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Newbie here. Have a coop but worried about weeds. - Page 2

post #11 of 16
How well they do on weed control depends on chicken density, your climate, the mix of weeds and grass, and even the time of the year. I have two different areas, a 12 x 32 main run and an area maybe 45’ x 90’ inside electric netting. My number of chickens will vary from maybe as low as 7 to as many as 45, many of these smaller growing to butcher size. I have more in the summer than winter.

My main run is just bare dirt, nothing in it at all. Between their poop build-up which burns new growth, them eating any new growth, and especially their scratching there just isn’t any green stuff in here at all. On occasion I’ll confine them to this main run but that is really rare. I think it is the scratching more than anything else that keeps it clean.

The larger area pretty much stays green during the growing season. When the grass first starts growing in the spring I’ll confine them to the main run about a week to a week and a half to let it get established. During the winter the green stuff is not growing so it can look really barren but it comes back in the spring.

When they are foraging in that big area they eat certain things and leave other things alone. I have to occasionally mow that area to knock down the stuff they won’t eat and give the stuff they do eat a chance to grow. I don’t have morning glory in that area but there are somethings that are poisonous to chickens. They have to eat it before it harms them and mine don’t.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply
post #12 of 16
Yes, for the most part I've found that my chickens avoid plants that are considered toxic to them. Unfortunately, what that means is that they eat everything else in the area and leave the nasty stuff alone. With nothing to compete with for space and soil nutrients, the nasties are free to flourish.

I've got a whole patch of vinca vine I've got to beat back every year. The chickens don't eat it and their scratching isn't enough to kill it. Same goes for all the Buttercup taking over one corner of the yard.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by TalkALittle View Post

Oh, you might want to check and see if morning glory is toxic to chickens. I think it might be.

You also want to check and see if it is really annual morning glory or bindweed. Since Morning glory is an annual, and won't resprout if it doesn't flower and seed.

Bindweed is a perennial and can choke out other plants, etc.

They are both in the overall Morning Glory family, Convolvulaceae

 

Bindweed:

 

I agree with

@TalkALittle, most chickens seen to know what they can't eat. However, you do hear stories of some chickens who are poisoned. Not very common, but apparently it can occur.

 

For example, my chickens have part time access to an area with clematis, but ignore it, so I left it.

Here is a link to one list of potentially toxic plants; 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/627282/comprehensive-list-of-poisonous-plants-and-trees

 

That said, I don't go crazy trying to restrict them myself, just use common sense, but the point is that Bindweed isn't on that list.


Edited by lynnehd - 1/27/16 at 7:42am
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by LunaChickie View Post
 

So the place where I'm going to put my coop is just dirt. It was half of my garden (which I'm over dealing with for a while). We have struggled with this garden because my area is HORRIFICALLY plagued with morning glory. And as you know, once you have morning glory, you have morning glory. Otherwise it's a perfect spot for my run. I've never owned chickens before so I'm entirely green here. Does anyone have any ideas on how to put down some sort of base layer to at least keep the morning glory to a minimum? Will the chickens keep morning glory down? 
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TalkALittle View Post

Oh, you might want to check and see if morning glory is toxic to chickens. I think it might be.

You also want to check and see if it is really annual morning glory or bindweed. Since Morning glory is an annual, and won't resprout if it doesn't flower and seed.

Bindweed is a perennial and can choke out other plants, etc.

They are both in the overall Morning Glory family, Convolvulaceae

 

Bindweed:

 

I agree with

@TalkALittle, most chickens seen to know what they can't eat. However, you do hear stories of some chickens who are poisoned. Not very common, but apparently it can occur.

 

For example, my chickens have part time access to an area with clematis, but ignore it, so I left it.

Here is a link to one list of potentially toxic plants; 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/627282/comprehensive-list-of-poisonous-plants-and-trees

 

That said, I don't go crazy trying to restrict them myself, just use common sense, but the point is that Bindweed isn't on that list.

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lynnehd View Post
 

Have you read about the Deep Litter method? You start with about 4" of pine needles, straw, leaves, as @Folly's place suggested, and let the chickens scratch it up, and you help at times by turning it over. You add more over time, and switch it out every so often as needed.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/643302/results-from-first-year-with-deep-litter-method

 

I haven't read enough to know much about Deep Litter but it's what we'd planned on doing. Thank you for the link! 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TalkALittle View Post

I wish my garden was big enough to give half of it to the chickens. If I were in your place, I would put the coop in the middle of the garden and enclose sections of the garden into paddocks. The coop would have a pop door on each wall that led to a different paddock and I'd rotate the birds through the different paddocks seasonally to fertilize and weed for me.

 

I so wish I could do this! The garden area is really large but in the middle of it we have a river rock path coming from a gate (so I had a large garden but it has a path in the middle). I'm not ready to give that up to the chickens yet haha! I love the idea tho. That'd be really cool!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lynnehd View Post
 

You also want to check and see if it is really annual morning glory or bindweed. Since Morning glory is an annual, and won't resprout if it doesn't flower and seed.

Bindweed is a perennial and can choke out other plants, etc.

They are both in the overall Morning Glory family, Convolvulaceae

 

Bindweed:

 

I agree with

@TalkALittle, most chickens seen to know what they can't eat. However, you do hear stories of some chickens who are poisoned. Not very common, but apparently it can occur.

 

For example, my chickens have part time access to an area with clematis, but ignore it, so I left it.

Here is a link to one list of potentially toxic plants; 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/627282/comprehensive-list-of-poisonous-plants-and-trees

 

That said, I don't go crazy trying to restrict them myself, just use common sense, but the point is that Bindweed isn't on that list.


I will do some research today. It sounds like it may be bindweed. Thanks for the link!

post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 

Aw man that list is huge. This space is near a trumpet vine and I have some of the flowers on that list in my yard. Hmmmm

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