growing garden in the chicken pen

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by pattypenny, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. pattypenny

    pattypenny Songster

    Sep 27, 2007
    I have two chicken pens one on each side of my chicken house. I was carrying dirt from one to fill containers for a few vegetables. I am 72 years old and this was hard work so one day I had a bright idea. One pen is all I need at this time until fall when I will move my new layers into the hen house why move the dirt out I will just close off the pen and grow garden in this pen and this fall after I have harvested my vegetables I will turn the hens back to the pen and they can have the pleasure of harvesting the rest.
    I have cucumbers , squash, tomatoes zinnias and marigolds growing in my chicken pen garden and the plants look great and The chane link fence is made to order for the tomato and cucumber plants to vine on. Do you think any of these plants will be harmful to the chickens when I turn them back in to graze?
  2. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    I think tomato plants are bad for them....BUT my chickens never would eat them anyway. I actually had an unfenced tomato patch last year and free ranged the chickens for a few hours in the evening -- they never ate my tomato plants as long as I made sure there were no bright red tomatoes on the vines when the chickens came out. hehehe
  3. ParrotsNPullets

    ParrotsNPullets Songster

    Jun 8, 2009
    Upstate New York
    Good idea, no moving dirt or worrying about getting fencing to keep out deer!

    My gals finished off my garden after harvest which included all of your plants- minus the Zinnias, and we had no problems. Hopefully someone else will chime in though. [​IMG]
  4. kungfukitty

    kungfukitty In the Brooder

    May 9, 2010
    Eureka, CA
    Excellent idea and your garden looks wonderful! [​IMG]
  5. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    I tried building a "moat" around the garden last year for the chickens but they kept figuring out how to get under the fencing. They ate the 3 gardens I planted. This year I fenced in the garden and fenced out the chickens. I'll let them run wild in there after the gardening season is over!

    I'm a firm believer that at chickens won't eat anything that is going to kill them. I've had 2 stick their heads and a gallon of laytex paint, came out spitting and flinging, but they are just fine.
  6. chicnfarmer

    chicnfarmer Songster

    May 21, 2010
    GREAT idea - pre-fertilized and de-bugged, fenced in planting plot!
  7. mordarlar

    mordarlar Songster

    May 17, 2010
    That is a fantastic plan. I love systems where as many pieces as possible fit together.

    The chickens will devour last summer's garden insect population clearing the space for the following year. They will cut up and turn over a light top layer of old plant material, soil and manure The turned up soil of the run will not be wasted space when not in use.

    The garden, which will probably be very prolific due to the great soil, will produce food for your family and your chickens. The plants in the garden will consume much of the nutrients left by the chickens, balancing out the levels which would otherwise grow in too large a concentration over an extended time.

    Edited to add one of my favorite aspects...low manual input. [​IMG]

    Very nice. You've inspired me. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2010
  8. toletiquesbysam

    toletiquesbysam Songster

    Sep 19, 2008
    Love the idea, wish I had 2 runs so I could do this as well. My garden is next to my run, so I can dump the water directly into my garden and throw the weeds, worms, etc to the girls. 1st year I've done this too, so we'll see how it works, they can see the plants but they are not close enough to reach them!
  9. Oh I soooo wish I had 2 run's now so I could do just that! I would rotate every other year on the runs that way this year the hen's are making a perfect soil for your plant's next year! So easy and fun! And talk about putting those girls to work, oh and how fun is that for the hen's! I bet they will be like kid's in a candy store when they get to go clean up the garden after the grow season! Very very cool idea!
  10. P.S. I SORT of do something like this, I have a round wire compost bin and am currently housing it in the space I plan on building a raised veggie bed. When I water the compost it drips a virtual compost tea into the ground from all that good chicken poo and grass and kitchen scraps... Next year I will have AMAZING tomatos and peas and...and...and lol I get carried away with the veggies [​IMG]

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