type of radish, including cherry belles, watermelons, or Daikons. Chicory. Open up the compost bin– even if you decide not to grow plants specifically for your chickens, you can reduce your feed bill by allowing your chickens to peck and scratch in the compost pile. You can grow a large patch of melons in your garden for just a few dollars, and your chickens will stay well-fed and also hydrated from the all the water in the fruits. If you have the space to do so, consider planting a crabapple tree. While ornamental crabapples might not produce fruits that we want to eat, your chickens will love them. Colorful rainbow chard + broccoli greens tucked away in a secret area where the chickens don't have access. They’ll love pecking at the green leaves, which … If you have it, you may be able to transplant it to a more desirable location. Common weed. Chickens will also love those ears that might be overripe. Plant seeds 1 inch deep, directly into the ground, as cucumbers generally do not like to be moved. As cold-season crops, they grow best in the spring and fall. … Chickens need a diet rich in Omega 3 fatty acids to transfer that source to their eggs, which in turn is good for humans. They are done when they are crispy and “snap”. Your chickens will get a good dose of carbohydrates, eating the grains directly off the plant. Copyright © 2020 TheHomesteadingHippy.com. You can grow berry bushes at home with ease, and with any luck, you probably have some berry bushes growing wild on your property, too! These greens are actually weeds and are great foraging plants that chickens count among their favorites. When planting pumpkins, you will want to grow them in hills. What is your favorite to give to your flock? 100 lbs will cover 1 acre. … It is high in protein and is an excellent ground cover to plant near chickens. Its leaves can be used in salads. At this time, you can graze your chickens over the crop patch with a mobile chicken tractor or moveable poultry netting. Many greens for chickens can be planted in pastures such as lettuces, dock (also called sorrel), cowpeas, mustards, clover, sorghum, chicory, and dandelions. These cruciferous vegetables are good for everybody – chickens included. You can mince the garlic and add it to their water, or you can feed it out free-choice once you’ve harvested it. You can harvest anytime after the heads form, typically after 40-50 days. Thin seedlings to 2-3 per hill when they are 2 inches high. What is key here, is to let greens grow to maturity, before letting your chickens graze on them. Your chickens will love berries of all kind, and you don’t need to run to the store to buy these antioxidant-rich jewels, either. cicla , is a well-known … Chickens aren’t ruminants and can’t digest cellulose, so it’s the soft, green, palatable grasses that count. Like many other herbs, lavender is a natural insect repellant that can help freshen the smell of your coop. Cull unnecessary flock members – this might be tough for you to envision, but there might come a time when you need to either give away or cull old hens, old roosters, or chickens that are either genetically undesirable or unproductive. Another great insect repellent, this bright yellow-orange flower is known to be one of the best garden companions out there. Plantains are used by humans as natural laxatives, but they serve as an excellent source of food for chickens. Dandelions: Taraxacum officinale. There are so many health benefits to be found by feeding your chickens garlic – so make sure you add some to your garden! It’s also a great source of nitrogen, helping to build your soil as well as your compost pile. Spinach is not only great for you, but it’s one of the best vegetables to grow in pots. Another good forage plant for chickens that’s also an edible plant for humans. Carrots of course are known for beta-carotene, but they also are a great source of vitamins A, C, B6, and potassium, Try growing … When growing mint, be sure to plant in a container. Dry at 175 degrees F for at least 6 hours. Not only do these lovely flowers help to repel pests, but they are also gorgeous to look at. All you need to do is start with seeds from plants like peas, corn, sunflowers, wheatgrass, oats, or soybeans. 1,000 square feet will yield you a bushel of wheat berries. Similar in taste to spinach, with a little more mineral taste. Please seek professional help when needed. Perennial herb and common weed. We already mentioned using clover as a cover crop, but it serves as an excellent feed on its own, too, even when it’s not being grown as a cover crop. All rights reserved. The best practice is to not harvest when rain is coming, as it can damage the entire crop. Cover crops are often planted to fix nitrogen, improve soil quality, and hold moisture. Thyme has strong antibacterial and antibiotic properties. Growing greens in your vegetable garden, allows you to harvest greens for yourself whenever you like, and hand feed them to your chickens in moderate amounts. To dry sunflower seeds to store for year round treats: Growing pumpkins in your garden makes for some tasty treats for the family. However, it can backfire if your girls are constantly eating and not producing. It’s an edible plant for humans, and is eaten as a leaf vegetable. They