Chicken salad

Yesterday Dan and I finally planted the last of the kale and swiss chard seedlings I had started a few weeks ago.  “More kale?”, you say, recalling the giant row of kale in the brassica bed.  Yes, but this kale is for a different audience appetite:  the hens of Henbogle.

I can see how much my girls love the extra greens I give them, holey lettuces or wormy, slug-attacked broccoli.  Thus, I decided I’d grow them their very own salad bar at the end of the vegetable garden, in their hen yard.

Recalling how Iris savaged my tender young broccoli seedlings, I knew I had to come up with a strategy to protect the kale until it was old enough to survive the vicious yank of a hungry hen, so Dan came up with the idea of a fence lean-to protecting the kale and greens as it grew.  By the time it reaches the fence it will be big enough to survive or can withstand growing through the fence.  Very clever is Dan of Henbogle.  I’ve sprinkled a little Sluggo about to help the seedlings survive until adulthood.  Once they’ve grown large enough to survive, I’ll let the slugs feast, and the chickens, too.

Daphne of Daphne’s Dandelions posted recently about some very fast growing Asian greens.  I’m thinking about ordering some of those seeds to try for the hens, along with some lettuce in the very front, hoping the kale will offer protection to the seedlings until they are big enough to live through some hungry hen snacking.

I hope this will provide some delicious greens for the hens for a long while, perhaps even late into the winter months, with some protection.


6 Responses to “Chicken salad”

  1. O. Says:

    Lucky chooks!

  2. chook Says:

    the girls love the greens, no doubt about it. i pulled the last of the chicory from last year for their lunch; it’s gone. i find myself planting a little extra, because it’s cheap and i know they’ll eat anything we don’t. they seem to really enjoy cabbage!

  3. Ali Says:

    Yes! I should plant them some cabbage, too! Thanks for the idea!

  4. Robin Says:

    That’s a great idea to feed the girls. I’m sure they will appreciate the fresh & readily available food.

  5. Daphne Says:

    So for I’ve found three really fast growing greens, Tyfon Holland Greens, Komatsuna, and Senposai. They all grow extremely quickly and have large leaves (though Senposai wins on the big leaf category since they are more round). If I ever get chickens I’ll grow some for them.

  6. Diana Says:

    I bought some Mangel beets for my chickens – those suckers are supposed to grow up to 15 pounds, and have as much protein as grain. Stick one on a nail in the henhouse and let the biddies feast all winter long! You can find them yourself at Heritage Farms’ website, or I could send you a few seeds.

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