13 Years
Oct 24, 2009
Can I plant some fancy conifers in my chicken run? Will they eat the conifers or damage them - or are they dangerous for chickens?

I want to make the run look greener and have more shady places and hiding places for my chickens, as now they have eaten all the grass and small shrubs there is no much shade for them, and it looks boring.

I planted some bamboo in there and that is doing really well, and they don't eat it - just wanted something cheap and different.
I don't think most conifers are harmful or of great interest to chickens, but if you know exactly what variety you're planning to get then I'd do some targeted research to find out for sure before you plant.

Ours will occasionally pick at some of our conifers in the yard, but they don't seem thrilled with them and never did any real damage from consumption. However, they did trampled the crap out of a pine sappling we had in the yard, so we had to put a fence around it to prevent future mashings.
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thanks for the reply. I am going to add some of the tall cone shaped ones like you see in Italy. Also some very dense ones. I will keep them in the pots and take them out if the chickens seem to be eating them.
It's been our experience while raising chickens that if it's poisonous they will not touch it anyway. However, Yew is a poisonous conifer and should be avoided both for it's leaves and it's berries. One issue I have only read and do not know from personal experience is the sap from these trees can burn chickens feet? The only problem I can think of is when conifers sprout and grow new branches sap can run down the main trunk and onto the ground. That could create a sticky problem for chickens.
That is interesting, that you. I can not get Yew in my country, so that will not be a problem. I always was told that Yew berries were poisonous, but I used to watch the thrushes eating them in the winter and wonder how they can digest them. Probably they are evolved to be resistant to the poison.

Can't wait till tomorrow. I am going to the garden centre to buy some conifers for the run. I am mainly doing it to give the chickens more shade.
The flesh of the yew berry is not poisonous, but every other part of the plant is (living or withered). When a bird eats a yew berry, the seed passes through undigested.\

Edit: Oops, necro. How'd I even end up reading this topic?
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