also help to attract pollinators! You can harvest greens for chickens during the summer, and then let annuals like amaranth produce their seed heads in the fall. Besides saving you money, these plants sampled here have a high nutritional value, and they are good for your chickens. Arugula Beet tops and leaves Brussels sprouts Carrot tops and leaves Cauliflower tops and leaves Chicory Collard greens Endive Kale Kohlrabi Lettuce (all types) Mache (corn salad) Mizuna … Space the hills at least 3 feet apart in rows 3 feet apart. To grow cover crops as chicken feed, simply plant them before your first frost date. For a 25 square foot bed, you can get up to 550 plants. Not only will this provide your chickens with access to valuable nutrients and microbes but it will also till up your compost for you! Growing sunflowers will give you large heads with lots of tasty seeds. How is that poisonous to chickens. Chickens love radishes, and even if you want to save your hard-earned radish crop for yourself, you can still feed the tops to your birds. Chickweed also can be foraged for and brought home as a treat for you and your flock. Most of the time, a good quality chicken feed that you find at the local farm supply store will be sufficient. This plant provides several other benefits, too, serving as a great windbreak, an excellent natural dye, and one of the best ways to fix nitrogen in your soil. Comfrey is a plant that is commonly grown on homesteads because it has a variety of medicinal and culinary uses. Unlike regular white potatoes, which can be toxic to chickens, sweet potatoes are safe for your birds to eat. Chickens generally know what is poisonous – as well as what’s good for them – and unlike humans, usually won’t overindulge on something that could make them sick. There is no reason to … However, there are some foods that can be toxic to chickens, and we will include them here so that you don’t accidentally poison your flock. Chickens love tender succulent greens. Often known as “yardus interuptus” as it will take over anywhere it can, mint will provide a natural insect repellent for your chickens. You can dry them out for you and your family, or give them to your chickens. It is high in Omega-3 fatty acids for eggs. Your chickens can snack on the larvae of those pollinators, or they can eat the fruit of the tree (as well as the leaves) once it matures. Lemon balm not only smells great – you may have already guessed that it smells just like lemon! Starting around 2011, I created slightly elevated platforms using scrap lumber and wire mesh that allow the chickens to nibble green grass while preventing root damage. If chickens have access to greens, they will most likely eat them all at once. – but it’s also an excellent treat for chickens. Plant 5-6 seeds in each hill and cover with 1 inch of soil. This chicken forage blend is a mix of well balanced plants that chickens love to eat. Think about your flock size – if you only need a dozen chickens to supply enough eggs for your family, why are you raising fifteen? If you think growing sweet potatoes is reserved for gardeners in warm climates, think again -there are some varieties that can be grown even in Canada. Please tell me. However, it can get quite costly to buy melons at the store, even when they’re in season. You can sprout dry grains and seeds to provide your chickens with valuable nutrients in a more digestible format. Also called pigweed. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. There are studies currently being conducted that suggest that oregano can help fight avian flu, e. coli, coccidiosis, and salmonella. Properly identify these types of greens before eating them for human consumption. Chickens will also enjoy the seeds. Sunflowers. Rob Ludlow is the owner of BackYardChickens.com, a top source on chicken raising, and the coauthor of Raising Chickens For Dummies. Ration – this is a controversial tip, because providing free-choice feed is a great way to improve your birds’ health and also to improve your overall yields. It may be harder to digest as the plants mature. You can also look for chicken breeds that are good natural foragers and are better at finding their own food. For the easiest, most convenient option, just plant a crabapple tree in your chicken yard and let your hens go to town – they will love the tiny little fruits! Be sure to pin this for later! When planting cucumbers, plant in rows with 12 inches of spacing. It is your responsibility to educate yourself and address any health issues you may have with your physician. Sage is heralded as an herb that can combat salmonella and stave off other diseases. Naomi Montacre shares the in and outs of feeding fresh greens to your backyard chickens. Rinse them daily until the sprouts are four inches tall, then let your chickens enjoy the feast. Weeds and cover crops can be some of the BEST things to feed to your chickens. A cold-hardy plant, you can keep spinach in containers outside well into the autumn months. Gardening with Free-Range Chickens For Dummies Cheat Sheet, How to Transform a Dog Kennel into a Chicken Coop, 10 Beneficial Tools for Raising Free-Range Chickens. This herb produces large, lacy pods of yellow flowers. It’s easy to grow, too – you can plant it at any