genest at together.net
Tue Nov 6 13:06:04 EST 2001
I also live in Vermont, and use Chickens extensively in my PC setup, so
felt I should reply to your query at length.
Not quite sure what parameters you want to use to get "the best", but I can
share some PC ideas to help you get "optimal" forage.
The difference is one looks only at output/yield (Most/best/highest), the
other considers inputs
( upkeep/maintenance/work/investment/resource use/energy loss etc).
Too often, a reductionistic understanding of "best" leads to the notion that
feeding your animals lots of the best and only the best, would be best - but
in fact, what they need, want and left to their own devices choose is a
diverse diet from the wide range of fabulously nutritious plants and grasses
that grow so well here. Keep in mind that our State flower is the Red
( would you believe it's not a native !?) try to NOT grow that in Vermont,
and what could be better than fresh dandelion greens, nettles, plantain,
chicory, rye grass, and other assorted "weeds"?
The other thing is, what's "best" in May, ain't necessarily what's best in
By simply observing my totally free range chickens ( worth the price of
admission alone) I've noticed that they like different plants at different
times, and that their diet is by no means restricted to green material,
they do love their bug proteins, and of course grit, not to mention kitchen
scraps, orchard gleanings, compost piles and notably frogs, who seem to
bring out the worst of their raptor lineage, I mean they go beserk !
Another thought is, I get the impression that when we use the word "pasture"
we immediately conjure up images of flat treeless, and usually degraded
former cow pasture. May I suggest you look into Permanent Chicken tractors
where we use the PERMACULTURE of tree crops ?
In my set-up, I ring the chickens with highly nutritious edible, nitrogen
fixing, hardy, windbreak/protection/barrier plants like Siberian Pea,
Russian Olive, Buffaloberry, Black Locust, and some wild rose as well - Also
interplant lillies and comfrey etc etc.
Finally, if the land is really degraded, build up the soil with a mix of
field peas, oats, and Vetch. Peas come up first, fix nitrogen for the oats,
which provide support for the peas, the vetch pulls the whole lot down.
Works great, tons of food for the chickens too.
"The Greatest Fine Art of the future will be the making of a comfortable
living from a small piece of land."
- Abraham Lincoln
Green Mountain Permaculture : Solutions, Sustainability, Sustenance....
From: "Gerry Hawkes" <ghawkes at sover.net>
Reply-To: "permaculture" <permaculture at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
Date: Mon, 5 Nov 2001 12:29:21 -0600
To: "permaculture" <permaculture at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
Subject: Pasturing chickens
Does anyone have suggestions for the best forage mix to plant for pasturing
ghawkes at biketrack.com
You are currently subscribed to permaculture as: genest at together.net
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-permaculture at franklin.oit.unc.edu
Get the list FAQ at:
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the permaculture