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Old 04-19-2009, 01:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clutternize View Post
We are just finishing a home in a rural area, so I will be putting in a garden and hope to keep chickens as well. I had a question for you guys that have chickens and a garden - can you let the chickens into the garden to eat the bugs? Or will they eat the plants too?
They will have a coop for night time, but I expect to let them wander around the yard during the day.
The yammiest green food for them is tender lettuce leaves and other greens I let my chicks free last year only at the end of the season, when I didn't care of the over-abundance of lettuce (it was growing into seeds already)... The chickens quickly turned them into shreds... This year will need to put chicken fence up around the garden, because I hate to be keeping the chicks in the small run (last year was the first year ever of me letting them run free), where nothing has a chance to grow, and there are so many bugs they can eat around the garden, preventing them from getting into the garden...
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Old 04-19-2009, 02:10 PM
RHB
 
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We, too, let the chickens run and fence the garden. At the end of the season we take down the fence and the chickens have a buffet with what was left...
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Old 04-19-2009, 02:46 PM
 
20,337 posts, read 37,854,657 times
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A lot of folks feed corn to chickens, but corn went sky high due to the ethanol craze. There are other ways to feed chickens.

I recently read a book called "Omnivore's Dilemma" and in the book the author talks about PolyFace Farm in VA. The farmer raises cattle, pigs, chicken and rabbits. He has divided his acreage up into small plots and he moves the cattle to a new grassy area each day. Then he leaves "today's" grassy plot and it's cow patties alone for 3 days, during which time the flies come in and lay their eggs in the cow pies. After 3 days, the cow pies are full of fly larvae (worm-like things) and the pie has dried out quite a bit. On day 3 he drags over the coop with the egg-laying chickens, and they just go to town on the dried cow pies, picking them apart to get at the tasty larvae which are mostly protein. The chickens won't pick apart a wet cow pie, only dry ones, and the larvae are best after 3 days. The chickens pick the cow pies thoroughly apart, so the farmer doesn't need a manure spreader, he gets it done for free by the chickens who get fed for free by the larvae. The soil in his grassy plots is extremely rich and he needs to buy NO fertilizer. The egg yolks are a rich dark orange color and extremely tasty; all the restaurants in Charlottesville, VA love his eggs and buy them.

There is a WEALTH of info in the book, I've barely touched on one percent of the amazing info, and I highly recommend it to all.

Last edited by Mike from back east; 07-18-2009 at 10:50 AM..
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Old 04-19-2009, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Silver Springs, FL
23,440 posts, read 30,667,541 times
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I have been gardening and canning most of my life, so thats nothing new for me. We have increased the size of our garden, just because I really like to know the complete supply chain of my produce. We are contemplating a root cellar, just not sure how to do it, due to the fact we live in Florida. Which is another blessing, because we can grow produce just about all year.
We are putting in more fruit trees, we have guavas, figs, peaches and blueberries.
We have also gotten ducks, geese and goats. DH has delusions about goat cheese, dont know who is gonna milk the goats, but it is NOT gonna be me!
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Old 04-19-2009, 03:41 PM
 
4,218 posts, read 7,865,258 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
A lot of folks feed corn to chickens, but corn went sky high due to the ethanol craze. There are other ways to feed chickens.

I recently read a book called "Omnivore's Dilemma" and in the book the author talks about PolyFace Farm in VA. The farmer raises cattle, pigs, chicken and rabbits. He has divided his acreage up into small plots and he moves the cattle to a new grassy area each day. Then he leaves "today's" grassy plot and it's cow patties alone for 3 days, during which time the flies come in and lay their eggs in the cow pies. After 3 days, the cow pies are full of fly larvae (worm-like things) and the pie has dried out quite a bit. On day 3 he drags over the coop with the egg-laying chickens, and they just go to town on the dried cow pies, picking them apart to get at the tasty larvae which are mostly protein. The chickens won't pick apart a wet cow pie, only dry ones, and the larvae are best after 3 days. The chickens pick the cow pies thoroughly apart, so the farmer doesn't need a manure spreader, he gets it done for free by the chickens who get fed for free by the larvae. The soil in his grassy plots is extremely rich and he needs to buy NO fertilizer. The egg yolks are a rich dark orange color and extremely tasty; all the restaurants in Charlottesville, VA love his eggs and buy them.

