Originally Posted by bullrunslabs
Hello, I raise chickens in the Pacific Northwest, where mud becomes an issue very quickly. I would like to plant something in my run that the chickens can use for shelter in the rainy season, that will provide shade in the summers, and that will be hardy, yet non-invasive, and of course plants that are SAFE for my chickens.
Please let me know what you have used that have worked well in your outdoor runs, and how you have protected them until they were established.
I also live in the PNW, and I would suggest that you have a covered run, or at least partially, so they have a drier area during the winter, outside of the coop.
I also covered the lower 2/3 of my run with 6ml plastic secured with pieces of lath screwed in.
That's the best shelter I know of during our rainy season.
Vines planted along the South and West sides of your run will definitely help with shade in the summer! Look for quick growing annual vines.
If your run is large, a couple of small trees would help; you can put a ring of wire around them to protect the trunk.
Also shade cloth works well in the summer.