Author Topic: Chicken Pasture  (Read 1611 times)

Offline TXBEAN

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Chicken Pasture
« on: July 21, 2016, 02:36:58 PM »
Hello all!
I'm new here (but been lurking in the garden forums for a couple of years). I am new to raising chickens and have had my first dozen since April. I have three small "pastures" I rotate the chickens in but need some advice on just what and when to plant. Two areas are about 650 sq. ft. each, the third is less than 300 and they are gated and fenced individually. My only tiller is tractor mounted and I would have to remove fencing to use it, so that's out. I would like to be able to broadcast the seed with minimal effort and I do have a sprinkler "system" to keep them watered. The first area I planted a couple of rows of mustard greens and turnips, which they have devoured. The second area I planted with a few rows of cowpeas which they ignore. The third area is untouched. Any cheap, easy help out there?
Garden's first year, 6800 sq ft of sugar sand, including the chickens' coop and runs.

Online Double B

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Re: Chicken Pasture
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2016, 08:13:08 PM »
Welcome to the forum TXBEAN,

I am not a chicken expert but they love squash, cucumbers, and many other garden vegetables. You might just want to plant a good Bermuda grass in the third pen because they like to eat that and in the fall, plant a rye grass if you can keep them off of it long enough to get it established. In your garden plant some collards and other leafy stuff they like to feed them as a treat to supplement their diet. Send pics of your chicks when you get a chance.

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Online tangentalstorm

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Re: Chicken Pasture
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2016, 05:38:51 AM »
TX...I don't know if it holds true for all chickens but mine love clover...when we let them out to roam the first thing they go for are the clover patches.
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Online Maggie13

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Re: Chicken Pasture
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2016, 05:39:19 AM »
  TXBEAN I am sorry I cannot answer your question but I did want to pop in and say.... Welcome to the site!
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Offline TXBEAN

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Re: Chicken Pasture
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2016, 04:20:10 PM »
Thanks y'all. I'll work on the pictures. The chickens do love all my garden scraps and when the clover was blooming I picked them a bunch every morning on the way to the coop. Thanks again.
Garden's first year, 6800 sq ft of sugar sand, including the chickens' coop and runs.

Offline PD-Riverman

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Re: Chicken Pasture
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2016, 08:25:02 AM »
Hello all!
I'm new here (but been lurking in the garden forums for a couple of years). I am new to raising chickens and have had my first dozen since April. I have three small "pastures" I rotate the chickens in but need some advice on just what and when to plant. Two areas are about 650 sq. ft. each, the third is less than 300 and they are gated and fenced individually. My only tiller is tractor mounted and I would have to remove fencing to use it, so that's out. I would like to be able to broadcast the seed with minimal effort and I do have a sprinkler "system" to keep them watered. The first area I planted a couple of rows of mustard greens and turnips, which they have devoured. The second area I planted with a few rows of cowpeas which they ignore. The third area is untouched. Any cheap, easy help out there?

I plant 2 sections. I plant winter rye in the colder months and millet in the warmer times. I allow the chickens into these area's for a little while so they do not dig the grass up. I let them into one section, one day then the next the next day. If the grass starts looking thin, I keep them off it for a few days to allow it to grow some. I plant collards in my garden---not where the chickens can get to them, my chickens Love collards. I stop by the garden and break off some of the lower leaves for the chickens---doing this makes the plant keep growing taller with more leaves. I can keep collards growing here year round. I also plant sunflowers at different times(2/3 weeks apart) when the heads dry I hang them about chicken head high and sit back and watch---once they get use to them they will clean a head up in minutes. No Chickens are not going to eat pea/bean plants very much. As far as squash and cucumbers I plant those for them----also in the garden----not where the chickens can get to them. I allow them to get a little bigger than average then pick and slice them for the chickens. I use a commercial slicer that I picked up at a Auction for $12.50. I can slice a 5 gallon bucket full in a minute. Water Mellon----slice one of those in half and place it in with your chickens-----watch----that will make you want to go plant them some in the garden.

I use extra vegetables to feed the soldier fly larva which I have inside the chicken pen----I have to do nothing but keep dumping in some "food" for the larva---as the larva mature I have ramps inside their covered with vent holes on the top container and the larva crawl up the ramp to a hole on the side and fall out to the ground, the chickens grab them up-----in the early mornings the chickens scratch up the larva that fell out during the night---they LOVE them. I wish I had one set-up in every chicken pen I got(67 pens) but that would be a lot of work collecting vegetables/food to feed them---LOL.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2016, 08:34:26 AM by PD-Riverman »

Offline TXBEAN

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Re: Chicken Pasture
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2016, 11:33:20 AM »
Quote
from: PD-Riverman Today at 08:25:02 AM: Water Mellon----slice one of those in half and place it in with your chickens-----watch----that will make you want to go plant them some in the garden.

We did! They did! Then I planted a dozen seeds (now starting to blossom). Thanks for the help.
Garden's first year, 6800 sq ft of sugar sand, including the chickens' coop and runs.

Offline tbird

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Re: Chicken Pasture
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2016, 06:54:50 PM »
  Make small 3' square cages about 6" tall.  I have 6 of them.  I till an area in early spring and plant a mix of all kinds of veggie seeds.  When they sprout I cover 6 areas 3X3 so the chicks cannot get to them.  When the sprouts are about 1" tall I let the chickens in each day to feast.  When the sprouts are mostly gone I plant more and move the cages.  I toss seed in the area every week or so to keep the sprouts coming.  IT is not a perfect system,  but the chicks seem to like it.  They also free range over an acre+.

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Offline TXBEAN

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Re: Chicken Pasture
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2016, 04:15:47 PM »
tbird,
thanks, I'm working on an idea along those lines. I appreciate the help.
Garden's first year, 6800 sq ft of sugar sand, including the chickens' coop and runs.

Online Ragun Gardener

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Re: Chicken Pasture
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2016, 06:42:30 PM »
You can build these and use rye grass seeds, the chickens shouldn't pull the roots out when they eat the grass.

Offline TXBEAN

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Re: Chicken Pasture
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2016, 03:01:53 PM »
NICE!
Garden's first year, 6800 sq ft of sugar sand, including the chickens' coop and runs.