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best food trees for chooks in the chook pen

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  • #257946
    mumof6mumof6
    Member

    Hi all after losing our RIR rooster to an eagle the other day have decided to add more cover in the pens (he was in the paddock when taken)was thinking small trees that would provide food for the chooks so if spooked and fled back to pen would have cover and food.

    We live in the Hills of NE Vic so in a cool climate frost and cold winters and hot summers with an ok rain fall (about 1000mls a year).

    Any suggestion’s?

    Thanks Kylie

    #534051
    Lady BeeLady Bee
    Keymaster

    I’ve heard that tree lucerne is good. I don’t know what the real name of it is, though. Lady who lived near me had one and used to just break the odd branch off it and the chooks loved picking at it. (I’m not far from you, so climate would be very similar)

    #534052
    SnagsSnags
    Member

    cant go past a mulberry

    #534053
    pavbenthpavbenth
    Member

    This is a little off topic but worth thinking about for all chook folk.

    Gardening Australia last week featured a Czech fellow that had established an awesome food forest in the land around the unit block in which he rents. He has a chook coop. He has two feeding systems – in addition to throwing them scraps.

    1. Old olive oil tin suspended above the ground on a string. Drill it full of holes. Put meat scraps in it. Let the meat rot. Flies will come and lay eggs. Every so often give it a shake and out will come maggots!

    2. Old bath tub or similar covered in chicken wire. Plant it with something the chickens like – some sort of green manure. Chickens can graze on it but can’t scratch it up.

    #534054
    BronBron
    Member

    I was going to suggest mulberry as well, if it grows there. Another one is a strawberry guava. They’re a bit slow growing though.

    #534055
    mistyhollowsmistyhollows
    Member

    I would also agree with the mulberry. We planted one 2 years ago and have had an abudance of fruit this year and when it has been extremely windy the ladies have loved cleaning up the fallen fruit underneath. It has grown extremely quickly as we composted the grove it’s in with mushroom compost before planting and then we just top it up with the pea straw from the chook pen when it’s changed. Win win for all of us 😉

    #534056
    mumof6mumof6
    Member

    Hi all again have been looking heaps into this on the net and thought some maybe interested in an article by world wide wattle were they are looking at building a food forest for chooks to naturally scavenge there food as part of this they trailed edible wattle seeds to judge which were best suited.

    article http://www.worldwidewattle.com/socgroups/asg/newsletters/99.pdf

    here is the part I found useful silver wattle which grows as a weed here is on the list I think I will move the chooks to the wattle patches.

    Conclusion

    Wattles in the ‘ate avidly’ category are gradually being

    incorporated into the chooks’ food forest at Helidon = long

    term program.

    These wattles are listed in TABLE 2 below.

    TABLE 2: WATTLES IN ATE AVIDLY

    CATEGORY

    Species name Common Name

    A aneura Mulga

    A baileyana Cootamundra wattle

    A colei Cole’s wattle

    A dealbata Silver wattle

    A decurrens Black wattle

    A fimbriata Brisbane golden wattle

    A ligulata Dune wattle, wirra

    A podalyriifolia Queensland silver wattle

    A pycnantha Golden wattle

    A mearnsii Provides seeds for birds.

    A simsii Heathlands wattle.

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