Saturday, July 3, 2010

Chicken Feed

This year I tried an experiment with growing some of my own things for chicken feed. I planted a forage crop "patch" which the chickens very quickly forage down to nothing! I was hoping that is would have lasted longer,my chickens have a large area to forage in so it was not like that patch was all the green they had! The seed crops samples have done great.I planted Giant sunflowers,amaranth,which is not blooming yet,sorghum and some black oil sunflowers. All of these are doing well!


To give you some idea of the humidity here,this is the first picture I tried to take! The lens steamed up!


The chickens also love to spend time in these tall shady plants! Eating the lower leaves and picking bugs...yumm chickie heaven! Actually the real chickie heaven is my crock pot but shhhh...they don't know that!


Here is one of the little bannie mommas with some new babies.


Her twin hid and hatched her own eggs,I always sit them on big chicken eggs,and hatched out 4 tiny little babies! One,the little reddish brown one, got confused and went with her "Auntie" and her chicks



and 2, sadly,  disappeared....so she was left with just one tiny black chick.This is a blurry picture. Hey, it is not easy to hold a fussy, tiny chick and have it's momma ready to attack you and take a picture all at the same time!




So,  back to my chicken feed crops. Since all my samples did well I will be planting a big section of the chicken pasture next spring with these plants! Not only will I save money on feed but I will have no doubt that what is going in my chickens and eventually on my table, will be organic and chemical free!

16 comments:

spotty dog farm said...

wow. those are some very lucky birds. sweet set-up

the wild magnolia said...

I love this post! Growing your own chicken forage is one of the neatest things I've ever heard of. Being unable to have a homestead to farm and have animals, it is a treat for me to visit and read your posts!

Happy Fourth of July to you and your family!

Tina said...

Oh how sweet the little chicks are. Love the giant sunflower....and the humidity...wow....neat picture though.

IanH said...

The home grown feed is a great idea! I will have to give it a try next year.

Sharon said...

Is it too late to plant a fall crop? Or do you do that just once a year? The chicks are all darling!

Humid here too. I don't belong here.

Have a great weekend!

LindaG said...

Hahahahaha!!!!!!! In the crock pot. Loved that. :)

What did you plant, if I may ask, that they loved? When we finally get to have chickens, I want to do the same, plant natural stuff in addition to what is already growing naturally.

I am planning on chickweed, clover, alfalfa, buckwheat and such. With any luck, that is, and I am open to other suggestions! :)

Your chickens and chicks look quite good!

Tales from the Trails said...

What a great idea. We let the chickens run free into the garden and around but I might have the perfect spot to plant somethings just for them.

Have a great 4th!!

Pricilla said...

Awww, what a cute little chickie

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

hate to tell ya this, our high today was low-humidity at 75 degrees. Remember though, I had it rough this past winter. Love the sunflowers, mine got chewed up and I never got around to replanting.

Texan said...

Such a great idea to plant all that for your chickens! Since we just can't seem to free range around here and keep a chicken or a duck for that matter a live...if I could free range that would be so cool to plant all that! mmm I guess I could grow them sunflowers though and take them to them in the pen!

I just had to laugh about your steam on your camera lens...at least we are getting some rain finally huh :O)

Millie said...

What an awesome idea. I like to give a lot of garden stuff to the chickens, but I've never planted specifically for them. The chick is so cute.

Julia said...

I've been trying to figure out how to give our chickens foraging room. . .we locked them inside their pens since they were destroying our landscaping. But I hate doing it. I think we may need to try this forage crop idea in a large enclosure. That may just be the ticket. Thanks!!

wayside wanderer said...

What sweet little chicks and how sad two went missing. Oh, nature can be hard. I am chicken sitting this weekend for friends who are out of town, but their girls are all big. no chicks. One has a deformed beak and it is the most aggressive, ornery one of the bunch!

Kelly said...

I love the idea! Thought about doing this too, did you have to fence it off until the plants were established a bit?

polly's path said...

my ultimate goal is to plant and harvest all the feed I need for my chickens ans goats. I say it all the time, i positively hate paying for someone else's dead grass, but we are still working on baling our own hay.

Ruralrose said...

Excellent post, great pictures. Looks like I have some reading to catch up on. You sure won't be hungry this winter. Peace