Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
Man and Nature will bring back the hour
Of splendor from the grass and glory of the bower,
That new our farms will cultivate;
We will not grieve but rather find
New wealth, new health, new paradigms;
The time is ripe and not too late
For splendid herds and splendid yields
And splendid children born of splendid fields.

William Wordsworth rewritten for our times

In winter, when surplus greens are scarce, we supplement our backyard poultry’s diet with wheatgrass. Justin sows a few dozen trays and each morning the feather menagerie get a flat of “grass” to nibble on.  Boy, do they go to town on the grass flat!

Not only does their health benefit when the chickens/ducks has the opportunity to graze on “grass” but the people’s health also benefits from eating their eggs with increased egg nutrition  (high in Omega 3-s and vitamin D)

The old saying “You are what you eat”  comes to mind,  but also what your critters eat too.


  1. Nebraska Dave says:

    Thank you for being deligent with your posting even through the difficult times. I am always amazed at how you provide not only for you and your family but your animals and birds as well. I was once told by a cousin looking for a good hearted boy friend that you can tell what’s in a person’s heart by the way they treat animals. All in your famil certainly qualify as good hearted folks.

    We aren’t into gardening just yet here in Nebraska. It will be at least another month before anything serious can be accomplished outside. I live gregariously through your blog posts until I can generate some of my own.

    Have a great Spring Californian day.

  2. Jeni says:

    I never thought of doing wheat grass! My ladies sure could use some greens in the winter! Do you guys sale wheat grass seeds? Or where do you get them from? Thank you for always teaching me new things!!!

    • Anais says:

      @Jeni: No we don’t. Right now we are getting bags of “red winter wheat” from our food co-op oh, and “you are most certainly welcome!”

  3. Ginger says:

    You make me smile.

  4. Rebecca says:

    I should do stuff like this for my flock. Do you keep buying wheat seed or do you have space to let some go to seed to keep your supply going? I’m looking more and more into seed harvesting my garden crops. Thanks.

    • Anais says:

      @Rebecca: Because of limited space we have to purchase the wheat seeds. We buy it in 50lb bags from our food co-op

  5. Daedre says:

    How long does a flat of grass last? An hour? Minutes?

    • Anais says:

      @Daedre: Oh, about few hours. With 7 ducks and 7 chickens tearing at it, the flat goes pretty fast!

  6. The Dame says:

    What a handsome chicken!

  7. Heather :) :) :) says:

    Yeah….glad I can leave a comment again 🙂 🙂 Yippee!!! Okay, this first photo is super cute. I don’t raise birds here at my apartment…but I love ” chubby cute” birds…including chubby cute chickens 🙂 🙂 What kind of chicken is this one wit the black and orange on the feathers?

    I would have nevr thought to provide wheat grass for your birds. That’s the best tip I’ve learned all day so far 😉 🙂 So healthy for humans, healthy for your pets. It makes total sense that we are what our animals eat!!!

    oh, so glad comments are back. Extra love and hugs from Oregon, Heather 🙂

  8. Nicole says:

    Great idea! Do you use wheat purchased for grinding? I’ve always wanted to try growing my own wheat grass. Is this cheaper than regular food for the chickens and ducks or do you just use it in addition?

    • Anais says:

      @Nicole: Yes an no. The red winter wheat can be ground or sprouted. Not sure if it’s cheaper… have to check! We use the flats of grass to supplement their greens in the winter

  9. TamaraG says:

    Beautiful Picture! I miss having chickens. We can’t have them where we live now.

  10. Deanna says:

    That is for sure. I notice the chickens who get to eat their greens and run around the yard have the most beautiful yolks. I love those bright orange yolks. Fresh chicken eggs are the best. I love the wheat grass idea it is certainly a good one for all of those “city chicks” out there.

  11. Shelby says:

    Oh, that’s such a great tip to know! I’ll share with my folks – we’re getting chickens this year, Lord willin! Daddy and my brother are working on the chicken range as we get the funds.. I can’t wait to have some little chicks to raise! :] I’ll have to bookmark this.

    I also told Marmy about Jordanne’s poultry mix, we’re definitely looking in to purchasing some.

    Thanks so much for posting! :]


  12. Judy says:

    A great idea! Thanks for sharing. We have some rye grass that we plant in the late fall. It grows most of the winter months (here in the South) so we always have some green grass for the cows. I twist the tops of the green clumps off and give to my chickens too – they love it!

  13. Kirsten says:

    We do the same thing with our chickens! We grow flats of wheatgrass in the greenhouse and give them one every day or every other day, they love it. Free-ranging isn’t an option on our property with the hawks and raccoons so we have to make sure they are getting enough greens in their diet. They also go crazy for dried mealworms and yogurt. It is really funny watching them dip their beaks in the yogurt and walk around with tiny yogurt mustaches before they wipe them off.

    • Anais says:

      @Kirsten: YUMMMMMM 😉

  14. Stacy says:

    Hello Anais, Jordanne, Justine and Jules,
    I love how sweetly you care for your animals. Thank you for the wheat grass info I’m likey to start that really soon. I have 2 things. First, I would like to introduce you to a site I love like yours which I have purchased and starting to plant my Poultry package.. seeds for making my own non gmo organic food for my chickens. http://sustainableseedco.com/Poultry-Package.html
    .. don’t know if you’ve seen them it was under heritage seed collections at sustainable seed co. One reason I chose them is because they are in Cali. like you so I know what I can plant. second, is a question. I don’t know when I can put the chicken leavings in the food garden i’ve only been using on the roses and non edible plants they eat all our compostables so I dont have a compost pile. (HEnce My new love of permaculture). I read that you allow the yard to build up then you place into your garden? do you compost it or age it first or are you scraping off the top and taking the bottom? Thanks Have a great day hope it rains a bit I’ve got some happy little seedlings happening.

    • Anais says:

      @Stacy: Hello! Thank you for your kind comments and link (love the seed mix btw!). To answer your question, we are scraping off the top. Every week or so we “fluff” up the soil in the animal compound so it doesn’t get too compacted and air is able to get to the older soil level. Happy spring!!!!

  15. Heather says:

    I have a poor duck with bumblefoot, and through my hours of research, found your site. I love it, and will be back to read as much as time will allow me. I have a small organic blueberry farm, and one very sick duck that the vet just doesn’t seem able to help (after 4 trips). So, I’ve learnt some things here!

  16. WestE says:

    Love this idea, when we start the chicken thing again I will have to steal this little nugget from you guys!

  17. Mary Ann says:

    I’d be interested to know where your wheatgrass seeds come from. It’s probably somewhere in this website, but there’s so much information on here! It will take me weeks to find it! 🙂

    • Anais says:

      @Mary Ann: We purchase 50lb bags of red winter wheat from our food co-op

      • nancy says:

        @Anais, What a great idea! Everything freezes hard here in Boise in the winter. While I supplement with fruits, warm oatmeal when it was down to 0 last winter (wow did they LOVE that), my hens would love this! I can do it indoors. Thanks!

        • Anais says:

          @nancy: Of course, glad to pass on a tips & tricks 🙂

  18. Justin W. says:

    Love Your Site! I live in Columbia, MO where we have successfully passed a chicken ordinance to allow 6 hens per property and was wondering if you had any tips on getting ducks allowed as well. Peace and Unity!

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