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Chicken Garden Plan: Suggestions wanted

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Scaredstiff, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. Scaredstiff

    Scaredstiff In the Brooder

    Mar 6, 2012
    Norfolk County, MA
    So, research reveals that chickens and gardens go well together, and the best plan is to get a couple of different sections and let the chickens into each section for a week or so, and then on to the next so the area can rest and you get first pick at your produce. However, most of the people using this method either have a mobile coop or go completely free range.

    I was thinking something more along the lines of this here. Please forgive my lame MSpaint skills. Black is, obviously, fence. The red bits are for gates. The central area will be open always for the chickens, where the coop, water, and feed will be.

    There's a gate from the coop area into each zone, and each zone also has a gate to the outside, for ease of wheelbarrow and harvest. Also planning on having gates between the front and back to run to the compost w/o having to let the chickens into the area you don't want them in. For the water, I'm planning on having a (heated) water feature, like a fountain or little waterfall or something. Obviously, this is going to be built in stages due to money concerns, but the center pen will be built before the chickens are brought home.

    So...thoughts, suggestions, list of plants to keep the birds away from at all costs?

  2. DNCXmom

    DNCXmom In the Brooder

    Jan 23, 2012
    Northern Califorina
    I think your have a great Idea. I like it.
  3. Chicks on DL

    Chicks on DL Chirping

    Feb 1, 2012
    West Coast, Florida.
    Onions and Chives will make the eggs taste funny. Garlic chives are medicinal but will also make the eggs taste funny. Edible flowers like marigolds will make the yolks darker orange, very cool. Nasturtiums are edible and will keep the pests off the vegetables. Beat leaves are good for them but gives them diarrhea (first hand experience!). Tomatoes are good but the leaves/plant are poisonous to them. I also read citrus is bad for them but others on this site have written that they haven't had any problems. [​IMG]

    Basically anything not fit for human consumption is not fit for them either.

    I think you have a good plan that will allow you to rotate crops, feed what you don't use to the chickens, and get compost in return. Keep us posted on the progress. I too am looking at expanding the garden areas in our back yard.
  4. Scaredstiff

    Scaredstiff In the Brooder

    Mar 6, 2012
    Norfolk County, MA
    For the garlic and onion, do you mean funny gross or funny like 'slightly garlicy' ? As for having tomato plants, i've heard that the chickens will not actually eat anything that's bad for them until they've completely run out of healthy greenery. Then it's "need greens" versus "gah, bad for me" and needing fresh food tends to win.

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