Growing Chook food

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by Ryan, Jun 30, 2006.

  1. Ryan

    Ryan Junior Member

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    A friend of mine just gave us 11 laying hens a few weeks back (4 RI reds, 3 New Hampshire Reds, 1 Plymouth Barred Rock and some hybrid birds) All good looking, amazing creatures. We have really enjoyed having them here. After eight years here I don't know why we didn't get some before.

    A bit of a side note that is a relavent sign of the times, is that the former chook caretaker (my friend) could not keep them at his house on 3 acres any longer because his landlord's homeowners insurance company said they would drop her policy if the chooks continued to be in residence. Previously, my girlfriend and I had been dropped earlier this year b/c we have a fireplace and there is no fire hydrant close by. We live on 11 acres in the country. So now we pay more to another company.

    One reason is that Florida has become a high risk zone since all the recent hurricane activity in the last few years, so companies are finding phony reasons to drop coverage. So people are forced to pay higher premiums with other companies just to keep insurance . But it also seems that there is an underlying agenda to prohibit people from sustainability. They want us to buy eggs at the corporate grocery market and buy our heat from the coal burning electric company (which also keeps getting more expensive)

    Anyway, I've been feeding the chooks our kitchen scraps, cracked corn and layer scratch. But what is a good food crop to grow for them? I have been giving them bug eaten kale and collard greens, they seem to love Lamb's Quarters. I plan on planting a few Mullberry trees along side thier run and a few Muscadine Grapes. What about cowpeas and other crops?

    Also does anyone find that the chooks don't lay eggs when they are put in a tractor? I rotate 2 chooks a day in the tractor and have not gotten them to lay, yet the ones left in the run lay like clock work. Just wondering if the tractor stresses them and if they'll get used to it. I guess I should be happy about just getting some work from them in the form of tilling and fertilizing.
    Anyway thanks for reading and any suggestions.
    Oh yeah before I go, I am reading Holmgren's "Pathway's Beyond..." In the intro I sense a bit of annomosity towards Bill. Seems a shame that two brilliant pioneers of this movement have let slight differences drive them apart. Or am I wrong? I hope so.
    "We can work it out."
     
  2. Cornonthecob

    Cornonthecob Junior Member

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    G'day Ryan

    I'm no expert on chooks.....but putting your chooks in a tractor on a rotational basis is bound to stress I would think. You'd be better off leaving the same two in there, but then it would cause drama's if you were ever to put them back in with the rest.

    I've noticed my chooks love arrowroot and banana leaves.

    I've also just planted corn/maize, sunflowers, chick pea and sorgon, which I'm going to crack up using my neightbours hand grinder. I'm hoping that between that and what they get as they wander around during the day will be enough. The cost oif chook food does start to add up after a while. And if I save seed as I go, then I should save a fair few dollars over time.

    I also have planted a heap of mulberry cuttings..so fingers crossed that they take...I'll plant them in the chooks run.

    :)
     
  3. jackie

    jackie Junior Member

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    chooks

    I devoured Davids new book last year and found it to be just what I needed. Also attended his opening address at the Permaculture Convergence in Melb last year. What a briliant, down to earth man. He's living permaculture. Anamosity I don't hear but perhaps, "Permaculture 1" being Davids thesis and Bill his lecturer Bill may have taken a bit of credit for Davids Ideas. Bill has done much for Permaculture on a world wide scale but his radical statements which gain attention also can scare people off Permaculture.
    My theory is that David being the quieter one has done the quietly and carefully approach whilst learning, teaching, speaking around the world and having a family. Perhaps as Bill is getting older David sees the need to begin to show a more public face. Or perhaps it's his knowledge of Peak Oil which is driving him. This going to be what brings people to the permie lifestyle long before we drown or fry with climate change.
    My thoughts on it all any way.
     
  4. Richard on Maui

    Richard on Maui Junior Member

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    Our chooks love pidgeon peas. Papayas they devour with relish. Maggots are good. Cockroaches are good.
     
  5. RobWindt

    RobWindt Junior Member

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    Jackie wrote;
    "...Bill has done much for Permaculture on a world wide scale but his radical statements which gain attention also can scare people off Permaculture...
    ...David being the quieter one has done the quietly and carefully approach whilst learning, teaching, speaking around the world and having a family..."

    At the risk of going woo woo... I see them as the ying and yang of permaculture, the message would not have travelled so widely without the diversity of their, and others, approaches and interpretations.
     
  6. christopher

    christopher Junior Member

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    Scorpions are good. Saw a chook running around with half a small coral snake in its mouth yesterday.

    Our chooks love weevily corn, and our friend has a tofu workshop, and we get his soy beans stuff!

    They also eat leaf cutter ants, so I will occasionally go disturb a nest with a shovel, and the chooks come in and eat as many as they want!

    We raise maggots in a compost bin that we turn 0overr to the chooks once every two weeks or so, and they pick through everything to get the maggots, spreading all of the coffee crounds and mango peels around, fertilizing small patches of soil with the compost, plus the manure they leave, and breaking the breeding cycle of the maggots!
     
  7. Ryan

    Ryan Junior Member

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    I saw a few of ours fighting over a small toad the other day. They devour watermelon leftovers. I put a few potted plants in their run the other day and they ate all the fire ants that nest in the rootballs. They sure are fiesty critters.
     
  8. mad rabbit woman

    mad rabbit woman Junior Member

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    Hey i'm glad this subject came up.
    I'm involved with a local community garden. We are planning to get chooks at some stage and i have been put in charge of all things fowl ( :D sorry). Um, anyway I would really rather we didn't spend what little money we have on buying food for the chooks. I have been promised a large plot on which to grow stuff for them (I'm starting with corn cause i can store it and maybe fat hen).
    I will be watching this thread with interest.
     
  9. Loris

    Loris Junior Member

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    Found chooks very resourceful. We used to be on a property that was cut off by floods at frequent intervals and often for up to six weeks or more. When this happened, the chooks continued getting the scraps and were just left to free roam and they didn't suffer from any lack of feed. They love insects and frogs and worms and really need the higher protein level of these little inverterbrates.

    The trick is to fence in the garden and let the chooks roam rather than fence the chooks. Someone told me that mulberries had something in them (maybe lysine or something) that chooks really needed and they were a great supplement when they got established.
     
  10. Forest Fairy

    Forest Fairy Junior Member

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    Hi Ryan,

    Don't forget to plant some nice herbies for them too. Ones that keep their insides nice. Feverfew, Tansy, Wormwood, Yarrow.
    These tends to keep the critters at bay and the chookies love nibbling on them.

    Cheers

    J
     
  11. Tezza

    Tezza Junior Member

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    hi this topic has been done,redone and done again so many times even i cant remember..surely someone can get the early posts on this subject up again.

    i remember we had a great laugh over the hepfull sugestions posted

    can anyone find the posts?

    Tezza
     

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