Has anyone planted hops outside the run for shade?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by gale65, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. gale65

    gale65 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I read in a magazine that it grows up to 25 ft per year and comes back every year. I'm looking for easy grow hardy plants that will come back every year to plant outside our run for shade. I prefer to avoid grapes or any other of that type of fruit since it would be eaten up by wild birds who will then poop color all over our place. So I thought maybe the hops...
  2. tbtorra

    tbtorra New Egg

    Mar 24, 2012
    While I don't have any experience with coops as I'm still in the planning phase of chicken-ing, I can say that hops grow like crazy. But mostly they grow like crazy upward. The higher you can give them something to grow on, the happier they will be. They don'w grow as much horizontally as other vines, though, so if you're looking for more coverage you might need more plants. I would say a single plant given 2-3 pieces of twine to anchor to covers about 2-3 feet of horizontal space. They have nice wide leaves and I don't *think* they're toxic to animals, but you might want to check. It also takes a couple years for them to reach their fullest hight potential. And if you are or know a home brewer, they would *love* the fresh hops. I know lots of home brewers are dividing their rhizomes right now for the spring so you might be able to find a bunch of plants pretty cheap. Hope this helps!
  3. seanb

    seanb Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 24, 2011
    Central PA
    I was thinking about planting hops too, but for brewing, not for shade. For a shade vine, you might consider Wisteria.
  4. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    I don't have hops,but my clematis grows well.I have to gaurd my grapes from the hens more than the wild birds.Give the hops a try.It has many uses.If it was sold locally I would buy some.
  5. gale65

    gale65 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Will wisteria hurt them if they manage to pick at it through the fence?
  6. SacCityChickens

    SacCityChickens Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 31, 2012
    Sacramento Ca
    I have grapes growing along the top of the fence behind where I placed my coop. It covers the fence every year with vines.
    I'm gonna let them grow up on & cover the coop, this summer.

  7. cva34

    cva34 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2011
    Van Vleck ,TX
    Great Idea sit in Shade and have Brew and enjoy BIRDS
  8. jendodd79

    jendodd79 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 20, 2012
    I've heard that hops is a fantastic plant for chickens and that they love to eat it! I'd be really interested to know if anyone else uses it!
  9. flgardengirl

    flgardengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 2, 2009
    Sunny side up :)
    My dh would love this idea! He is wanting to start growing hops for brewing. I think I will suggest it to him. Hope the chickens don't eat it all haha
  10. jerryb

    jerryb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 7, 2011
    Southern Michigan
    If you want lots of hops for shade go with "cascade" for a hop variety. It is well know amongst home brewers to be nearly a pest for growing so fast. It is also the hop of choice for many american pale ale recipes so you score twice. Some of the other hop varieties are not so easy to grow.

    If you do not mind replanting each year, I would consider old fashioned pole beans. They will seriously cover whatever you put them on and for a bonus you get beans, or your chickens do.


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