Help with ideas for plants to control erosion

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mburcim, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. mburcim

    mburcim New Egg

    Aug 3, 2008
    Our flock is about 9 months old. They used to free range all day but now they are inside a large fenced yard on a steep hillside. They have eaten everything that was growing there and they have scratched a lot of the dirt down the hill. We have not had any rain in months, and I know it is going to be a mess when it starts. I am worried about erosion and would like to plant something in there to help. Can anyone provide some ideas of what I can plant in there? We live in central Texas and the area is semi-shaded. What about using jute netting to help keep the soil in place?? Thanks!
  2. #1California Chick

    #1California Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2008
    SF Bay Area

    Welcome to BYC!! You will find LOTS of help here!!

    I think that it will be VERY hard to grow ANYTHING inside the run that the chickens will not eat as soon as it breaks ground.

    You may want to put some planks or rocks in place to keep the soil from flowing down hill.

    You may also want to divide the space in half. Then they could graze part of the area, while the other part "recovers".

    Good Luck!!

  3. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    You might consider planting some bushes to hold the ground and give them shade in the summer. Azaleas and Rose of Sharon do a good job. Or you may just have to put the run somewhere else and replant with grass.
  4. waynesgarden

    waynesgarden Feathers of Steel

    Mar 30, 2008
    Oxford County
    I agree that growing anything in there will be impossible while chickens inhabit it. I have a sloping run, maybe not as steep but completely bare. When our snow melts in the spring, it will be terraced to prevent the soil washing down.

  5. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    I agree that putting in a terrace or two will help some, I live in SW Olahoma where we have pretty much the same kind of soil and weather conditions as oyu do. If you could find a way to keep them off of it untill you can get some Burmuda grass started that will help a bunch. Burmuda grass has very deep roots and you just cannot kill it, they will not be able to peck it clean it grows really fast, just buy the U3 variety it is more drought resistant, and the litter they produce should keep it growing like gang busters. All of my pastures are terraced it is the only way for me to get control in this Godforsaken weather hell hole we call Oklahoma.

  6. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

  7. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Chicory fern is good for erosion too and the birds won't touch it. Has the aroma of licorice which smells lovely on a hot summer day.
  8. mburcim

    mburcim New Egg

    Aug 3, 2008
    Thanks for all the info and ideas! Can you provide more info about chicory fern? I am not familiar with that.
    Bamboo, bermuda...etc.. all good ideas. I need to get to work!
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2009
  9. Omran

    Omran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    Quote:Hello, it just happen that I am in erosion control business for construction sites, the only problem is that you have to find some where else for your chicken while you do any planting on the hill in your backyard.
    Here is the Rule ( vegitations controls Erosion ) you can fix it with seeding it with some contractor mix grass seed ( 80% fescue and 10% annual rye seed) and then get you some straw plankets they are usually about 100' long by 8' wide and get sod stables to hold it in ground, each straw blanket sells for about $49.00 you can find
    it at midwestconstruction or whitecap look on the net, and it is really very eay to install and very reliable, don't get any straw blankets from HD or lowe's you just throwing money away.

    good luck and if you have any Questions please be sure to PM me and I will do my best to help you.

  10. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Chicory fern is popular here and the best way to get some is to ask neighbours because you need a large quantity for this project. Most forms of thyme are hardy in your region and will spread fast, expecially around rocks and boulders. Once planted chicory fern digs in fast and spreads via runners, so you can cover a hillside quickly. I'd combine it with some other smaller plants so that your are not dependent on one species for ground cover- mixes well with clover. You can also add day lilies to the mix, possibly nearer the bottom of the hill. The birds may peck at the tubers but shouldn't distress the plants in meaningful ways, they are looking for grubs.

    I was also thinking that you may have some native cactus that would suffice, or some succulents like jade plants and aloe vera that could be added as you get the tougher ones established.

    These are good reference points for your part of the world:,default,pg.html
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2009

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