Planting grains in the forest pasture

Map of grain planted for chickensWith
the first paddock of our chickens’
forest pasture
as it was going to get, we turned the flock into the larger paddock and
started preparing for the winter.  Mark and I pulled out the few
living plants still visible, then hoed and shoveled out the worst of
the roots.  Finally, we planted the bare area in field corn,
beans, and buckwheat, with red clover seeds scattered in the pathways.

Bean seedlingAlthough
I’d like to wean our chickens off
grain as much as possible,
still feels a
lot more sustainable
than storebought feed.  I haven’t decided yet whether we’ll
harvest the grain in the fall for winter feeding, then turn the
chickens into the paddock to clean up missed kernels, or whether we’ll
just let the chickens graze the ripe grain, gorging until
they’re done.  I’m pretty sure chickens won’t overeat in the
latter situation, but I’m not sure if the grain would spoil as it sits
out in the weather for a few weeks.  Like every other aspect of
this experiment, I plan to play it by ear.

Don’t forget to add a homemade chicken
to your own
forest pasture for poop-free water.

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