Working Chickens, Part 3: Growing Forage



Planting Forage and Chicken Gardens

One of the biggest complaints I hear when people talk about keeping chickens is that they cost more to feed than the humans can sell the eggs for. This can happen, but if you do it right, it doesn't have to.

I read this wonderful book called "Free Range Chicken Gardens" by Jessi Bloom. She does a great job describing how to create a chicken system that works! One of the things she focuses on is how to plant chicken gardens and forage.

With a well-planted chicken garden, you can greatly reduce and maybe even eliminate the cost of feed. Though to eliminate it altogether would take a lot of space to grow a lot of food…

Chickens Like to Forage

Chickens naturally prefer foraging for food. In my free-range chicken days, I saw a pile of grain go mostly untouched for days while the chickens were out in the forest finding their own food.

In general, I've found that chickens love blueberries — really any kind of berry — clovers, grasses (I'll never have to mow my lawn), and quite a few herbaceous plants like comfry and borage. Of course, they like their cereal grains, too. I suggest looking up that book by Jessi Bloom. She gives some great plant profiles. (Just to be clear, I get nothing out of saying that except the pleasure of sharing a great resource. This post contains links to resources, but they are NOT affiliate links.)

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