Can you please give me some suggestions for some good bushes to plant in a chicken run. I'd like the girls to be able to sit underneath them. See picture of chicken run.
Good bushes to plant for chickens
Silk. Seriously. They will destroy anything living in such a small space in short order. They will eat it if its edible, or just trash it trying to sit in or perch on it if its not. And, their droppings will kill the roots pretty quick with high ammonia levels and soluble salts.
If you still want to try, I'd suggest you get something incredibly rugged, like perhaps some junipers, and see how that goes.
But artificial might actually work out ok. You can bleach them down periodically to keep them looking clean. I used to work at a garden center that was kind of dusty, and that is what we did with the silk flowers and plants in the floral department area.
Texas lilacs work great for birds and they love the seeds but do not eat the bush, they grow very fast and spread out wide but not overly tall like a tree.
My birds poop does not hurt them ,the snow we got did not kill them and the birds love the seeds they produce and they bloom beautiful sweet smelling purple flowers spikes from spring untill the first frost.
I will go take some photos of mine and post them.
Nice run you have there.
Instead of bushes inside the run maybe plant some ornamental grasses around the outside of the run at the posts for interest and instead give them things to climb on inside of the run. Cement blocks, concrete pavers, bricks, large cut wood pieces, those large wooden spools that hold industrial wire, a boulder or two. Maybe an old ladder for them to climb around on? A swing/perch?
I saw and saved these photos:
Mine don't touch the rhododendrons. Not sure why they don't eat them, but they do use the bushes for shade and hiding.
Here's mine - II, those are some great examples.
I did fence them away from this for 2 months while it was growing. they eat what they can reach and hang out under it all day. Chayote squash vine on grass clipping compost which they rummage in and love too.It grows on a half circle of hardware cloth held up by step in fence posts left over from my electric run fence.
stcroixusvi - I like how you included the tree
My birds don't bother my rhododendron either, they often sit under it because it provides great shade.
If you try bushes, I would recommend them being large to start with. Harder for the birds to reach the top if they're tall. Sometimes I see mature bushes being given away on craigslist, you dig & haul. I have successfully transplanted an established rhododendron that was accidentally uprooted in a parking lot by a snowplow. The bush was 6ft and years later it is still happy just be sure to water the hole deeply before filling in with dirt and water frequently thru the season until it becomes re-established. Good luck with filling your run!
Here is the Texas lilac bush.
I started with this size from seeds i planted 2 years ago.
here they are now.
this is what it looks like under them.
here's the pretty smelling blooms that make tons of seed that the birds just love and they are easy to grow from seeds also.
I have had chickens roost in them ,dust bathe around them ,they have been flooded with water from the chicken water, the 100 plus degree temps here does not kill them, and they grow alone or close to other lilac bushes and they still grow with no problems at all.
I planed this one last year, i though sure the young chickens all but killed it trying to roost in it but this spring it put out new growth and is doing great.
I planted the evergreen shrubs, lilac and willow trees. In my call duck pen which has netting over the top I planted dwarf fruit trees.
I think planting outside of fence with shrubs and vines would work also. The pampas grasses and trumpet vines would look good also.
Chickens will tend to eat/destroy what they can reach but eventually stuff grows too high for them to reach!