Is there any solution?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ClareScifi, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There is a raised bed in the middle of my most secure chicken run. It used to be a greenhouse, but we turned it into a run. Last year, before I knew we were going to do that, I planted a whole bunch of prized tulips in the raised bed, rescuing them from voles in the main garden.

    They are up now, tall, but I'm afraid to take the fir mulch off them (they are poking through it), for fear the chickens will devour them. The chickens love to fly up on top of the raised bed and perch, sitting on the fir branches covering the tulips.

    The tulips are stretching toward the light and are about 10" tall. I'm also afraid the chickens may soon squish the tulips by sitting atop the fir branches.

    It is a certain the chickens would strip and devour the tulips if I removed the fir branches; correct? There is no other live greenery in that run.

    I thought about covering the tulips with a netting, but I fear the chickens would fly up and sit on it and crush the tulips.

    I'm wondering whether my only solution is to put the chickens in the less secure run?

    What do you think?
     
  2. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just now I went out to the run and noticed there are bites and pieces missing out of the tulip leaves sticking through the fir branches, so I think I'd better move the chickens into the less secure run. If I need to go somewhere, I guess I can put them in the secure coop, as long as it's not too hot out. After the tulips bloom, I can cover them up again with fir branches and let the chickens back in, I think. Or would the tulip leaves need sun to cure, after they bloom, to insure new blooms next year? I really don't have anywhere too good to move them.
     
  3. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm having a hard time picturing what you're dealing with but in general if you don't want chickens to eat something you either need to remove the chickens or fence off access to whatever you want to protect.
     
  4. EggyErin

    EggyErin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You'll need to let the tulip greens start to wilt before covering them so that they get energy for next year. And yes, the chickens will demolish them. Why not make another raised bed somewhere else and move the tulips? The only other option is to make a cage over the bed.
     
  5. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What a nightmare! The netting I'd put over the raised bed last summer had been pushed down by the weight of the chickens perching on the fir branches above it, and the netting was binding each and every tulip! I had to cut it all off and cut my finger in the process, but all the tulips are now free of their constraints. I lost a few leaves in the process, but now they can all breathe.

    The chickens are in the less secure run. Got a better door built to it, so that helps.

    Cleaned the dried manure out of the tulip bed.

    I don't know whether the netting binding the tulips' leaves, in some cases, down low, may have prevented the buds from growing or not. I think they'll still bloom. Time will tell.
     

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