I do this often in winter, mainly because my picky chickens sometimes won’t eat dried legumes… but give them a steaming hot bowl of cooked lentils or split peas on a cold dreary day, and they’re all over it!
After a decent storm, we try to clear a path through the yard as soon as we can so the chickens aren’t confined to their coop.
Instead of cleaning up the mess, let Mother Nature do the work: A few days after a rain, all those grains and seeds will sprout themselves — and voilà, instant pasture!
Alfalfa can be found at your local feed store with the straw and hay bales. Mini alfalfa hay bales and loose alfalfa hay (made for rabbits and other small pets) are available too, if you want to throw a few handfuls inside a small run.
Release your chickens right after a rain, as all the moisture in the ground brings out a buffet of protein-filled worms, grubs, and other delectable bugs that they love to scratch, peck, and devour.