Garden near the chickens? Or no?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sdm1908, Aug 8, 2014.

  1. sdm1908

    sdm1908 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello everyone!
    So I have 4 chickens right now (two pullets and two chicks) and I recently just had a six foot high wooden fence built around the coop with lots of area for the girls to roam. I was considering planting some herbs in this wooden gated area and I was wondering what herbs do you recommend/ what else should I put in this area. It's a pretty big area for just 4 chickens and I want to make the area look nice
     
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    If you are planning to allow your chickens access to the planting area then you should look at lists of toxic plants, chicken friendly plants and landscaping in the runs. There are several threads on this on BYC, articles on legitimate blog sites and at least 2 books on the subject.

    Chickens will destroy new plantings. Before and after pics are quite dramatic on how fast they can eliminate ground covers and tender plants, so you will need to protect the plants from scratching around the roots or pulling small plants out of the ground. If you plan to use herbs for your own use, you should not give them free access to them at all. If their area is open overhead, most recommend shrubs to give them shelter and once established are more chicken tolerant.

    Try a search for the issue. There are great discussions in our forums on what others have done and their advice will help you decide.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    How big is the area(feet by feet)?

    It;s true that chickens will quickly decimate almost all vegetation they have fee access too.
    You could try using grazing frames, about the only way to keep greenery inside a chicken run.
    They can eat the tips of the plants but not scratch at the roots.

    Here's where I first saw the idea, good blog, read all the comments too for more info.

    Here's one that I use in my run, built more some with larger mesh but haven't installed them yet.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    The grazing frames are interesting, but I have a fear the chickens will injure their feet on the wire ?
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    It's possible, and why I covered the edge with strips of wood on the top one in the photo above, you can grind down any sharpness or fold over the edges of the hardware cloth before attaching. Just check all the wire for any sharpness before putting in the run, especially at the edges of the mesh.... the rest of the mesh should be pretty good tho.
     
  6. Aronia

    Aronia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sure!
     
  7. sdm1908

    sdm1908 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    what would be a sturdy plant that I could put in that they wouldn't destroy?
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    The smaller mesh will only allow grass like plant leaves grow thru it.....you need a larger mesh if you want to use larger leafed plants.
     
  9. sdm1908

    sdm1908 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The area that we have is enclosed, but it can hold things six feet and smaller, could we have like a small tree?
     
  10. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    You might want to consider landscaping the outside of your pen. They will want to eat whatever you put on the inside. We had a volunteer tree growing inside one of our runs - it was about 5' high - and they stripped it as far as they could reach. Just remember that if you plant something on the outside of your pens, if they can reach through to eat leaves and stems they will.
     

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