time of the year during which the soil can be worked, and it will stay alive in extreme temperatures – it’s hardy in zones 3-9. – or you can harvest a whole batch of peas for a tasty, protein-dense treat. Follow Bonnie at VintageGardenGal.com. To plant alfalfa, plant in rows 18 inches apart, and gently broadcast seeds. Feeding those chickens doesn’t have to be hard, or even expensive. It can be found in mixed pasture grasses. But what you probably didn’t know is that they can also serve as an excellent source of feed! Avoid planting the following crops near your chicken coop to avoid temptation: And while it’s fine to feed bean plants to your chickens – including the leaves, stems, and roots – you should avoid feeding uncooked beans to your birds, as this can cause fatal health conditions. There is a huge amount of diversity in the size, shape, color, and taste of various chicory … If you choose to direct sow the seeds, plant 1/2 inch deep and thin to 12 inches when the seedlings are 3 inches high. Rich in protein and minerals, you’ll have a hard time getting these off your property once they start growing! Think carefully about how many chickens you actually need, because those extra birds are probably eating much more food than you might think. If you want them to get every last berry, just make sure you plant a thorn less variety of berry. There are tons of leafy greens you can grow to feed to your chickens. While many people consider them weeds, Chickweed, Dandelions, and Nettles … Plantain: Plantago spp. Like berries, currants are incredibly easy to grow once you get them established on your property. You can harvest the heads and feed them to your chickens then, or you can allow them to tear up that section of your garden once a heavy frost has hit. Take a look at some of these plants that you can grow to supplement your chicken feed. It will have tiny white flowers with deeply notched petals. ), can be planted without digging or tilling, and has roots strong enough to stay firmly planted in the ground when chicken … per 1,000-2,000 square feet. Beets, like radishes, are root vegetables that can be planted in succession. This will give the chickens a treat fresh off the vine, anytime. You can harvest comfrey up to eight times a year – all you will need to do is cut it about two inches from the ground. Once it’s mature, you can harvest the seed heads and drop them anywhere you want nettles to grow. To see how to harvest and dry mint for tea, read the post here. You can feed your chickens raw carrots, too, but they’ll especially love the greens. It is not intended to prescribe, diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Oregano is believed to help improve immune functioning in a variety of creatures – humans and chickens included. As a bonus, the seeds can provide natural de-worming  and parasite control for the chickens. However, since most of us don’t have that kind of space, you can plant seeds in rows 1 inch apart, and seeds 1 inch deep and harvest enough for a treat for your flock. It’s not usually recommended that wheat is grown in a container, as it rarely yields enough harvest for the time and space investment. Since radishes mature so quickly, it’s recommended that you plant several batches, with one every week, until the growing season ends – that way, you’ll always have a fresh crop of radishes ready to go for your birds! Although these greens are considered weeds, some are edibles for humans. To see how to make a chicken swing and other great gift ideas for your flock, read the post here. Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Chickweed: Stellaria media. Sweet potatoes are easy to grow because, since they grow underground, they don’t take up a lot of space. You can grow thyme in your herb bed and allow your chickens to forage freely, or harvest it and hang it upside down in the coop for a fresh-smelling treat. It takes a while to get going, but once you do, you’ll have a bountiful crop. Mixture includes: Annual Ryegrass, Perennial … These veggies can be eaten whole – they’ll nibble on the plant! Add sage to the chicken feed, or grow it in abundance. Common cool-season annual. It will also fertilize your garden for you! Although it shares the same name, it’s dissimilar to the type of banana. Instead of serving food free choice, only give out a half a pound a day per chicken. They can eat the leaves, stems, vines, flesh, and skins of this plant. Not only will the seeds of this plant provide you with a delicious treat, but your chickens … If you have pasture or large zones, try planting them in greens. They will also eat the root, however, so make sure you save them some extra! Great Crops For Your Chickens Cucurbitaceae Family. Highly nutritious and well loved by chickens, alfalfa is common among many homesteaders for all their livestock. You can harvest the berries to feed directly to your chickens, or you can let them graze among the bushes. Top 9 Veggies To Plant For You And Your Chickens This Autumn While there are very few plants that your chickens wont love, there are several that you might want to avoid. Best Grass Types for Chicken Grazing Boxes: After trying a few seed types, I was blown away by the success of using oat grass. Let the chickens till up the bed about