Whether our oilseed
will add much organic matter to the pasture soil remains to be seen,
but the chickens are definitely fans. I currently have two
popholes opening out of the coop — one goes into the oilseed radish
pasture and the other channels the flock out into the woods. I’ve
noticed that the rooster leads his ladies over to the oilseed pasture
for at least a couple of hours every day.
The chickens have eaten
the leaves pretty hard, but there’s a large enough expanse of radishes
(and enough energy stored in each one’s tuber) that new leaves keep
coming back. This is definitely a cover crop worth planting for
the flock if you have any bare soil in your pasture in the fall.
I’m probably going to
interseed white clover and bluegrass in the oilseed pasture next month,
then let it lie fallow all summer so the sod can get established.
It will be interesting to compare it to its sister pasture, started the
same year and similarly shady, but without the benefit of oilseed
flock clean, easy, and fun.