Then, while we were in Florida, he came across them again in an old homesteading book that my sister-in-law rescued from the Salvation Army where she works (they were going to pitch it). Jamey had already ordered a bunch of mangel seeds, so the book confirmed his hunch that they are a desirable crop.
Stick with me, okay?
Chickens are wonderful to have. They're fun to look at and listen to. Their eggs are delicious and healthier for us if the chickens are allowed to free range, which ours are. But, even if they free range, you still have to purchase chicken feed for them, especially in the winter.
Back to the mangels. Are you simply dying of suspense?? Mangels (also called Mangelwurzel) are large beets that were developed as a fodder crop for livestock. When the beets are young, they're even tasty for people to eat. Think about beets...they store well...so, mangels are a great source of food for chickens in the winter as at supplement to their feed.
So, that's the plan. We're going to grow mangels, store them in the fall and feed them to our chickens during the winter. We'll see how it goes. Here's another look at the seeds. It's hard to imagine one of these little seeds has the potential to grow into a 20 pound mangel. Yes, you heard me. 20 pounds.
Do you know anyone that has grown mangels? Do you offer anything else to your chickens during the winter (other than traditional chicken feed)? My inquiring mind want to know. Pin It