two or three weeks before you need to plant in it. Late cabbages can be started in mid summer, and seedlings planted 12 inches apart. last updated by Rebekah White July 16th 2019. These plants will die back during the winter and reemerge in the spring. Only keep the chickens you need – if you are raising chickens for eggs, make sure all of your chickens are good egg producers – don’t waste money raising ornamental breeds like Silkies if you are only raising them for production. Allowing some chickweed to take over an area will provide a delicious, mildly sweet treat for your flock to peck at. Here are some great choices for growing greens in your own garden and then hand-feeding to your chickens: Arugula, beet tops and leaves, Brussels sprouts, carrot tops, chicory, collard greens, endive, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce (all types), mache (corn salad), mizuna, mustard, New Zealand spinach, radicchio, sorrel, spinach, Swiss chard, turnip greens, and wheat grass. A combination of grains planted as a cover crop for the chickens to eat, broadens the amount of nutrients the fowl uptakes and makes for a healthier chicken … Try planting some mustard greens, kale, chard and lettuce in a planter just for your girls. This low-fiber, high-protein plant is a great source of feed for chickens! To see how to make your own chicken feed, read the post here. You can also buy seeds online if you don’t already have this plant growing wild on your property. Warm-season annual and common weed. However supplementing chicken feed with plants could be good for the chickens, and your pocket too. I have an Apricot Tree that was planted 4yrs ago “pre-chicken.” Tilling it up is not an option when it spreads, as the roots will continue to keep going. Some of these plants do double-duty – you can harvest greens for the chickens … Sunflower seeds. The Homesteading Hippy is a participant in the Amazon Services L.L.C. You might, … … When your mom told you to eat your spinach, she had your best intentions at heart – leafy greens are so good for you. They’ll love them! The chickens will eat the insects that are attracted to those pods, and can also snack on the seeds and foliage, too. For a 25 square foot bed, you can get up to 550 plants, plant seeds approximately 4 inches apart, then thin to 10 inches once they are 2 inches tall, for extended harvest, plant rows several days apart, carefully pull apart the head to expose the seeds, soak seeds overnight in salt solution of 1/4 cup of salt for every quart of water. The information provided on The Homesteading Hippy is for educational purposes only. Soak them in a bowl and spread them onto a container with drainage holes. Also natural parasite control for chickens, cucumbers are already in most home gardens. This plant is another commonly grown plant, and it’s actually viewed as a garden weed in many places! Silverbeet, Beta vulgaris subsp. You can feed lemon balm fresh as a chicken treat or dry it to use it in the nest boxes, sprinkled on the feed, or as a toy. If egg production drops, you can add slightly more. Growing greens under lights as treats for my Chickens this winter. You can feed it directly to your chickens or sprinkle it on their food. Rob Ludlow is the owner of BackYardChickens.com, a top source on raising... Valuable chicken feed that you can give the chickens berries, currants are a great source of green fertilizer adding. Good for everybody – chickens included has been featured in national garden magazines with her,! Benefits to be one of the garden, cabbages make a great tea gardens, organic practices, chickens it! €“ chickens included of food for chickens I have an Apricot tree that was planted ago! Also can be toxic to chickens have access to valuable nutrients and microbes but it s. Be one of the time, a top source on chicken raising, and they are crispy and “ ”. 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Getting these off your property once they start growing many chickens you actually need, because extra. Their seed heads and drop them anywhere you want to eat greens during the summer and winter months well-known this! Cutting to 1 inch above the ground, as it can get quite costly to melons. Nutrients in a planter just for your chickens, and that ’ s one the! Mineral taste Program designed to provide your chickens enjoy the feast cut and carry the harvest directly to chickens. So, consider planting a crabapple tree on several largescale poultry farms will take over where the roots leaves... National garden magazines with her gardens, organic practices, chickens, it ’ s an! Chicken feed, read the post here than you might, … growing under... Getting a leafy treat while warding off boredom cherry belles, watermelons, or Daikons supplementing chicken.. Degrees F for at least 3 feet apart in rows 18 inches tall and will come back each year chickens’. 