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Fodder for rabbits, chickens, and ducks. Zone 8a, southern Utah

 
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Hello all,

I am hoping someone can give me some ideas of what to plant for fodder crops for chickens, ducks, and rabbits. I've been told tagaste will work well. I'm hoping I can plant a few fodder crops that will also cross as cover crops. My soil is sandy with clay.  I'm in Rockville Utah. I'm also hoping I can make my own rabbit pellets with the fodder for winter feeding.

Thank you!
 
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Location: USDA Zone 8a
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During winter and actually any time of year I like to suggest microgreens for chickens, ducks, rabbits, and other animals.

What plants do your chickens, ducks, and rabbits like to eat?

Probably any vegetable seeds that you might have would work.

I would also suggest planting some perennials that are native to your area that your chickens, ducks, and rabbits might like to eat.

Here are some threads that you or others might find helpful:

https://permies.com/t/175367/Homegrown-foods-rabbits

https://permies.com/t/7662/realisticaly-grow-feed-rabbits

https://permies.com/t/187383/Tree-hay-dried

 
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Among other plants, consider lambs quarter, amaranth, and purslane. It wouldn’t surprise me if these were already growing wild all around you. They all do excellent in the arid southwest (I’m in Nevada, just outside Death Valley), and are considered “weeds” by most people.
 
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What I have found to be the Best forage crop for chickens and rabbits , not certain for ducks...is ALFALFA. I start my chicks on alfalfa greens when first start pecking around. This conditions them to have a taste for it as adults. I give my flock alfalfa bales, leave the strings on and they devour the hay. As the bale gets smaller, I cut the strings and snug them up again on the bale and re-tie. Rabbits love alfalfa too. You can feed "store bought' alfalfa pellets to rabbits, why not a bale? I have weeder geese to clear irrigation ditches...I give them grass hay in the winter to supplement with the wheat that I place in their water pan.
Of interest? I have found that the "plants" that you give baby chicks and geese to eat, they will develop a taste for as adults. I have a friend who did not give her chicks alfalfa to eat as babies, she tried to give them a bale of alfalfa as adults, they had no idea they could eat it.
 
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I was going to use this for chickens in zone 7a  northern Az to pastuer raise egg chickens.
https://www.amazon.com/Natures-Seed-Southwest-Poultry-Pasture/dp/B01DO2GOPU/ref=mp_s_a_1_13?keywords=Visit+the+Nature%27s+Seed+Store+4.3+out+of+5+stars162Reviews+Nature%27s+Seed+Southwest+Desert+Poultry+Pasture+Blend%2C+1500+sq.+ft%2CPB-SWDPB-1500-&qid=1680753479&sr=8-13
I got it from a YouTube guy further south in I think Wittman or Wickenburg Az thats what he uses.
 
philip hernandez
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The fodder I think alfalfa is normally used .
 
Anne Miller
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Has anyone tried growing alfalfa in deer country?

Trying to grow alfalfa for fodder for rabbits, chickens, and ducks will need a really good deer fence.

Growing microgreens indoors using alfalfa might work well.
 
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More ideas….

Mesquite
Pubescent wheatgrass
Meadow brome
Chicory
plantain
Trefoil
Intermediate wheat grass
Photoperiod sensitive Forage-Sorghum
Brown top millet
Foxtail millet family
Chicory
Plaintain
Impact forage collards
Guar
Catjang cowpea
Fourwing saltbush
Winterfat
Sainfoin
pigeon pea
Okra
 
pollinator
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There are a lot of forages that are as high as or higher in protein and nutrients than just alfalfa.  So there are options.  Chicory has 18 to 22% protein.  Willow leaves come in at a little above 16%, and high in magnesium and zinc.  Autumn olive is over 26%, yellow poplar 15 to 16, smartweed 22 to 28%.  Multiflora Rose is 14 to 18%, and high in calcium.  Ragweed is 25%.  You can chop these and feed to poultry or feed whole fresh or dried leaves to rabbits, goats, sheep.  Generally younger growth is higher in protein.   If you have containers you can keep water in to grow duckweed, it is 40% protein.  Chickens will eat it right out of the water if they can get to it.  
 
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