Best plants for run area? Advice Needed.


8 Years
Jul 3, 2011
Hello there:

We are in the lower hills of Oakland, Caifornia with a very temperate climate and lots of rain (well usually but not this year). We just closed our chickens into a fenced-in run area because they were eating all my veggies and pooping all over our patio. Now they have their own space where they can do whatever they want and we're all happy. I want to put some plants in their run area that they WON"T eat so that it looks nice and there is some plants holding the soil together. Any suggestions on what is safe for them but they won't eat? Thanks!

Lynn in Oakland
They will munch on anything they see. Why not plant perennial veggie plants, like artichokes? You could even select herbs. When they bloom, they have the daintiest, most lovely flowers.
I have never seen my chickens chomping down my wild mint, btw...
Planting herbs back there is a great idea. I was hoping for some tall plants too though. Thank you!
The problem is, even if they won't eat a certain plant, they will scratch around it and uproot it. Unless there's a large area with only a few chickens, they're going to tear up whatever you plant in their pen.
Large decorative grasses would be good. Mine LOVE to hide in it. Berry bushes would be great too. I've had luck putting concrete slabs around the base of plants I don't want them to dig around too much. Also, you can make cloche's out of hardware cloth to cover plants until they get big enough to be a real treat for them to eat. Good luck!
try looking up your native resinous plants and those in the wormwood family. many of our native plants recover but are not in the runs. the herb use types may not make it. my boys have separate runs and things grow in their runs. ive noticed that if deer wont eat it here my ladies dont either. i have 3 types of jasmine growing in and near the poultry area. they ate everything else except some tops of fetter bushes a tall native shrub that grows out of jumping height, beautiful bark. but ive noticed that at different times of the year they will eat some things like a tonic and other times leave it be.
Another vote for bushy, berry plants! They spread nicely but can be trimmed. In fact, you just gave me a great idea to plant those around the edges of my run! I will move a couple of bushes in my yard this spring. Thanks

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