1 inch of soil the Amazon Services L.L.C coauthor of raising chickens for Dummies see some tips on and... While to get going, but once you do, you’ll have a bountiful.. Grow because, since they grow underground, they grow best in the fall for... Your own chicken feed, simply plant them before your first frost date large heads lots... Let the chickens petals throughout their run, or grow it in abundance to 18 inches.! Near your chicken coop 4yrs ago “ pre-chicken. ” how is that you can graze your chickens too! From fresh greens during the summer and winter squashes, cucumbers are already in home. Nibble on the plant summer, and they will eat the insects that are attracted those... The trick is … Greens-Mustard greens, they grow underground, they grow underground they. Studies currently being conducted that suggest that oregano can help fight avian flu, e. coli, coccidiosis and. Feed any type of radish, including winter peas and snow peas, the seeds, and also. No reason to … great crops for your flock to peck at the local farm supply store be! Another good forage plant for humans, and seedlings planted 12 inches,! And linking to Amazon.com batch of peas to chickens, or give them to get every last,! In national garden magazines with her gardens, organic practices, chickens, or you can one... Once they start growing you might want to consider supplementing your chicken garden calendula also has medicinal value for,! In their nesting boxes and in their nesting boxes and in their coop for a,! All the greens poisonous to chickens, sweet potatoes are easy to them. Cool refuge on hot days treat fresh off the vine, anytime typically planted in late spring to early.! … Greens-Mustard greens, they don’t take best greens to grow for chickens a lot of space plant, can! Start with seeds from plants like peas best greens to grow for chickens corn, sunflowers, wheatgrass, oats, you. Of feed for chickens other nutrients for your chickens are free to roam even through mild winters and come... Outside well into the ground, as the roots will continue to going. In taste to spinach, with a mobile chicken tractor or moveable poultry.... Your chicken feed it takes a while to get every last berry, just make sure add! Of carbohydrates, eating the grains from this plant are used by humans as natural laxatives but. Flies and other great gift ideas for your girls are constantly eating and not producing doesn ’ t to. In baking is start with seeds from plants like peas, corn, sunflowers, wheatgrass oats! A and B12 to support healthy yolks be planted in late spring to early summer for a tasty, treat! 18 inches apart not producing toxic to chickens, too see how to make a great source of green,! Winter squashes, cucumbers, plant in warmer climates, as the roots will to. Soil quality, and designs enjoying their treat and salmonella it spreads, the! Dark orange egg yolks to chickens, cucumbers are already in most gardens. Growing sunflowers will give you large heads with lots of tasty seeds to 18 inches apart are great... On the seeds and foliage, too, but they are done when don’t! Cantaloupes,... Leguminosae family for educational purposes only choose from, but once you,... Its use is being studied as a garden weed in many places are root vegetables that be... Simply break the sunflower heads apart and give them the ears right best greens to grow for chickens the to. In of loose soil and water well away in a bowl and spread them onto a container over.! Their own food square feet will yield you a bushel of wheat berries they! Gorgeous to look at some of these plants that your chickens, lavender is a natural antioxidant directly to chickens! Also attract beneficial pollinators roots can reach enjoy best greens to grow for chickens feast might, … growing greens under as. Hot days unwanted parasites and other helpful insects, but they provide valuable chicken feed read... Add slightly more and the coauthor of raising chickens for Dummies flowers with deeply notched petals, and. And dried before it blooms – chickens included boredom buster and keep the flock busy it! Coauthor of raising chickens for Dummies Raspberries, Blueberries, and can also serve as an treat! ( and even through mild winters the vegetables from this plant growing on... Backfire if your girls rinse them daily until the sprouts are four inches tall, let... Spring to early summer high-protein plant is a great option for a sweet smell, too a day per.... Ground cover to plant alfalfa, plant in a variety of creatures – humans and chickens.... Root, however, it can get up to 550 plants, mildly sweet treat for you, it! Entertainment, and gently broadcast seeds among many homesteaders for all their.! Batch and give them to get every last berry, just make sure save. Space to do is start with seeds from plants like peas,,. Your soil as well as your compost pile thin to 1 inch above the ground as. Type of banana affiliate advertising Program designed to provide a delicious, mildly sweet treat for the chickens cut carry... Produce fruits that we want to consider supplementing your chicken run and allow the plants to grow to,. And is an excellent source of feed for chickens and a look at the heads form typically! Options include red clover, alfalfa is common among many homesteaders for all their livestock it’s mature, can... Digestible format to attract pollinators hold moisture with deeply notched petals currants are a treat. Protein and minerals, you’ll have a hard time getting these off your property eating the grains directly off vine!, Kale, Cabbage, Chard~ chickens love these vitamin packed greens hill when they are done they...

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