growing Chicken feed

Glendale, UT(Zone 5a)

Has any one had experience growing and grazing Chickens on Turnips, or Rutabagas, [or anything except pasture grass]???
I am going to plant a trial crop of Turnips and Rutabagas to see how it goes, -- [it works great for cows] I can't see why it would not work well for chickens-- any one have any ideas??

Thumbnail by Michaelp
Richmond, TX

I don't know how it would affect chickens, but raw turnips have an anti-thyroid factor so they might not be a good idea as a major component of anything's diet.

Glendale, UT(Zone 5a)

I know cows gain about as well on Turnips [tops]as alfalfa, -- and will prefer turnips[esp the tops] to alfalfa hay, -- they will eat quite a lot more then some other feeds, as they are very sweet, --- but it gives them horrible breath, -- but choking can be a problem when they are eating the [bottom] turnip part.

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

I'm a chicken newbie so I can't really comment on the above; however, I have observed that my chickens LOVE cabage and kale. So I'm going to grow a row of both for the gals this coming season.

Glendale, UT(Zone 5a)

For me, grazing the laying chickens is very important, the flavor my customers rave about is from being outside and eating plants and buggs, --if I just turn them out into a fenced lot, so they can be "free Range" the feed stays the same as caged birds, and the flavor is not much better either, ---

Vancleave, MS(Zone 8b)

nuke em and chopped them up for the chickens,

(Zone 5b)

Michaelp, how is your growing project going? I'm very interested in what you find that grows well and that your chickens love to eat. You really do a lot of interesting things for your chickens and I enjoy reading and learning from it. I got a bag of alphalfa seeds to sow but it is too early yet. I think I'll have to wait until the end of March, first part of April. For now mine have to be satisified with eating kale and other greens from the grocery store. They hated the mustard greens.

Glendale, UT(Zone 5a)

right now, -- the 50 chickens that are laying are allowed to go out and forage in the afternoon , when I get home from work, -- but the 200 young ones are in my greenhouse, -- they have eaten all the plants in the area they are in, and I am throwing weeds, water hyacinth, and trimmings to them, [along with the chicken feed] I am building a new coop, 30 x48 --I just got the first 1/2 poured [concrete floor], and am working on the grading [lots of digging] for the second half, -- when the floor gets done I will be able to wash down the floor to a holding tank, I plan to put a pump on the tank to move the liquid manure mix to my garden/pasture areas [now we spend hrs going to get and then shoveling manure, for our organic gardens]
I have appin forage turnip, and am planning to plant that and "ground hog radish", in the pasture areas, when the grass dies down in the fall. [ I have another lot I am planting in now, that is bare from over grazing the girls and milk cow] that should have enough time to make a crop before it gets too hot, - -I have fed the older girls lots of turnip and radish in the past [when I clean out the daikon, and other beds after harvest of the marketable produce] they love it. when the coop and fencing is done the chickens will be allowed to forage, all day and only be locked up at night, [I followed a link i saw here in this forum, for a automatic door for the coop, -- it is now on my wish list, [right now the girls are eating over #50/day so not much extra $ for chicken inprovements till they are laying] - [this is probly more info than you requested---]

(Zone 5b)

Wow, you sure have a fascinating operation going on! I envy your growing climate to be able to grow all those nutricious foods for your chickens. Ohhh the things you can do with a 30 x 48 coop... Looking forward to pictures!

Glendale, UT(Zone 5a)

Coop 1/2 of concrete poured, --

Thumbnail by Michaelp
Glendale, UT(Zone 5a)

area planted for chicken feed, --

Thumbnail by Michaelp
(Zone 5b)

You've been really busy! Looks great!

Glendale, UT(Zone 5a)

I have a lot of work yet to do, -- after the coop is done, I need to build more fence, for a larger pasture, ---

Thumbnail by Michaelp
Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

Really nice! Those chickens are some lucky girls to have such well planned out quarters.

(Zone 5b)

I was thinking th same thing, Terri. Those Girl's have a great life, nice going Michaelp!!!

Glendale, UT(Zone 5a)

I have had a week of wet weather, -- it has helped all the seed come up, -- that worked out better then usual, -- the turnip patch, is a sea of green, and even the carrots are sprouting, ---- cool, --

(Zone 5b)

Growing zone envy, big time!

Richmond, TX

I'm in the same zone or maybe 9a, but we're getting weather in the 20's again starting Wednesday, No fair!

(Zone 6b)

I keep wondering how much that slab of cement cost. That's going to be so nice! What an awesome plan.

Glendale, UT(Zone 5a)

the first half of the concrete cost $867.00 [I am about 1/2 way ready for the other half,] -- maybe after next weekend I will be ready to pour again, -- [I hope] so many other things that need done-- etc.

(Zone 6b)

My mother had concrete poured for a driveway once and it was much more than that.

Can't wait to see what it looks like finished.

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

Michaelp, I just received my seed order which included green-strip Cushaw pumpkins. I had ordered these to grow to see if my goats would like them (Goats! What am I thinking! I'm pretty sure they will.). I was thinking vine and all. But the point is they are often listed as multi-use which includes stock feed. You may know about it, but here in an info link: http://www.slowfoodusa.org/index.php/programs/ark_product_detail/green_striped_cushaw/

I was thinking maybe your chickens might like to graze on them?

