Bamboo as Managed Cover Patch

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,373
17,726
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
I have been using an exotic bamboo very successfully as a wind break and shade around the north and west sides of my poultry yard. It appears not to provide much in the way of forage but is assume for loafing. That application has strips running along entire fence row that are 10 feet wide. I am going to explore using a patch that is much closer to square and covers roughly 1/10 acre. Paths will be managed in with a lawn mower. Will also try to make so young birds can roost in it without being harassed by Great-horned Owl at night. Another smaller patch based on the native species will also be tried in a wetter location at edge of fen. Historically when Amerindian populations were forced out, their abandoned farm land was taking over by expansive canebrakes made up of the native species. Hopefully I can find some starts from one the remnants close by.

Feed stations and water bowls can be kept next to the patches to promote young chickens staying their during periods of extreme heat.

Transplanting will occur in March. I perimeter fence will protect patches from larger animals that will do harm to the patches. My estimates are 4 years will pass before patches close up and become dense enough to provide cover. Goats / sheep will supplement control with lawn mower.


Supposed to be in management section.
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,373
17,726
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
Mowing part is fun already with windbreaks. Wasps and you have to mow it during 2-week interval when shoots are coming up where they are not supposed to. Roosting part will be fun as well. I am thinking about making some sort of overhead roof in middle that kids can also use as club house. It will be a location that is easy to hide in.
 

Seniah

In the Brooder
Dec 4, 2018
18
30
46
Levy county, Florida
That sounds awesome.
Remember that bamboo plants can travel underground for +- 25 feet, before popping up where you don't want them. Be diligent with mowing/kicking over out of bounds culms. Leave at least 25 feet of mowable border where you can.
And post pictures.
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
Jul 31, 2018
17,609
137,685
1,582
Catalonia, Spain
My Coop
My Coop
Both Cane and bamboo grow here. The bamboo clump in the picture is a favorite shelter zone for two groups of chickens that live here and has saved at least 4 chicken lives that I know of. Unfortunately weasels will and have followed a chicken into the clump, but if the chicken manages to turn to face the weasel the weasel is put at a considerable disadvantage once in the clump because the options of getting behind the chicken become more limited.
This is another ‘safe spot’ which works on a different principle. This is close to the house, has two fast exit routes and is difficult for aerial predators to negotiate.
There are many similar spots within the four acre foraging boundary of the four groups of chickens here. Cane clumps are always a favorite refuge here as are giant Yucca plants, dense rosemary bushes and bramble clumps grown over felled branches.
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centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,373
17,726
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
Patch will be in a paddoc that goes at a minimum of 100 feet beyond patch boundaries. Much of that area will mowed or subjected to prescribed burns. I will have to protect patch itself from the livestock using some sort of fence. Dogs will have ability to get in at predators that go in. Weasels and mink do not fair well here owing to dogs really going after them hard.
 

Seniah

In the Brooder
Dec 4, 2018
18
30
46
Levy county, Florida
Like a lot of things, my chickens would eat bamboo leaves some days, and others not. But I believe chickens evolved in the bamboo forests of Asia, so they should be quite at home, there.
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,373
17,726
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
Patch is to be 1/10 acre which is 4,356 square feet. Patch to be a square for kids club house use so 66' x 66'. Planting at 4 foot intervals in a 66' x 66' plot will require about 256 starts. Will shoot for 300 to deal with fails. Got to get to work.
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,373
17,726
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
Like a lot of things, my chickens would eat bamboo leaves some days, and others not. But I believe chickens evolved in the bamboo forests of Asia, so they should be quite at home, there.
Current patches are not impacted negatively by chicken activity. I cannot eat the stuff raw either, tried and not pleasant as like eating raw chard. Goats and cattle destroy bamboo patches in short order.
 

MANNA-PRO

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