There is a WEALTH of info in the book, I've barely touched on one percent of the amazing info, and I highly recommend it to all.
Thanks so much for the book recommendation. Speaking of chickens, can someone tell me if there is enough food for chickens who freely run around (in the absence of other animals, though the cow-chicken symbiosis would be the best). I was never sure if the food consisting of grass/bugs/small rocks is enough for them? I keep buying layer pellets (I can read the chemical break down of this food on the label but I have no idea what's it made of? corn?) Anyway, I have to keep those pellets ready, since, for example, in the last week two chicks were taken by the especially brazen fox (one during day time!). So now I have to keep them in the coop/run for a while, hence, I have to give them those pellets.



Quote:
Originally Posted by kshe95girl View Post
DH has delusions about goat cheese, dont know who is gonna milk the goats, but it is NOT gonna be me!
Good to know that I have a company! I'm as delusional about goat cheese, also am planning to get a couple.

Last edited by nuala; 04-19-2009 at 03:51 PM..
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Old 04-19-2009, 04:03 PM
 
Location: Silver Springs, FL
23,440 posts, read 30,667,541 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuala View Post

Good to know that I have a company! I'm as delusional about goat cheese, also am planning to get a couple.
Sad thing is, I lovelovelove goat cheese! I told DH if he would milk them, I would try my hand at making cheese, will keep y'all posted
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Old 04-19-2009, 10:02 PM
RHB
 
1,096 posts, read 1,833,663 times
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nuala, when there isn't snow on the ground we let the chickens run. We use 1 cup of feed in a tin can, shake it, to get their attention and lure them into the coop for the night. This one cup feeds about 30 chickens, like I said it's just a lure. We still get more than enough eggs, and meat from our chickens.
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:59 AM
 
4,218 posts, read 7,865,258 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RHB View Post
nuala, when there isn't snow on the ground we let the chickens run. We use 1 cup of feed in a tin can, shake it, to get their attention and lure them into the coop for the night. This one cup feeds about 30 chickens, like I said it's just a lure. We still get more than enough eggs, and meat from our chickens.
Tanks for theexplanation. They are birds and should survive on what other birds survive on. Just didn't know if that was enogh for them.
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Old 04-21-2009, 05:16 PM
 
3,714 posts, read 8,124,727 times
Reputation: 1402
Quote:
Originally Posted by kshe95girl View Post
I have been gardening and canning most of my life, so thats nothing new for me. We have increased the size of our garden, just because I really like to know the complete supply chain of my produce. We are contemplating a root cellar, just not sure how to do it, due to the fact we live in Florida. Which is another blessing, because we can grow produce just about all year.
We are putting in more fruit trees, we have guavas, figs, peaches and blueberries.
We have also gotten ducks, geese and goats. DH has delusions about goat cheese, dont know who is gonna milk the goats, but it is NOT gonna be me!
A goat is infinitely easier to milk than a cow, and depending on what it's been eating, it tastes about the same. Of course, when a cow gets into something rank, it flavors that milk as well. I've had a milk goat, and I'va been thinking about a cow, but I haven't quite figured out what I'd do with all that extra milk, since I don't have a churn and I'm not all that fond of yogurt. Maybe a lot of table cream and cheese...
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Old 04-21-2009, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
19,894 posts, read 36,452,796 times
Reputation: 21349
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
A lot of folks feed corn to chickens, but corn went sky high due to the ethanol craze. There are other ways to feed chickens.

I recently read a book called "Omnivore's Dilemma" and in the book the author talks about PolyFace Farm in VA. The farmer raises cattle, pigs, chicken and rabbits. He has divided his acreage up into small plots and he moves the cattle to a new grassy area each day. Then he leaves "today's" grassy plot and it's cow patties alone for 3 days, during which time the flies come in and lay their eggs in the cow pies. After 3 days, the cow pies are full of fly larvae (worm-like things) and the pie has dried out quite a bit. On day 3 he drags over the coop with the egg-laying chickens, and they just go to town on the dried cow pies, picking them apart to get at the tasty larvae which are mostly protein. The chickens won't pick apart a wet cow pie, only dry ones, and the larvae are best after 3 days. The chickens pick the cow pies thoroughly apart, so the farmer doesn't need a manure spreader, he gets it done for free by the chickens who get fed for free by the larvae. The soil in his grassy plots is extremely rich and he needs to buy NO fertilizer. The egg yolks are a rich dark orange color and extremely tasty; all the restaurants in Charlottesville, VA love his eggs and buy them.

There is a WEALTH of info in the book, I've barely touched on one percent of the amazing info, and I highly recommend it to all.
If you like that, you'll LOVE this (the original).
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