Advice for Planting Clover with Soybeans

Tue Apr 26, 2005 4:37 pm

I have a small 30 by 100 foot area near my chicken coop that I had soybeans planted in last year. They provide my chickens (which are free-range) with cover during the hot summer days and also protection from birds of prey. In the fall, the chickens devour the soybeans and leaves.

My problem is that during the fall, winter, and early spring the patch of ground is nothing but mud. I was wondering if anybody has any experience planting a shade tolerant clover along with the soybeans as to keep a sod on the soil when the soybeans are gone.

Planting a cover crop would defeat the purpose of the letting the chickens eat the soybeans well into November.

Thanks in advance.
B. Mahar

Wed Apr 27, 2005 8:40 pm

I have chickens also. One thing I've dicovered is-they will turn any vegetative patch to dirt in no time. I don't know what a person could plant that could keep itself ahead of their foraging. It could be the numbers I have (21) but they just eat everything in site and no patch of ground is safe no matter what is growing on it. I've learned to live with the mud! :lol:

Wed Apr 27, 2005 8:45 pm

Maybe Astroturf?

Wed Apr 27, 2005 9:04 pm

Brian plant 2 patches and keep them fenced and use like rotational grazing.

There is a guy in virginia raises chickens in a big portable fenced coop that he moves from time to time as the chickens graze down what he is offering them. He has fencing on the top to keep unwanted hungry visiters out. I think American Agriculturest magazine had an article about him last fall.

Bill

Thu Apr 28, 2005 6:45 pm

I'm with Bill

Rotational grazing. Pardone my french chicken sh# is very strong. I may be wrong but it is very acitic too you may have to use lime to nutralize it. My experence with clover is unless you use a innulauant ( I Know I spelt that wrong) some times they call it treated clover it takes a year or two to break down the shell before it will start to grow. Oats on the other hand grow quite quickly and their roots are soposed to be good for the soil. Oh well my experences are with horses and horse pastures.

Wed Jul 13, 2005 7:37 pm

annual rye might work. fast growimg and cold tolerant. winter wheat? oats?

Sat Jul 16, 2005 10:33 am

I think the guy Bill is referring to is Joel Salatin. He has several books in print but I think the one that applies here is called Pasturized Poultry.

He makes bottomless cages and moves them around in an organized fashion on cattle pasture.

Sat Jul 16, 2005 7:42 pm

Thanks pgmrdan, that is the guy. I only remember part of things. Can't blame it on old age because I never could.