Learn some easy plants to grow for chickens that will save on your feed cost.
I am going to list some plants, I’ve grown them all except the Duckweed.
Comfrey is really easy to grow once you have it started. Three ways of acquiring it are: Find it wild, Get a piece of it from a friend, or buy seeds online. Once its started, it spreads rapidly, and then you can feed it fresh or dried to your chickens all year. Comfrey is rich in vitamins A, B complex vitamins, b12(one of the only two plants that have b12, the other is alfalfa) C, along with calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, sulphur, copper, zinc, selenium and germanium. The protein content can be up to 30%.
Most people feed this to their chickens anyways, it is very easy to grow. Just till some ground, and plant in rows about 33 inches apart. Plant about 4 inches apart. Keep weeded until the corn kernels are hard. At this point, pick all the ears, take the husks off, and feed as needed. The chickens will peck the kernels of by themselves. Only grow what you can take care of, but you can grow more every season as you get better at it.
I don’t know a lot about duckweed, I know it grows in ponds. It also has 42% protein, and a lot of trace minerals, so it would be really good to grow for your chickens. Just do a google search to find out more about it.
Mangels are a root crop, that can grow to 10lbs. You can grow them for the winter months, when theirs no pasture for your chickens. Grow like a turnip. You can buy the seeds from Johnny’s seeds. Here’s the link: http://www.johnnyseeds.com/p-7536-yellow-cylindrical-mangels.aspx
Oats can bee grown as pasture, and the chickens can harvest the oats. Just wait till the oats are hard, and then let the chickens at them!
Mostly everyone knows how to grow these, and they are very nutritious. Just crack open the pumpkin, and the chickens will do the rest.
Sunflowers have a 25% protein content. Any big headed variety will be great. I recommend feeding these directly to the chickens as they are ready, and not trying to save them.
People that grow this in their gardens know that it always grows more than you need. In my experience, each plant grows a zucchini a day. Put in 10 or so plants, and feed to your chickens. Just break them in half before feeding.
Remember to start small, and grow only what you can take care of. I’m sure you chickens will be happy no matter which of these you grow, and it will help your feed bill. Tell me what you grow for your chickens in the comments. Thanks for reading!
Published in: Rural Living