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SF Pet Chicken Meetup Group Message Board › Cover crops as forage for chickens

Cover crops as forage for chickens

user 9026668
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 14
Anyone out there have any experience with cover crops, especially as forage for chickens? I'm going to attempt to seed part of our former lawn with a mix of oats, clover, alfalfa, winter peas and vetch. My major challenge will be to keep the chickens off of it when I allow them out in the early evening to forage. Any suggestions or advice for a novice gardener?
user 9163133
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 17
I'm a novice myself, but am trying something. There's a place called Peaceful Valley Farm Supply in Grass Valley that sells a seed mix called "Chicken Forage". It's high in Omega 3's. You can check it out on their online catalog, if interested. I'm planting a bunch of it.

I read on another website of a way to plant so the chickens don't scratch it all up before it can sprout so am trying it. We built a wood frame from scrap wood...any size you want. We used wood staples and stapled 1/2 inch wire across the top. You plant the seeds and place the frame on top. This should let the seed sprout and grow up through the wire so the chickens can forage, but not scratch up the ground. We just started last week, so it's hard to tell how well this works yet. I did buy some wheatgrass, planted it and the grass came through the wire. They loved it! So I'm hoping it works.

If you hear of anything else, let us know. I need all the ideas I can get!

Oakland, CA
Post #: 8
Chickens, some not all, will not fly over low fencing - try a 3 foot chicken wire fence or any light wire, with metal Tposts around the forage area. You may have to clip the wing feathers of your flyers (leghorns, bantams, any light breeds will fly).
Oakland, CA
Post #: 15
try winter rye or comfrey - chickens love comfrey - it takes a year to establish itself but once established, it becomes huge and they love it - you can't kill it so do NOT put it close to your good garden plants. It gets really big and you can cut it, dig it up, and it will keep coming up.
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