The Third Day of Christmas—Plants for Chickens

Three French Hens

In honor of the three french hens of Christmas fame, I’m reposting a piece from Tilly’s Nest about plants for chickens. Enjoy!

Top Ten Plants for Chickens

These plants are hands down my chickens’ favorites
Some I make a point of purchasing and some, Mother Nature provides at no cost.
1.  Nasturtiums~ an annual herb with edible foliage and flowers.  They love to climb.  My chickens enjoy me planting these outside the perimeter of their run.
2.  Beet Greens~planted as cooler weathers crops, don’t let your beet greens go to waste.  My girls love to gobble these up.  As I harvest the beets, I cut off their leafy tops. I toss some into the run for the girls and the rest I store in the refrigerator in a vase of water like cut flowers to save for the upcoming days.
3.  Broccoli Greens~As you eat the flowers, they love to eat the leaves and tougher stems.  Just be sure they have access to grit.
4. Clover~ Let this favorite grow wild throughout your lawn.  It is a favorite of chickens and bees.
5. Dandelions~ Around here these grow from early Spring to late Fall.  Try digging them up roots and all and tossing them into the run with your flock.  They will love you for it!
6. Carrot Greens~ My girls love to eat the greens from the carrots that I pull from the ground.  I treat extras in the same manner as the beet greens.
7.  Greens-Mustard Greens, Kale, Cabbage, Chard~ Chickens love these vitamin packed greens.  Try planting some mustard greens, kale, chard and lettuce in a planter just for your girls.
8. Grass &Chickweed~If you do not chemically treat your grass, try tossing in some of the clippings after you mow the lawn.  Better yet, let the chickens help you mow the lawn by free-ranging with supervision.
9.  Berries-Strawberries, blueberries, Blackberries~Chickens go crazy for berries.  All these berries too can be planted in containers.  Always plant more than you think.  Fresh berries are sometimes so hard to share with our feathered friends when they taste so refreshing on a hot Summer day.
10. Sunflowers~Plant some beautiful sunflowers.  Harvest the flowers in late Summer and then dry the flowers and seeds.  Store them away for a sweet high protein treat perfect for blustery Winter days.

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