annual flowers to plant for chickens

kortmom

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 1, 2013
107
5
81
Another question. Every time I tackle one question, I come up with another one. I will be a pro next year with all my research and will leave you poor people alone.

I am looking to plant some annual flowers near my chicken coop. My chickens will not be free ranging. My plan from now on is to only plant things that serve a purpose to someone, so in keeping with that theme I have an area under my pine trees that I have cleared out and put in a park bench and I would like to plant a small annual bed near it. I need shade loving plants because it is all shaded from the pine trees. Bits of sun trickle in through different times of the day. At the end of the season I would like my chickens to be able to eat the flowers. I live in Massachusetts.

Any suggestions on easy to find flowers I can plant that my local nursery will carry?

Thank you!
 

Life is Good!

Songster
9 Years
Apr 14, 2011
1,179
227
236
suburbia Chicagoland
Shade under a pine tree is hard - generally acidic from pine needles.

Our hens just love the area under our pine trees - they love dust bathing in the needles. I've got some wood violets, ferns and a holly bush (that's not thriving, but surviving) - hens do not seem to eat any of those flowers, just the grass around the rim of the bed.
 

TLWR

Crowing
10 Years
Jul 10, 2010
2,892
302
286
southern AL
I have roses and day lilies under a pine tree. It was the only garden bed planted when we moved here. The roses do not do well at all, survive, but not really grow.
The lilies do great. Even with all the shade and trampling from ducks and dogs.
 

kortmom

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 1, 2013
107
5
81
I have been looking up shade-loving flowers that birds, bees and butterflies like and cross referencing them to find which of those chickens also like -- I figure I can feed everyone then! So far I have come up with bee balm, hosta, violets, impatients, and echinacea. I will see which of these I can find at the nursery and pick 3 or 4 of them to try. The wildlife can enjoy them during the summer and then I can turn the chickens on them at the end of the season.

Does anyone know if the chickens will kill the perrenials? I don't mind them eating everything up to bare bones, but I want the perrenials to come up again the following year.

I will post a picture when I get this all set up so everyone can see. I'm also going to add a bird bath and a few small bird houses around the area and see if anyone likes them. In the winter I will put up a bird feeder.

I am so excited about these projects. My mind keeps going to the next thing before I finish the first. I am already scoping out an area that is sunny so I can plant a small pumpkin patch and some sunflowers. Sun is hard to come by in my yard ... LOTS of trees.
 

digginindirt

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 26, 2013
16
0
22
jacksonville fla
I would avoid the regular impatients this year as they have been hit by a fungus blight (downy mildew). The new guinea are more resistant. You probably will have a hard time finding the regular this year anyway, and not at all next year (and beyond), unless they can find a resistant gene to culture into them. The mildew spores over winter for 5 years once in the soil so.....
Astilbe flowers are pretty, lobelia, begonias, and so are all the heuchera leaves.
 

kortmom

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 1, 2013
107
5
81
Okay. I will stick with the new guinea impatients. I dont like the variety as well as the regular impatients, but they will do just fine. Thank you for the warning!
 

kortmom

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 1, 2013
107
5
81
I thought nasturtium was full sun? I have heard the chickens love it!
 

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