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Chickens: Permaculture Feed

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I live in Roberts creek, BC on the Sunshine Coast and have found plants that bear as chicken feed for most months out of the year. 1 'Illinois Everbearing' mulberry will produce enough dropped fruit to feed a dozen chickens for the time it's in fruit. It may not feed the birds year round, but for the purchase price of the tree you will save lots of money and if you combine it with several dozen other food producing plants will add to the amount you save.

The two very best plants to have on hand are amaranth and quinoa. Both cook way faster than rice and both are beloved by chickens! In the event of having to grow more of our own food stuffs, they are both weedy and easy to grow. Try taking your stored rice and growing it! But quinoa and amaranth are both drought resistant and far more nutritious than rice. The greens are also edible and delicious to the point where we stopped growing spinach in the summer. I can't say too much about kale either. Its a great food to let run wild as it will feed pigs, chickens, goats etc. As well as being great for humans.

I know it is difficult in the US to get a hold of the seeds unless you wildcraft them in some states, but cannabis seeds are a must to have on hand. I don't care if its wild hemp or the finest smoking pot. They both produce seeds with quasi-magical properties when it come to human health. A perfect balance of EFA's. [not endorsing this, just passing on the info - GU]

When I used to keep chickens we'd buy 50lb sacks of hemp seed from our friends in the prairies and feed them to the chicks. The entire egg structure changed in a most delightful manner. The yolk changed to a denser, almost glowing gold and the whites were much firmer, I can only wonder what our wild bird population would be like if their was more hemp about. Between the seeds and kale and comfrey, we didn't spend anything on other foods. Of course, our chickens were free-range so they had access to other foods as well.

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