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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have 3 raised beds. Each bed is approximately 40sq ft. They get every bit of the harsh afternoon sun. Or will when I finish building them...

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I'd love to grow all the feed I need for my 4 chickens. I realize that is laughable in its absurdity, lol. Truth is Im just trying to learn how to do such a thing. If all I get is 50lb of feed I'll consider this project a success. I do however think its possible to "cover the spread" so to speak on the excess my mini-flock will eat during winter months when grazing is harsh.

What I'm asking about is...
What 3 crops can I rotate in this small space to get the most bang for my buck? It is vital that the crops can be successfully rotated with minimal soil amendments. I would really like one of the crops to be sunflowers; because if the chickens don't protest their absence than my dear hubby will! Lol

Thanks all in advance!

P.S. I am posting this here because I want to be sure what I grow is nutritionally sufficient (if not superior) for my chickens, but if TPTB decide this post would fair better in the gardening section than I congenially acquiesce.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Oops!
I'm in zone 7
I can grow just about anything if I time it just right. Lol
I'm also open to cover crops and rotating crops for 2-3 times in a year?
 

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Duckweed and Azolla. No expert, but they grow fast. I'm don't think they make a complete feed. But you can grow bunches of it and freeze it.

Some people sprout Wheat and let it grow to 2-3 inches height. Easy way to expand your food supply for free. You tube has videos of people with rolling shelves and trays.
 

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Protein is your biggest issue.
They need 16% protein to make eggs.
Eggs are almost pure protein and is has to come from somewhere.

You can add a big worm bin and harvest earthworms for them or raise meal worms etc.. for a lot of the protein.

And sunflowers are great and corn is great, but you cannot feed whole corn kernels if they are dried. They are just too big and hard.
Some birds do fine on sunflower seeds in the shell and whole corn, but some will get impacted crops from them.
But you can 'crack' the corn by running over it with your car. :)

And you could plant this under corn or sunflowers..http://www.groworganic.com/omega-3-chicken-forage-blend-irrigated.html

Just cut and serve it to the birds, a bit of it a day.

But amaranth is really your best bet.
Amaranth is awesome.
Amaranth is pretty.
Each seed head has about 1 pound of seed on it.
And amaranth is very high in protein, much higher than wheat which is about 12% and corn is at 9%.
Amaranth is between 12% and 18%!

And this site will help you figure what to feed..http://www.lionsgrip.com/protein.html

Look at the menu on the left for more detailed information.

But I do suggest Amaranth and the poultry pasture mix grown together with some sunflowers and a worm bed somewhere too.
http://www.themodernhomestead.us/article/Growing-Poultry-Feeds-2.html

oh.. and this site too.
 
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