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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:57 am 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:05 pm
Posts: 191
Hi guys

I'm struggling to come up with enough kitchen scraps to supplement my three chickens (with their usual grain feed). As my three don't "free range" outside their run, I do want to be able to provide some greenery for them.

Being inner-city I also have space limitations so I can't set up multiple runs or grow fields of chicken feed :) What I would like to do it grow chicken feed in seedling punnets.

I'm looking at the green harvest CluckerTucker (http://greenharvest.com.au/SeedOrganic/ ... ckerTucker), but I'm interested to see if anyone else has found a similar product or similar solution to this before I order anything.

Thanks!
Gemma


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:12 am 
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Fiesty Fowl
Fiesty Fowl

Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:52 pm
Posts: 1027
Location: Melbourne
Hi Gemma,

I'm in a similar situation and have dedicated one small no-dig for the girls to grow some clucker tucker etc in. I've got some broad beans doing well at the moment which they love.

What my girls love best is wheat/barley grass in seedling trays-they go mad for it. Once it is soaked and sprouted, it's up and ready to eat in just under a week. I mainly use wheat from my stockfeed place as it's really cheap but you can buy organic stuff from Greenharvest or your health food shop. I'm still experimenting with how I give it to them-I was just chucking the whole tray into their run and they will pick at it over a few days (but if you have rats/possums, they will also have a go-I sometimes remove it at night as I don't want it contaminated).

This week I've cut it into thirds and thrown that in the run, sometimes I cut the tops of and mix it into a mash. I think you have to be careful not to let it grow too long so it doesn't have a chance to get caught in their crop. Heaps of stuff on internet/you tube to learn about growing it :addicted:

The other thing you can play with is the medium you grow it on/in-I've read here some people sprout onto hessian. I was going through a fair bit of organic potting mix, so to use less now, I'm layering the base with some newspaper, then filling the tray with pea straw, then just a small amount of soil on top of that. It works well and after the chooks have finished with it the whole lot goes into the compost :D

Justine

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Having a break from chooks for a while...

You can read more on my blog here! www.domestica.com.au


Last edited by Domestica on Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:15 am 
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Fiesty Fowl
Fiesty Fowl

Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:52 pm
Posts: 1027
Location: Melbourne
PS: I also supplement with any green scraps from the organic shop that may be going begging-last week I got some great cabbage outers which they loved and I'm forever helping my neighbours out by grabbing handfuls of their weeds (dandelion especially) and hanging it in bunches in their run. The girls' run, not my neighbours that is :lol:

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Having a break from chooks for a while...

You can read more on my blog here! www.domestica.com.au


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:40 am 
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Assist Admin
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Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2005 1:11 am
Posts: 21520
Location: Gold Coast, QLD, AUSTRALIA
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=5283 - Grow your own Poultry Forage is a sticky that may help. :wink:

There is a corresponding section in the Gallery: http://gallery.backyardpoultry.com/show ... hp?cat=587

I moved your post to this forum but left a shadow in the original area. :)

Whatever you grow will need some sort of cage to protect growing plants - the size of the holes to control chook access. Chook necks can stretch surprisingly far when they reach through to "greener pastures". In general, poultry seem to prefer to self-serve if possible - mine are doing just that at the moment beating me to some sweet potatoes that they have discovered during their scratching. :biggrin:

Have fun!


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:36 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:05 pm
Posts: 191
Thank you :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:05 pm 
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Dapper Duck
Dapper Duck

Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:18 pm
Posts: 80
Location: Adelaide
Hi, I think Edenseeds do a chicken feed mix for growing too.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:33 pm 
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Fiesty Fowl
Fiesty Fowl

Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:52 pm
Posts: 1027
Location: Melbourne
Here's some wheat I've got going at the moment. Front one is a section cut out from the tray :)

Image

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Having a break from chooks for a while...

