Potential chicken pasture plants

Jerusalem artichokeI’m always searching for
plants to add to the forest pasture and
produce more of our chicken feed on the farm, so I was thrilled to see
that Darren has compiled a
of plants for the chicken run on his blog
.  While you
should go check out the whole list, here are a few highlights that I’m
considering adding to our system:

  • Darren
    notes that bamboo is useful
    for fast-growing shade and wind protection,
    but we’ve actually been thinking of planting edible-shoot bamboo in the
    forest pasture for another reason.  Not only can we eat the shoots
    and use the heavy canes for light structures, the traditional
    diet of wild chickens includes a lot of bamboo seeds
  • Jerusalem artichokes (Helianthus tuberosus) are something
    I’ve been considering planting for our own table, but am a bit leery of
    the reports of their invasiveness.  I figure that plants strong
    enough to be termed invasive are a good choice for the chicken pasture
    since they’ll stand up to heavy scratching.
  • I root out burdock
    everywhere else, but it sounds like the weed is another good choice for
    the chicken pasture since poultry like the taste of the leaves and the
    plants are tough to kill.

What kind of plants have
you found that are able to stand up to the abuse of chicken feet and
still provide tasty food for the flock?

Our homemade chicken
rounds out
your flock’s nutritious diet with clean water.

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