Thursday, December 8, 2016

Growing Grass Inside for Small Flock Winter Treat Feeding


Grass is such a wonderful source of protein for chickens and other barnyard animals, but it can be a bit scarce in the winter months. So today I'm going to show you how to grow it in a small container inside your home or garage. For small flocks, it should be more than enough to provide fresh grass clippings as treats (not the primary food source) for the entire season. It's so easy, and your critters will love you for it!

The trick is to use rye grass seed, which is a naturally growing grass in colder months. You also want to grow it inside where the weather isn't as harsh. Rye grass grows best when the temperature is between 50 and 75 degrees, so be sure to keep it in a location that fits that range. Also you'll want to keep it near a window. Like all plants, rye grass needs ample sunlight to grow... and of course, water. As long as you keep it watered, you will be good to go. You won't need any fancy fertilizers, or even soil for that matter. It really is just that easy!     

You will need:
  • Rye Grass Seed
  • Water
  • 2 Metal Foil Pans (or one pan with a lid)

*Note - The amount of seed will depend on the size of your pans, and the size of your flock. I used about 1/4 cup of seed in an 8 inch round cake pan, for a flock of 7 chickens. Simply adjust the amount to fit your personal needs. 


Method:

Using just the tip of a knife, gently punch several small holes through the bottom of one of the foil pans. Be careful not to make them very large. You do not want the rye grass seed to be able to fall through them.




Place the punched foil pan inside the other pan. (Be sure not to punch holes in the bottom pan. This is where the water will collect.) You can also use the lid flipped upside down as the catch pan, if that is the type you have. Scatter the grass seed around the top pan. Add just enough water to cover the seed. (The seed will float at first, but you can judge the amount.) Place the setup in front of a window where the temperature will remain between 50 and 75 degrees. That's it! Other than watering it every few days, you can just sit back and watch it grow.


Simply give it a haircut (snip off some grass clippings) to feed to your flock whenever you like. It will grow right back, as grass tends to do. At the end of the season, simply remove from the pans, and give your flock an added treat by feeding the entire block of grass, seeds and all. (Just make sure to break it up into short and small pieces, if feeding to chickens, so that they won't develop sour crop.)







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