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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 2:31 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Location: Forest Tasmania
I found this information on the Greenharvest website and thought it would be of interest to us all. You can buy the seeds of all the plants suggested off their website. I find that my ducks are great in the orchard and in the vegetable gardens as well. Keeping snails and slaters and bugs away as well as providing the eggs and manure.

GROWING YOUR OWN CHOOK FOOD
Keeping chooks supplies you with organic free-range eggs and chicken manure but the other advantages are less obvious. Poultry convert the inedible into the edible, turning kitchen scraps into eggs, reducing the need to compost. If you turn your orchard into a poultry forage system you will reduce your need for fertiliser, mowing and pest control. Chooks are very industrious when it comes to catching insects, particularly fruit fly and codling moth.

It is to your advantage to grow some food for the chooks as this will reduce feed bills and also provide the chickens with a healthy, varied diet. The chickens will be happier provided with both shade and entertainment.

A poultry forage system can be combined with an orchard, simply by placing in amongst the fruit trees, extra plants for chicken forage. The fruit trees will need to be well established before the poultry are introduced to the area, to prevent damage to young trees. Maintain the number of poultry at a level where a continuous groundcover is always present. If the ground is being completely bared, then you have too many chooks for the area.



In urban areas where space is limited then chicken forages can be planted in the actual chicken run, but these will need protection from the chooks and their continuous scratching. Provide protection by placing wire cages around young trees. Scattering logs, concrete pavers or rocks across the top of the root zone of trees will prevent the roots being damaged by constant scratching. Fencing off areas of the chicken run will allow time for plants to establish. If possible, design a system with multiple runs to allow a crop of greens or grain to be grown for the chickens, in rotation.

USEFUL PLANTS FOR CHICKEN FORAGE
VINES FOR FENCES AND TRELLIS
Banana passionfruit, black passionfruit, choko, grapes, cucumber, beans, climbing spinach

PLANTS FOR SOWING IN ROTATION
Sunflower, amaranth, corn, millet, buckwheat, chickpea, sorghum, wheat, oats, barley, lucerne, clover

TREES and SHRUBS WITH FRUIT
Mulberry, lillypilly or other native bushfoods, persimmon, pawpaw, feijoa, strawberry guava, tamarillo, custard apple, peach, banana (chop up the stems), fig, jaboticaba, grumichama, Brazilian cherry, pears

TREES and SHRUBS WITH SEEDS OR PODS (for larger areas)
Tree lucerne/tagasaste, wattle, pigeon pea

GREENS
Comfrey, arrowroot, New Zealand spinach syn. Warrigal greens

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 10:00 am 
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Champion Bird
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Thanks Darrssy. I used Green Harvest to get started with growing chook fodder and find the whole process very satisfying for me, my soil and my chooks. I grew small trays of mixed grain sprouts for the chicks when they were little, and pots of suitable herbs for them to peck at also. Now the chicks are grown, they continue to eat these herbs ad lib in the garden - a way of self selecting for good health. The Green Harvest BQ mulch is a favourite. Judy

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 12:14 pm 
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Great Game
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Location: NE burb of Melb, Victoria
I have also found Green Harvest to be very helpful and useful in gardening with my chookies..

Thanks for posting that info up Darrssy.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 12:20 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Your welcome girls...no problem at all.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:49 am 
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Dapper Duck
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Location: Western Victoria
We grow lucerne/tagasaste trees for fodder for the chooks, cows, horses and sheep. It is 24% protein and easy to grow. Here are some links about the tree lucerne/tagasaste: http://www.abc.net.au/programsales/s1354807.html (stacks of other great articles also), *link missing*http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/dpi/vro/vrosi ... _Tagasaste, http://www.grahamandrews.com/fodder_trees.html (this is quite long but very interesting with tagasaste near the bottom).

We will have seeds available at the end of the year if anyone is interested. Just say now and I will remember to send them if you pay for the postage. They are easy to grow and drought tolerant.

Heather


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 3:21 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Location: Forest Tasmania
Thanks for those links Heather . I've was just about to order some from my Organic Gardeners Mag but i'll wait until you have some available now. Tried and true are always the best. hehehe

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 11:39 pm 
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Gallant Game
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Location: Jerrabomberra NSW
How do you feed Tagastase to chooks? Or do you just let them eat the leaves straight off the tree?

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 Post subject: leaves
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 1:23 am 
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Proud Rooster
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they will eat the leaves straight of the tree but there main use is the abundant supply of seeds that drop in summer . They can grow fairly big 3-4 metres high and diameter in low to med rain fall ..The ones on my brothers property with 1 meter rainfall are 10 mtr high and diameter.
They can be cut regularly adding clippings to chicken litter or giving clippings to sheep etc or composted.
Tree lucerne trees are legumes (add nitrogen to the soil )

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:17 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Location: Glen Innes NSW
We grew Kale for our chooks and to start with they were a bit "hmmmm this is ok, but...."
Now when we go into the vege patch and they see us go near it, they are pacing their fence and are "oooooh yeah - i want some of that!!"

The variety that we grew for our chooks is called 'chou moulier' and we got the seeds from Eden Seeds. One other major plus for them is that they grow all through winter, and very well through frosts - actually MAJOR frosts! Where I live it is quite common to have -12degree nights. Brrrrr.....

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 9:22 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Location: Adelaide Hills
I grow the same variety of Kale as well. My girls just love it. They get Kale all year round and during the height of summer when every thing else is barren it still keeps their egg yolks bright yellow. I also believe it is quite high in calsium as well.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 9:35 am 
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Dapper Duck
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As it that time of year agin we are being overrun with this stuff . is it ok to give to our girls?Would hate to poison them.Don't want to put it in the compost in case it doesn't generate enough heat to kill it. I have tried making weed tea with but it just grows in the water! Seems a waste to put all that green stuff in the bin. our guinea pigs used to love it but they have long departed to that big hutch in the sky(hope it wasn't the wandering jew!)
I am now harvesting cobblers pegs for our girls as they love it and am glad to say that everyone is actively weeding as it is quite relaxing at the end of a long day to just pull a few weeds and watch to girls feast. Our whole family has a renewed in the great outdoors.
Since putting them in the tractors some of the old dears have actually started laying again.They had forgotten how to scratch at first but are into it big time now and have already cleared 2 garden beds for us. I have received our Green Harvest chook foraging kit and am keen to get stuff growing for our ladies.Happy chooking all! :D


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 3:00 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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I don't think it would hurt to put the pens on the spot where the wandering jew is and let them go for it..they'll dig it up for you. I can't see any harm in it. Unless someone else can

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 3:23 pm 
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Swan
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Location: Hunter Valley
i think the chooks would spread it in the poop.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 7:39 pm 
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Gallant Game
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Location: Jerrabomberra NSW
I recall reading somewhere (The Good Life?) that the chooks were fed cobblers pegs and when they were moved on the seeds grew in the poop!

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 Post subject: seeds
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 7:54 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Location: Lower mid north SA
What are cobblers pegs .I do know chooks are good at spreding seeds especially stinging nettle and probable lots of other seeds

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