Chicken Resistant Plants
Gardening with chickens can be a pleasure as well as a frustration and challenge. Here is a list of plants from my garden (USDA zone 9 - 10/ Sunset zone 22) that I have had success with my chickens leaving alone. For a dramatically different climate, consider looking into deer resistant plants for your zone. A lot of these are also drought tolerant due the water restrictions we have locally. They are not in any particular order so far. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the list based on reports from other BYCers, members at the Easygarden.com, or gardenweb.com
Chickens will eventually eat almost any plants if there is nothing else to forage around or no other food source.
The List From my Yard
Salivias ( a lot of varieties!)
Four O'clock (not pictured yet)
Nandina Domestica (heavenly bamboo)
Caution: This is considered mildly toxic, but not deadly. I cut off the berries to keep the chickens from eating it if they fall to the ground.
Clivia (mildly toxic-not deadly)
Purple Heuchera (coral bells, but they ate my green leafed coral bells)
Leather leaf ferns
Amarillys Belladona "naked ladies" (Mildly toxic-not deadly)
Mother in Law's Tounge
Limonium (sea lavender) My neighbor's chickens did eat it.
(not pictured yet)
Sedum "Autumn Joy"
Jade (not pictured yet/ Mildly toxic-not deadly)
Citrus (not pictured yet) *my neighbor's chickens eat it because there is nothing else green in the yard. Mine don't touch it.
List based on other gardeners reports:
plants in the mint family (salvias, sages, and mints)
Some of my other advice if you are just starting out with chickens in your garden....
I always put out lots yummy treats a couple of times a day and give them constant access to their feeder and waterer. My chickens spend a large part of their day foraging on grass on the small backyard lawn.
My veggie garden and other fragile plants are fenced off from the area the chickens get to occasionally roam. I do allow them access to those areas either in their pen (a dog exercise pen with bird netting) or when I am able to supervise. At the end of the growing season, I allow them in to help "clean up."
I have also been using chicken wire around the base of the root zones of plants when I first put them in the ground. I lay it on the ground with any sharp parts trimmed off or poked in the ground. Then I put landscape staples through it to hold it in place and cover with mulch. The chickens avoid scratching over it, but are able to walk on it. This prevents the chickens from digging the plants out before the plants are firmly rooted in the ground. I do still leave many areas open for digging and dust bathing.
Not everything in my yard has been chicken proof. The chickens did dig out all of my narcissis bulbs, destroyed that area and ate the lower grape leaves on my vines, ate the alstromeria flowers blossoms (my favorites!), the Fushia flowers, and any raspberries they could reach through out the yard. A lot of my other backyard plants are larger and established so they could handle more abuse.
*For tons of more pictures, how I garden with chickens around, or other details of my urban gardening, hobbies, and coop, visit my blog @ hanburyhouse.com