Has anyone used rugosa roses to shade their runs?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Solsken Farm, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. I am able to make some improvements on my coop/run this spring after setting everything up last spring. I definitely plan on less free ranging for my chickies this year to make sure they are safe.

    I am thinking of transplanting some rugosas to give some shade for them. Anyone have any luck with these in their runs? Also we have alot of pine shrubs that can be transplanted.



  2. waynesgarden

    waynesgarden Feathers of Steel

    Mar 30, 2008
    Oxford County
    Hi Jennifer,

    They are a pretty aggressive plant and will spread by snaking roots out underground. I had a huge patch of them whn in the Adirondacks and they tried to spread everywhere. They weren't on the invasive plant list but is was on the draft list of plants to watch.

    They grew to about 5 or 6 feet. Hummingbirds loved them.
    I'd plant them where you can keep them in check by mowing or by the constant scratching of the chickens.

  3. Sylvie

    Sylvie Songster

    Jul 15, 2008
    That sounds not only pretty but useful with the rosehips and also the thorn barrier.
    We have the nasty wild multiflora roses spreading everywhere and I hope the girls find those shoots desirable this spring. I thought I'd be clever and feed the tiny hips to them all winter as a fruit supplement until I realized that the seeds would pass through into to the droppings and happily germinate in my garden.
  4. We have lots of this around our yard and it seems like it might be one bush the chooks could get some shade from, but not completely destroy. I love rugosa....[​IMG]
  5. Msbear

    Msbear Fancy Banties

    May 8, 2008
    Sharpsburg, MD.
    I bought 6 last year and their mulched in a bed til I can transplant them in the spring. Im using them for a bordering plant in front of leyland cypress. I've heard about how hardy they are. Im sure they are chook chook proof.... but I bet it would be nice for them to scratch around under them. We have a huge abelia bush we call "the bush that sounds like a chicken" [​IMG]
  6. I thought about it, but saw two distinct disadvantages -

    1. maintenance of fences would be really tough & painful
    2. it would be hard to see if a critter burrowed in under the roses

    I was thinking of trying lilacs or something non-thorny. Right now there are some gooseberry bushes which the chickens LOVE, but those are a thorny nuisance. It really sucks having to catch a chicken hiding in a thorny bush, and darn if that's not exactly where they hide!
  7. CityChook

    CityChook Songster

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    I have grown A LOT of rugosa roses as I'm in zone 4 and they tend to be pretty cold hardy. They are lovely, low maintenance rose bushes. Depending on the one that you get, they can be quite bushy or quite large. One common trait amongst this type of rose is that they have WICKED thorns. Awl-like and very very sharp. Every spring when I do my trimming, I finish the day with a beer (attitude adjustment) and lots of neosporin for all the cuts and scratches. Bearded Chick makes a VERY good point that retrieving an escapee from under this bush will not be a pleasant experience.... Also, it could be several years before you see the shade benefits of a rose bush. In these colder climates they just don't grow all THAT fast.

    Last summer I had to diligently watch the pullets as they loved to sneak into my rose gardens.... I don't spray, so I didn't worry about chemicals, but they can do a fair amount of damage in a short amount of time.

  8. Raven1

    Raven1 Songster

    Dec 29, 2008
    Carthage, TN
    I was thinking about Privet shrubs what do any of you think.
    hard to dammage(I can't kill them) fast growth no thorns can trim to any height
  9. Last summer I had to diligently watch the pullets as they loved to sneak into my rose gardens.... I don't spray, so I didn't worry about chemicals, but they can do a fair amount of damage in a short amount of time.

    I agree about the damage. I have a few lilacs and roses planted in the free range area, and they all have potholes around them from the scratching and dustbathing.

    The good news is that the plants really don't seem too upset about it, once they are established. I had them caged with wire until then.​
  10. Our rugosas actually grew very quickly. I was just going to try digging some up and moving them. When one of our flocks free ranged, they loved going under these, but it is true that they are dickens to get if they won't come out. My kids are a good remedy for that. Of course they had the whole yard, so they didn't mess the roses up too much. They just made a nice little room underneath. [​IMG]

    I could put some on the outside of the chain link. I am not worried about maintenance as the chain link doesn't need any. It is there for as long as we have the chooks.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2009

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by