Chickens prefer rye and mustard

Winter-killed oats

Remember those
pastures I planted in winter annuals
?  I reported in October
that the
chickens weren’t interested
— and why should they have been when
I was letting them run in the woods, which was still full of greenery
and bugs?

Rye pastureOnce really cold weather hit, the chickens did
start nibbling on the annuals (although they still spent most of their
time in the woods.)  The mustards were their favorite, followed by
the oats (until they died).  Nowadays, the winter rye is eaten
down to nubbins in the chicken-accessible pasture, even though the
chickens are still ignoring the bright green, but apparently
unpalatable, winter peas.

If I have bare ground I want to plant next fall, I’ll focus on mustard
and rye, with some oats if the mustard seed is too expensive for
seeding large areas.  Meanwhile, I have a second pasture partially
planted in rye that’s just waiting for chicken beaks.  I plan to
turn the flock in there shortly and let them enjoy the tender young

clean water is the other ingredient in healthy chickens, and our chicken waterer makes sure
the flock’s water is always POOP-free.

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