Garden and run co-design

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by holachicka, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. holachicka

    holachicka Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 4, 2010
    Folsom, CA
    Hi! I'm a newbie, but I've been a BYC stalker for a few months now... [​IMG] My hubby, two babies and I bought 5 acres in sunny california and we are finally just starting my chicken coop, run and vegetable garden! Our plan is for the chicken run to surround the vegetable garden... We have a deer problem here, and we can either surround the garden with one 8 foot fence to keep out deer, or two 5 foot fences, 5 feet apart to keep the the deer from jumping in (we've heard, read and been told they can jump high, or long, but not both at the same time). We figured we could enclose the two fences and make all of my dreams come true in one swoop... (chickens, and vegetable garden!) I was hoping for some thoughts on this, Do you think that chickens surrounging a vegetable garden wil help to keep insects down? Would they make use of the full run? (think 100 feet by 75 feet for the garden, with a 5 foot hallway surrounding it for the chickens). I'm planning to purchase 20-30 chickens this spring, and there will be a 8-11' house for them. I'd really apprecieate any advice! Thanks in advance!!

  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    [​IMG] holachick,

    A few months ago someone was posting pix of her successful hallway surrounding the garden. Sounds like a good idea. Make sure the chickens can't get into the garden.

    Imnp- you'll have to post pix.
  3. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    [​IMG] and [​IMG] from Ohio. It sounds like a real good plan. Your chickens should be happy. Of course I would be happy living somewhere that the snow doesn't last for months. Good luck! [​IMG]
  4. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

    May 22, 2009
    North Central Florida
    eventually you will need to relocate your garden because of nematodes. How about arranging it so that the chickens can have 1/3 the garden 1/3 and then have 1/3 for cover crop? then the girls can clean up the cover crop, fertilize the ground, clean up any weed and seed and insect larva, and then you plant their run?
    then let them into the garden after it's done then plant a cover crop-some nitrogen fixing clover would be good- then just rotate them as you need. I would think a garden in the outside run would work well too, except that you'd trap deer- but you'd be rather self sufficient that way. eggs, veggies AND red meat.
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    [​IMG] The plan sounds awesome...looking forward to seeing pictures this spring!
  6. topknot19

    topknot19 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 2, 2008
    Starr, SC
    HolaChicka, that is a novel idea. thanks for posting your plans.

    One other plan that caught my attention last spring was the idea of a central coop and garden shed building with a large fenced area on each side. One side will be a garden area and the other a run. then at the end of the growing seasons the chicks get the garden to pick in and the run becomes a fertized garden the next spring.

    Others may have different ideas along the same line. [​IMG]

  7. suburbanhomesteader

    suburbanhomesteader Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you have the space, this is the most brilliant idea I've ever seen for a coop:

    And these folks tweaked the plan to fit their needs:

    I do believe if you wanted to, you could make the exterior fence a 5' covered "run". That would increase the "free range" area for your flock dramatically, and would solve the deer fence, the compost pile, and the garden rotation problems simultaneously.

    Lucky you!
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2010
  8. elem

    elem Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 12, 2009
    If you go to this link: you can find some plans and more info about the two fences idea. You won't necessarily have to move your garden either just make sure you read up on nematodes/pest insects/fungus and crop rotations then make the garden plot big enough that you can let some beds/areas grow cover crops or lay fallow for a while. If I had enough space for a big garden I would be building a chicken moat to keep 2 or 3 breeding flocks separate [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  9. holachicka

    holachicka Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 4, 2010
    Folsom, CA
    Thanks for the warm welcomes!! I'll be sure to read up on nematodes rotations and cover crops, It was one of my concerns from the begining. I saw and loved the idea of switching the garden site and chicken run on either side of the coop, but the size of my garden and the number of tree's DH would be forced to take down won't allow for that idea [​IMG] . I really like the idea of keeping two flocks seperate and that may be a possibility... I could easily put a barrier fence seperating two halves of the hallway. I also planned on building a small door to let the chickens have at the garden when I'm ready to till everything up and plant cover crops. LOVE the mother earth news article as well! 3goodeggs, I wold love to trap a deer! [​IMG]
  10. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    Here's the good news, I've never encountered nematdes in socal.

    Since you can garden 4 seasons here, crop rotation happens all the time (peas grown in winter on the trelisses your summer tomatoes use).

    The chicken moat idea works well here, my last place the hens had access to 3 sides of the garden (bonus, they love hornworms).

    For garden cleanup, i'd put a tractor on the beds i wanted cleaned up and let them clear it out. A simple toddler playyard I already hand and plywood bungie corded on for shade worked good. Give them a full waterer and let them scratch up some grub. litteraly.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010

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