Susan Monroe wrote:
The only breed I've ever had are Buff Orpingtons. I asked on the Backyard Chicken forum what would fit my criteria best:
*Large breed (don't fly over fences into killer dog yards)
*Not fly-in-your-face flighty things
Mine range all over my acre, are good-natured for handling, and I trained them from youngsters to come when I called or rattled some scratch in a can. It's sure easier to lead them than to catch them!
Leah Sattler wrote:
sure they will! I observe them picking the seed heads off of whatever happens to be growing in the pasture.
Do they make shoes?
rose macaskie wrote:
we always take everything for our elves.
We already cut back large sections to prevent fire. I am very glad we did last winter or we would have lost buildings... the fire was very high, hot and fast. In one section where it was cut low for 10 meters that fire still raced in for a good 7 meters. It was so hot we couldn't even fight it at the edge of the firebreak... just had to run. Never done that before. I use that cut grass in the layering of new beds done lasagna style... start with wood logs... grass ... manure.... soil... greens...manure....soil... and so on. Makes fantastic beds.
rose macaskie wrote:
chelle ,if you lop off the top of the grass in summer to feed your chickens on the grain, you help the fire danger in summer problems and get food for your hens but I suppose you could have a humus business to to do something with the straw. Water the straw with manure or fertiliser so it breaks down quickly into humus.
Now that is a neat idea!
The australians have a product called lighten that looks likke shredded grass that they put layers of in the barrels of potatoes that are bieng used because if you plant a potatoe at he bottom of a barrel and add earth as the plant grows upward you end up with potatoes on all the layers of the barrel which is to say morre than useual amount of potatoes per plant and lots of potatoes in a small area. . In this video the barrel was filled full of layers of soil fertiliser and lighten it is a video of a bamboo potato tower.
I think I remember seeing that some time ago... good to find and watch again. Thanks.
There is also a video of making a herb spiral in which the spiral is filled full of straw, lighten would be in the version sold for gardeners in ausstralia and only a handfull of soil or humus is put into the straw in the place each plant is planted.
I like to use logs at the very base of the bed... and the grass then also.
Maybe lighten works like the wood does in the soil of huglekulture it breaks down and feed the plants.
That is interesting. I just did the logs because of all the good info here... maybe in the next few seasons going to do lots of good stuff for my plants too.
This year I was weeding in the small hugleculture bed i made 18mounths ago and the weeds i pulled out had each attached their roots to one small peice of wood or other. Plants love wood ther roots go straight for it i pu corks in th ebottom of some pots once and the same thing happened. agri rose macaskie.
Haven't gotten a yield of berries yet from the Sea Buckthorn so I can't give you a report on that - but I hope they don't show too much of a fondness for the fruit as it is intended for human use. They do not show an interest in the SB foliage -even though the leaves are high in protein.
i didn read the entire thread so perhaps this was touched on... As i understand it lots of things mentioned early in the thread would be fine feeds, and chickens can break open seeds, but in general they would do much better if you "cracked" the grains.
That said I have a perennial rye the tim Peters was working on. this particular strain (ive got others) was selected to drop its seeds. this is still a work in progress, but is fully perennial and will drop its seed as i said. In general you want grains to hold their seeds until you come to harvest....
Anyone willing to give this breeding work the respect it deserves is free to get some seed from me. It is fall planted....
Leah Sattler wrote:
those seed heads don't stay up high forever! rotating those chickens through an intensively grazed pasture would allow them to take advantage of the knocked over/trampled grass and scratch throught the manure. just a thought. as for ma nature.
I think it is faulty to believe that it is all designed to work together. some stuff makes it and some stuff doesn't. "ma nature" doesn't give a whip who dies and who lives species wise. the earth exists and whoever adapts to the conditions wins the ability to reproduce and give another generation a chance to do the same. sorry that is a pet peeve of mine. gardeners who seem to think that there is some external force that wants their squash to grow and if only they can "balance nature" to please it then they those nasty weeds or bugs will leave it alone. As if "nature" cares whether that squash grows and/or we get to eat it.
Chickens are forest animals, so they are really adapted to rooting around in leaf litter under trees, not foraging on grasslands. They are also much happier when they have some overhead cover.
So does a forest meet your requirements with the acerage? If so then you have a huge range of trees that will provide as much feed as your chickens could ever need, chuck in some deciduous trees and the leaf litter should provide ample invertebrate protein as well. Have you considered acacia (wattles) species, they produce highly nutritious seed in massive quantities. Hmm a food forest, sounds very permie to me, maybe you could eat from it as well.