Growing corn with Chickens

MacGyver

In the Brooder
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
10
0
22
I want to plant corn in my chicken coop since they tore all the grass up anyway and relocate them until the corn takes off. Does anyone know how big the corn needs to get before the chickens wont destroy it?
 

cstronks

Songster
Mar 12, 2013
751
97
176
New Jersey
I want to plant corn in my chicken coop since they tore all the grass up anyway and relocate them until the corn takes off. Does anyone know how big the corn needs to get before the chickens wont destroy it?
This is a slippery slope. Chicken crap has A LOT of nitrogen in it, so planting vegetables inside the coop might not be the best idea. Usually, chicken manure is aged before it is used to fertilize crops. I have begun to compost mine rather than apply it directly as fertilizer. I do not know if you will have success growing corn, or any vegetable for that matter, within a chicken coop.
 

wyoDreamer

Free Ranging
10 Years
Nov 10, 2010
5,383
9,281
531
NE Wisconsin
The biggest problem with growing veggies in a chicken coop is the mud created when watering the plants. If you can live with the mess, go ahead and give it a try. Corn likes high nitrogen and the chickens will probably enjoy the shade and bugs. I would probably only plant a couple of rows of corn in the coop at a time, like three rows the length of the run. This will give them a shady area and a sunny area

I would wait until the corn plants are at least as tall as the chickens. Just a guess as I have never tried to do this. My logic is that as the corn grows the leaves get older and less desirable to eat and at this height, the chickens won't get past the leaves to the growing point of the plant without really working at it. My logic may be flawed though, I have been known to be wrong a number of times in the past.

Give it a try, and if it doesn't work you have happy chickens and are out about a $2 packet of seed.
 

Daisy8s

Songster
8 Years
Sep 12, 2011
467
136
138
Central Michigan
Love the idea of planting crops in that area!

I planted a mix of squash and pumpkin in my chicken run last year. I placed an overturned milk crate (the kind with large gaps in the bottom and sides) over the top of each squash hill. This protected the little seedlings when they first emerged. As the squash grew the vines simply traveled right through the gaps in the crate. The crate also protected the hill from being destroyed by their scratching so it was left in place all summer and fall.

I had a good crop. The chickens left the vines and leaves alone. Did have to be vigilant about picking the squash and pumpkins when ripe--the hard-shelled varieties like hubbard fared better against experimental pecks.

My flock also roamed through my corn. Can't remember how tall the corn was when I let them back into the garden (they're locked out for spring and then allowed back in mid- to late-summer). Only problem was if a racoon had clawed open an ear over night then the chickens would jump up and peck at the exposed kernels the next morning.

My only real problem with them has been eating tomatoes and any berry they can reach.
 

Mattemma

Crowing
10 Years
Aug 12, 2009
5,314
93
291
I had some of their BOSS sprout in my run area.For us the plants had to be a bit taller then them,but I noticed they would still take a few tastes.
 

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