You can read more on my blog here! www.domestica.com.au


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:38 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:05 pm
Posts: 191
Domestica - is it fast growing? I'm just wondering how many trays to propagate.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:43 pm 
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Fiesty Fowl
Fiesty Fowl

Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:52 pm
Posts: 1027
Location: Melbourne
From the time you put the sprouts into the tray to the stage the back one is at is about a week. I usually do one every 4-5 days to keep the girls in greenery (they don't get it every day-they are spoilt enough as it is :)

If you cut say an inch off the top for a mash etc, it will regrow too :thumbs:

Need to also be mindful of not planting too thickly otherwise you end up with mould at the base which can often be rinsed off but I try avoid it in the first place. Do you want me to post my instructions for how I grow it?

Justine

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Having a break from chooks for a while...

You can read more on my blog here! www.domestica.com.au


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:47 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:40 am
Posts: 158
Location: Tasmania
Hi Domestica, instructions would be great! :D


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:00 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:05 pm
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Yes please :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:31 pm 
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Great Game
Great Game

Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 9:39 pm
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sprout whole wheat and feed it between day3 and day5.

buy lucerne meal (not chaff) as its finer and mix that with hot water and pollard for a morning mash to get some green into them.

get couple boxes of free spoilt fruit and veg from your local independent green-grocer once or twice a week, saves them bin space.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:13 pm 
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Fiesty Fowl
Fiesty Fowl

Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:52 pm
Posts: 1027
Location: Melbourne
Ok-so here goes:
How I grow wheatgrass
I'm still learning but so far this is what works for me :)

1) Soak approx one cup of wheat/barley overnight in cold water. This is a good amount for one seedling tray.

2) Rinse well in a fine sieve and cover with a wet piece of muslin/cheesecloth. Rinse well about 2-3 times a day until you can see little tails on the grain. It should take about 24hours. Rinse a final time.

3) Place a thin layer of newspaper into the tray. Then I fill up the tray with peastraw to the top and sprinkle on maybe 1cm of potting mix (I tend to use an organic one without all those whacky fertilisers/water crystals etc).

4) Spread the sprouted grains evenly onto the tray and water well.

5) Cover the grains with an upturned empty tray or piece of wet newspaper. They need to be kept in a dark, humid environment while they put down roots.

6) Water each day and keep covered until you have about an inch of shoots. They won't be green at this stage. This should take 3-4 days.

7) Uncover shoots and continue to water daily until they are about 2inches tall and nice and green-maybe around the 5-7 day mark. Voila-you have wheatgrass!

8) You can put the whole tray in for the girls or section it into pieces and ration it out to them. Once they have had a good going over it, it can go straight into the compost.


Notes:
*I don't feed them to the chooks much taller than 2inches as I worry about them getting caught in their crop. Plus they are more nutritious younger and softer. Often I'll chop off the tops to put in a mash and then the remaining stuff into the pen for the girls.

*I tend to use wheat from my stockfeed place as it's the most economical-but you can also get grain from health food shops. Just make sure it's not too old or it may not germinate (or have that many nutrients left in it)

*Experiment with different mediums for growing and at what stage the chooks like to eat the grass. I started out growing it in all potting mix but was going through a fair bit of it so bulked it out with peastraw which works just as well :)

*Here's a good little youtube video where I learnt how to grow the grass. I don't like using the jar method though as the grains stay a bit wet. It needs to be kept damp, but not too wet.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IL0URJcZF8w

* Be mindful of mould! This usually appears at the base of the grass if not enough air can circulate so just plant a little less next time. Regular watering and good drainage will help keep it down too. If you do get mould, you can still use the cut tops, just don't let the girls forage in it. Some people put some type of disinfectant cleaner in the water when soaking but I don't bother and generally have no problems with mould since sowing thinner.

Good luck!

Image
Full tray at back about day 7 from planting
Tray at front is sectioned-I throw this into the run

_________________
Having a break from chooks for a while...

You can read more on my blog here! www.domestica.com.au


Last edited by Domestica on Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:09 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:05 pm
Posts: 191
That's perfect, I think that process will work really well for me too. I'll try gt some seed this weekend, I have pretty much everything else I'll need.
Thank you :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:51 pm 
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Fiesty Fowl
Fiesty Fowl

Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:52 pm
Posts: 1027
Location: Melbourne
:thumbs:

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Having a break from chooks for a while...

You can read more on my blog here! www.domestica.com.au


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