I understand they make a pretty good pie, too.

(Zone 6b)

My great grandfather raised some kind of mush melon in the 1930s to feed his cattle. That was when the government was destroying the livestock saying they were sick with some disease. He hid his livestock out in the "sticks" where nobody could find them, and fed them these mush melons. (My mother told me this story.)

So, I was searching to see what year that was, and googled "government killed cattle" and found this. Which wasn't what I was looking for, but wow.
http://www.livinghistoryfarm.org/farminginthe30s/crops_17.html

Did you know while people were starving in the depression, OUR GOVERNMENT was destroying crops and cattle and burying them in the ground? ??

My great grandfather was a short tough little man. His father, my great great grandfather, was raised as a slave to the Indians after being kidnapped by Indians/Mexicans as they were coming back from California, in the gold rush of 1849. They killed his parents and kidnapped him. I'll see if I can find the article about him. Somebody has posted it on the web.

Sorry I am way off topic here. Ramble ramble.



(Zone 6b)

Here is the story of my gg grandfather's captivity if anyone is interested. My grandmother's version varies from her cousins somewhat, but it is similar. http://www103.pair.com/adsd/family/reed/rrr.html

We forget it wasn't that long ago our people had no cars, indoor plumbing or piped in gas. :)

We think things are getting bad now, maybe it was always this way, violence and the rest. yuck

This much we know, they almost ALL HAD CHICKENS! :)

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

Light_for_Jesus, I did research for a paper on hoof and mouth disease (foot and mouth) back in college. I'm pretty sure I remember a US outbreak in the mid-1920's and again in the late 1920's. It involved hogs and deer--but I thought that was in regards to the west coast. I do remember that there was an order for livestock slaughter at that time. Could that be involved in what your mother remembered about your great grandfather hiding his livestock? Reading your post brought back a flash of memory of that paper! I know folks were so afraid of that disease and the consequences back in those days. Still are today.

Glendale, UT(Zone 5a)

where I am at only tropical squash work, -- [they root where ever they touch damp ground, -- ] the other varieties are killed by buggs and disease, -- I raise "Seminole Pumpkin, and some others, like that, --

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

This Cushaw pumpkin (also could be a squash) is said to be resistant to insect and disease. Said to be an heirloom from the South. Especially LA. So that is why I thought of you when I got my seed. Maybe it won't work, though, I'm sure your conditions are close--but not the same--as mine =P . They seem to be pretty confident of it in the article found in the link. Guess I'll let you know how mine works out. Ah well, just a thought....

Glendale, UT(Zone 5a)

the first year I grew Cushaw, it did well, -- after that,- critters [bugs, and disease ] got it all, --

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

Well, we'll see how it does here for the goats. It does seem as if the sophmore jinx applies to a number of my crops here in Texas, too. I know last year the tomato horn worms decided to take advantage of my second year for growing tomatoes here. Its always something! =D

Do you think your chickens might like safflower? I used to grow that as an ornamental in my perinial beds when I live in FL. Of course I lived in the St Cloud area, probably different growing conditions from where you live. FL is almost like TX in that there are some many varied growing conditions.

Lodi, CA(Zone 9b)

Your place looks awesome Michael... wow.. all those beautiful trees! Keep those pictures coming! I just love lookin at em!

Glendale, UT(Zone 5a)

I have never tried Safflower, -- maybe I should look in to it, -- but--it seems my Chickens like almost everything -- 200 [almost ready to lay Chickens] can eat a wheel barrow full of weeds, and old Daikons, in a couple of hrs, -- I am always amazed at how much they can eat, when they like something.

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

I only have nine chickens and a few peacocks. They can really eat, I can only imagine what 200 could do! They're like mini dinasaurs! Just devouring what crosses their path with such zest and gusto....

Like ZZsBabiez I love the photos. I kind of miss Florida. Believe it or not when I lived near St Cloud it was a sleepy little town with one stop light! Where is Orange Springs exactly? It seems to ring a bell but I'm not placing it. Feb, March, Oct, Nov were my favorite times of year in Florida.

Hope you get lots done with your new chicken palace this weekend! =D

Glendale, UT(Zone 5a)

Orange springs is between Ocala and Gainsville, -- on HW 315, --

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

Ohhhhhh, that is a nice area!

Glendale, UT(Zone 5a)

I got the other side of the coop ready to pour concrete, -- hope to find a nice day this week, -- the girls sure need to get out of that greenhouse, -- they are making way too much poop, --

Richmond, TX

Not too much poop - think Fertilizer!

Glendale, UT(Zone 5a)

I wonder if it will kill the bananas in there --or help them grow, ??? 3 inches of chicken poop is quite a bit!

Lodi, CA(Zone 9b)

That's awfully hot for fertilizer.. I'd be worried if it were mine.

Hope the weather holds for ya.

Richmond, TX

I bet the bananas will be okay. - and interesting experiment.

Glendale, UT(Zone 5a)

I poured the concrete on the other half of the coop, -- I will try to get a pacture, asap, -- it is all draining well, and going down the drain with no puddles, -- cool--

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or sign up to post.
BACK TO TOP