Landscaping a chicken run?

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by Shaunassy, Sep 18, 2016.

  1. Shaunassy

    Shaunassy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Im not sure if this is the right place to post but its about plants so hopefully in belongs in this forum.

    I have two 7-8week old orpington chicks whos adoptive mother hen decided they were old enough to live without her protection from their 11 other mature hen and 4 month old roo flockmates. They have been free ranging since they were a day old on 3 acres with their mother and flockmates, however now that she has left them, the roos have been mercilessly going after them.
    In fear for their little lives, ive put them inside a 16x16 screened in broody pen where they can be seen but not touched. However this broody pen has been through alot and instead of the green heaven they usually get to forage and eat from the broody pen is all dirt. And this brings me to my question finally, what plants/shrubs etc can i use inside the run to provode shade for my two little ladies. Also what are some edible plants i can plant to add some green to their diet. The run is in almost full-full sun. [​IMG]
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    Once i know what plants/shrubs to plant I can replace thier ugly shadecover with natural shade :)
     
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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  3. Shaunassy

    Shaunassy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for th link, its just what I needed:)
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    I would suggest that you do plant a combination of plants that they DON'T eat, as well as some plants that they can graze from. No matter what you plant, they are going to be very hard on those plants, and I seriously doubt that you will be successful in getting them well established, as the birds will be picking at the plants and also working very hard at digging them up. It will be imperative that you protect them, perhaps with a sturdy fence until they are well established, and place some heavy rocks or even paver bricks around the base of them to the drip line. You actually might do better by putting your landscaping OUTSIDE the run, and put a couple of grow frames inside the run. These frames would be made of 2 x 4, and planted inside with plants that the chickens could graze on, but covered with hardware cloth so they couldn't dig them up. Perhaps a combination of grains and brassicas. Please keep us posted on this thread about your progress and success.
     
  5. Shaunassy

    Shaunassy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the reply and the great ideas. Ill definetly keep you posted. Do you know any plants they will eat? I read butterfly bushes are good for shade and attracting bugs but the hens wont eat it but i dont know of any plants they will eat.
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Some I might include: Siberian Pea tree. Or Bocking #14 comfrey. both provide high protein. Grape vines, Garden peas, cucumbers, zucchini. As far as ornamental shrubs, I don't have a lot of ideas there. For edibles: raspberry, mulberry if hardy in your climate. Juneberry. For splash of color: daylilies.
     
  7. Shaunassy

    Shaunassy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just an update, our local nursery wont have most of the plants i want until late october so I had to come up with another plan in the meantime. I had this chicken wire enclosed run attached to a large dog crate for when a hen is injured so she could free range but not get picked on by the other hens. So i deatched it from the cage and attached it outside their pen so they could get to grass/weeds.
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  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Good option.
     

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