Ideas needed for plants chickens DON'T like-garden help!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by chickonaroost, Jul 9, 2007.

  1. chickonaroost

    chickonaroost In the Brooder

    Jun 13, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    My chickens free range most of the day and for the most part, stay where they belong, eating bugs, grass, etc. I have learned what chickens LOVE-ie, tomatoes, clematis vine, sedums, strawberries, etc.....
    I have a flower bed close to the house that they love to scratch in-just in one corner. They have eaten (devoured) four varieties of sedum and keep coming back for the sad, few surviving shoots. I need ideas for plants chickens don't like to eat. I have discovered (completely by accident) that they will not eat pennyroyal, snow on the mountain, sweet potatoe vine, astilbe or hostas.
    Can anyone add to the list??? I guess I need to plant things they won't eat in my flower bed, and things they like in the chicken garden.
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Invasive thisle and invasive himalayan black berries... sorry. What my chickens don't eat they scratch up!
  3. SandraChick

    SandraChick Songster

    I think you will find that such a list is not as easy as you might think...

    for example...

    Mine won't touch the clematis and I can't keep astibile without a cage wire around it.

    I will admit, that one reason my chickens don't do as much damage as others is that I have lots of space (8 chickens that roam 3/4ac.

    What I have found that works for me is...
    **crowd the dirt, no digging out the plant
    **when putting in new plants
    **large plants- put large rocks at base of plant so they can't scratch the dirt at the base.
    **seedings- either put a temporary cage around it, or cut out the bottom of a clear plastic bottle and give it its own "mini greenhouse).

    Very often, when my chickens eat a plant I don't want them to, it's not yet well established or full grown. Once to that point, they won't eat it.

    ON my list (just off the top of my head) that chickens don't eat are:

    all bulbs
    sunflowers once they are 2-3" high- they love the sprouts
    daisies (and daisy like plants like coneflower, susan B's etc)
    (nothing eats pennyroyal, not even goats)

    For me the biggest destruction is from scratching the soil around the base of the plant and/or dustbathing in the beds.

    Good luck.
  4. mom'sfolly

    mom'sfolly Crowing

    Feb 15, 2007
    Austin area, Texas
    Mine don't eat my autumn sage (salvia greggii), lemon balm, mint, parsley, ivy, chives and nasty baby oak trees. I don't think they like plants with strong odors, although they do eat the rosemary. Maybe something like scented geraniums, things in the allium family, and different types of sages would work. Mine also haven't eaten any of my ferns. Good luck. My only tomato plant now has just bare stems, every new leaf gets eaten as soon as it unfolds.
  5. Picco

    Picco Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    I place rocks and hammer short stakes into the soil in the garden to discourage scratching. If you make it uncomfortable for them to walk through it, they wont stay in it. I have had really good luck with the annual red salvia. It has sturdy stalks so it stands up to most abuse and I have never witnessed them eating it. Irises, day lillies, hosta, melapodium and cannas also work well. I'm not sure about thier toxicity but I have never seen any evidence of them eating or wanting to eat these plants.
  6. chickonaroost

    chickonaroost In the Brooder

    Jun 13, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    The rocks and stakes are great ideas, also thanks for the plant suggestions. My girls have 5 acres of yard and woods to roam. You'd think they'd be so busy with bugs and grubs, they would care less about my tiny flower bed!
  7. foxtrot

    foxtrot Hatching

    Aug 11, 2007
    Hmmm...I guess I have the only chickens that LOVE my hostas! They keep devouring them! I've started putting cayenne pepper on them to see if this works. Too soon to tell!

  8. okiechick57

    okiechick57 Songster

    I have had to make all my garden beds rock gardens....keeps them out for the most part.........NOW my Guineas....they will go anywhere.over anything.up onto my roof to reach what they want...........funny, my flock will not touch my sedums.........ummm
  9. be_collective

    be_collective In the Brooder

    Aug 3, 2007
    Tacoma, WA
    My blue hostas are all eaten and my variegated hostas have not been touched. Im thinking of making my perennial garden an herb garden. They dont seem to be touching any of my herbs.
  10. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    My birds love my roses......[​IMG]

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