Grow Food for Chickens in Your Own Backyard

Want some fresh chicken forage for your flock? Growing chicken food is easy with a small plot, a few handfuls of perennial seed, and some welded-wire fencing.

  • Clover Patch
    Grow a small patch of clovers, grains or vetches to supplement your backyard chickens’ feed.
    Photo by Fotolia/Monica Farling

  • Clover Patch

Green pickin’s are rare for my city chickens, so I decided to plant a patch of forage for them. I included perennial clovers, grains and vetches. I raked in the assorted seeds, covered them with a thin layer of seedy hay, and then watered them. Next, I laid scrap pieces of 4-by-4-inch welded-wire fencing (which I received from a local fencer who was glad to get rid of them) over the top. After the crop matured somewhat, I let the chickens in to feast.

The chickens can’t dig up the roots of their forage because of the wire fencing cover. I periodically fence out the birds, which allows the forage patch to re-establish growth and last a long time. These handy welded-wire fencing pieces can also do double-duty to protect newly planted garden beds so chickens can’t reach fragile seedlings.

Jewel Langenderfer
Eugene, Oregon

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