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Plants safe for chickens, but they won't eat too much for in run - Page 2

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodolsurvival1 View Post
 

 

Correct something for shade at a little bit of appeal to the run once they get all the grass removed from it.. We plan on doing the planter boxes, a few of them with different types of grasses and some that will even grow in the cold months. During gardening time we plan on having a box that has veggies planted in it that will grow up through the HW spaces.

 

I was told butterfly bushes are safe and they won't eat them, but not sure how true that is. I was also told the same thing about honey suckle as long as is established it is safe (whatever established means lol)... also about rose bushes and rose sharon (spell?) once they are to a certain height they would only eat the bottom foot or too of leaves. Our soil butterfly bushes and I know for a fact rose sharon do good in it.

 

we plan on doing a rock like (about the size of your hand) base around any bushes, or anything like that so they can't get to the root base as easily.

Like the others have said, anything new to plant will be dug up, even if it's not eaten. They will just scratch them to bits before they get a chance to grow whether they want to eat the plant or not. "Established" means that the plant has been there so long that it's root system is deep enough that it doesn't bother it if the chickens dig at the base a little. However, most chickens will destroy even established plants in an average sized run, unless it's a tree. 

 

As I stated in my last post, it's worth a try to put plants around the run instead of in it. Vines, bushes, tall grasses and flowers would probably provide the shade and beauty you're looking for. Something like this, this (other side) or this


Edited by torilovessmiles - 2/9/16 at 2:36pm

Lots o chickens!

5 Pekin and Pekin x Mallard ducks! 

 

Hobby/Urban farm blogger!  http://backyard-barnyard.blogspot.com/ 

 

Guide to buying chicks at feed stores (pt 1 - breeds) http://backyard-barnyard.blogspot.com/2016/03/feed-store-chick-buying-guide.html

 

Guide to buying chicks at feed stores (pt 2 - health) http://backyard-barnyard.blogspot.com/2016/03/feed-store-chick-buying-gui...

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Lots o chickens!

5 Pekin and Pekin x Mallard ducks! 

 

Hobby/Urban farm blogger!  http://backyard-barnyard.blogspot.com/ 

 

Guide to buying chicks at feed stores (pt 1 - breeds) http://backyard-barnyard.blogspot.com/2016/03/feed-store-chick-buying-guide.html

 

Guide to buying chicks at feed stores (pt 2 - health) http://backyard-barnyard.blogspot.com/2016/03/feed-store-chick-buying-gui...

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post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by torilovessmiles View Post
 

Like the others have said, anything new to plant will be dug up, even if it's not eaten. They will just scratch them to bits before they get a chance to grow whether they want to eat the plant or not. "Established" means that the plant has been there so long that it's root system is deep enough that it doesn't bother it if the chickens dig at the base a little. However, most chickens will destroy even established plants in an average sized run, unless it's a tree. 

 

As I stated in my last post, it's worth a try to put plants around the run instead of in it. Vines, bushes, tall grasses and flowers would probably provide the shade and beauty you're looking for. Something like this, this (other side) or this

I get what you are saying... we weren't planning of just throwing a starting bush or anything in there and hope that they wouldn't destroy it we were planning on caging it off so they cant get to it allow it to grow until its a certain size before taking a cage (probably a diy fencing cage) protection system off it.

 

I just didn't want to plant any bushes, ferns, or mini trees that would be harmful to them if they would happen to eat them once the cages are removed from around them.

 

plant on the outside isn't an option for many reasons, the biggest one is the neighbors cats they let out of their house to run the neighborhood to have places to hide around the fenced chicken run and torment the chickens... thats why we were going to place inside the run so it eliminates that.

 

we've had to do a lot of cat proofing to our property not just with the chickens because of this... I love animals but hate it when people don't care if their pets destroy other people's property... we've had to fix a lot of wood that runs along the bottom of our porch that they break to get in under it (use to have a family of cotton tails that live under there every year, but not any more)... and its a struggle to keep them out of our garden beds during summer (sorry just a pet peeve that i don't look forward to this summer like last summer lol)

post #13 of 15
Look into yellow-groove bamboo. It is safe. You might have to protect it at the base and maybe with a ring of hardware cloth until it gets established, but afterwards the chickens can actually help keep it in check.
post #14 of 15

Whatever you plant, put in a few stakes, and a circle of chicken wire, 4' high. They won't jump over it, it is too unstable.

I've got a small Rose of Sharon that has this. They get quite bushy (may need pruning...Oh wait! the chickens will do that!...and the flowers are high in calcium).

 

I also have a thick clump of low growing Oregon Grape in their area that was established. So far it is surviving, they are digging around the perimeter. Eventually it may go down, too, but I don't think so.

 

I have a Mock Orange shrub that was established and is OK as well.

 

Anything truly low growing is toast.

None of the shrubs have thick branches that the chickens can roost in, they are more bush like.

So you can plant wood shrubs or small trees, with protection, and they will hopefully be ok.


Edited by lynnehd - 2/12/16 at 9:07pm
post #15 of 15
Hiya, I'm pondering similar issues, as my run will be built later this month (exciting!)

I've decided to grow buddleja (butterfly bush) just behind the run, but it is pretty tough and self seeds like a weed, so you could probably grow it in the run too. I've got several varieties, of which the dark purple (almost black) ones are hardiest. The white, red and orange ones are too ornamental and need feeding.

Then of course there's bamboo, two kinds - one kind spreads underground like runners, the other clumps. If you get a mature clumping kind, that should be good (this is my plan!) and I'm going to put some nice rocks around it so hens can't peck directly at the edges of the Plant and dig it up before it's established. I've got some great half-brick sized chunks of pink Granite, heavy but smooth and flat to stand on. Foxes can't shift 'em so I doubt the hens will either!

The other thought I had was Elder. I grow a black ornamental elder, because the regular elderflower triggers my hayfever, but black elders are poisonous (to humans and dogs at least). A regular elder should be fine though - the kind you'd make elderflower wine or elderberry jam from. Grows very fast, is quite resilient (can lose branches here and there without caring) and in my experience elders tend to root fast and deep. My black elder broke through a pot I grew it in, and there's no way it's shifting now without hiring mechanical equipment! sad.png

Anyway, elders can get big and bushy and provide great fast growing shade, I find in summer I'm ruthlessly pruning it every single week. Sounds like your hens could help with this wink.png

Regarding climbers and vines - I wouldn't bother. I had loads established, rambling all over my 6ft high fence... Several years of hard work... Then I got a puppy. One bite of the leading stem at ground level, and the entire plant died. Happened to a couple of my favourite honeysuckle and clematis sad.png I dare say a badly placed peck would have the same effect. If you want to grow them, plant them outside the run, then train them to grow on it once they get to about 2 foot tall, so only the foliage can be damaged and not the main stem(s).

If you have any existing trees or bushes that are being damaged at ground level, you can get pvc pipe, then saw it long ways and force it around the trunk at the bottom. I did this to save an established bush from my puppy. Plus of course the rocks around the bottom to stop the plant being dug up, if it isn't deeply rooted.

Hope all those tips and ideas work!
Edited by techiebabe - 2/12/16 at 2:05am
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