Landscaping and Plantings for a Free Range Flock

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by Bogtown Chick, Oct 3, 2016.

  1. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

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    Landscaping and Plantings for a Free Range Flock

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    This thread I'm starting as I love landscaping and plantings in my yard. And I love my chickens roaming that landscaping. Through a few years of chickening I've had to modify my yard. Gone are the fragile ferns and gorgeous astilbe and Lily of the valley that once graced the north side of my house. Just one large White Hydrangea bush remains there as cover for a flock that needs the shade to keep cool in the summer months. I've learned to "let it go". Out in the sunny side grassy hill is my perrenniel garden which has slowly evolved into a garden dedicated to plants with chickens health benefits. Please know I still like pretty though...and I borrow some of those plants in my own kitchen. I've converted a portion over to herbs. The chickens can stomp around a bit in the aromatic herb garden, get a little benefit from their pickings...but since they are often a woody type plant...no harm, no 'fowl'. [​IMG]Their feet don't seem to do much damage.

    I've found I love tall ornamental grasses as well. The chickens don't seem to bother with them either.

    Please join me and let us know what you're doing right in your yard or garden. Any tips will no doubt be beneficial and appreciated. Post lots of pictures too!

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  2. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

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  3. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

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    Dusting Pits and Chicken Excavating: For us Where there's dry open dirt, there will be chicken excavating out a dusting pit. Usually it is under the cover of a large bush as seen below or large tree.
    Chickens I've learned like to also keep their breasts cool in the summer by laying in dirt. I always keep a galvanized tub in the covered run and they use it in the winter or if we have a rainy spell. But they love any loosened dirt. And if its new and you do the loosening for them, they will take advantage of it. I've found now since my perennial garden has started to fill in....and the ground is not as loose as it was last year ...the chickens seem less enthusiastic to use it as a dusting ground. Phew. So Under the Large woody bushes, Large Pine trees, black dirt pile or their dedicated tub they will go. When I till up my vegetable garden this fall. Guess who will be in there digging for grubs and such...but also dusting to their hearts content.
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  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Awesome thread, and even better pics.
     
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  5. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hi Bogtown Chick

    You have beautiful chickens, a beautiful garden and the pictures are awesome!

    I have opted for mostly potted plants in the garden for a couple of reasons. 1. Water conservation in the Australian climate and 2. Not so easy for the little bantam girls to dig out the plants. I am more of a green person as opposed to flowers so tend to sway more towards large leaves and grasses:

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    They have their own garden beds and sweeping of the paths is a daily exercise [​IMG]

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    It was a bit windy when I took this one so the bridge and paths are covered in leaves:
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    They also have lawn:

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    And probably their favourite spot for chilling, on the decking [aka: poop deck [​IMG]], under their gazebo with their people:

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  6. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

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    Oh My Gosh! How Gorgeous is your place?! I am so glad you are here. I will be totally enthralled with your photos and checking out those plantings!

    Lazy Gardner I'm so glad you are here as well and humbled you have stopped by to give us your input.

    I will tell you this...my yard is far from perfect. Got some weeds going on--working a full time job and teenagers in the house. Im afraid the yard suffers a bit more than what it once did. But when I can...it's my quiet time to putter around. Thanks to you both for joining me. Can't wait to see all the cool info come in.

    I think I'll do something like one plant or plant group (herbs) at a time. Describe why it works...or whatever. Why you're super excited about it or pleased.
    I'm not a big rule person, so do what works for all of you....I just love looking at the yard photos! Ha!
     
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  7. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Thank you Bogtown Chick

    I am definitely not an expert when it comes to gardening but do enjoy pottering and the end results.

    I wasn’t really much of a gardener until I got the gals. Because I enjoy spending time with the gals outside, I tend to potter in the garden while I am there.

    I too work full time but luckily from home and I also have some weeds that could probably do with some evicting [​IMG]

    I have a tip for the weeds in the paths [definitely not for weeds in the garden beds or weeds that the chickens might eat]. My gals pretty much ignore the weeds between the cracks in the paths and driveway etc. They also do not like walking on the pebbles around the decorative path. For these weeds I use a home made weed killer:

    White Vinegar in a 1 litre spray bottle.
    1 tsp of salt.
    1 tsp of dishwashing detergent.

    Shake and spray on the weed. If you do this on a sunny day, the weeds are dead by the end of the day.

    I dabble in growing some vegies also but, living smack bang in the middle of suburbia, confess to buying most of mine at the supermarket 5mins down the road. I have a raised vegie garden under the kitchen window in an area that the girls do not usually wander into so they have not found it yet. Hopefully it is high enough off the ground that they can only look and hope if they do find it [​IMG]

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    I also have a couple of Avocado trees I grew from seed which I am pretty proud of. PS: nearly everything here gets a name, including some of the special plants and regularly visiting wildlife etc [​IMG]

    Arnie:
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    Danny:

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    They are now 4 and 3 years old and Arnie [on the left] has flowers for the first time; very exciting! Danny is a bit droopy as it was a hot day when this was taken. They are both ready for bigger pots but as Arnie is flowering, now is probably not a good time to transplant.

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  8. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

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    Hahaha. What a classy set up! Arnie and Danny are my favorite of course! [​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  9. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

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    About 2 years ago I started following a popular blogger who planted for her chickens. Mostly herbs and such. I had at the time an overgrown choked out perennial garden that needed a re-do.

    So I started thinking about herbs and studying kitchen gardens or potagers. I tore everything out and redid alot. Keeping beneficial plants and a few ornamentals that seemed to keep up to chicken feet.

    I'll keep this post about the HERBS I have planted:

    MINT: I love Mint. I have it in my little garden with a plastic border around it. It still sneaks out of it's area. But when I need some I just get the wayward stems and give them an extra pull to get it out of the areas I don't want. Mint as you know can be thrown on a broody hens nest to keep pests at bay. Also kept in the coop, it will keep Mice repelled, apparently. I've tried that sporatically with mixed results. But I think if I kept up with it --it would work. It's my favorite in the garden to be honest. I love the mint fragrance and I would say it is the work horse of herbs around here.

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    Marigolds. I love putting the petals on nests as well. And the Deer don't bother them. They give good egg yolk color, they are also an insect repellent in the coop.
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    Other herbs and beneficial plantings I have: Yarrow, Oregano, Lemongrass (Citronella), Lemon Thyme, Echinacea, Bee Balm, sage.
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    (Bee balm really took off this last year)

    More Tender Herbs, I pot on my deck: such as basil. Besides I like it handy next to the grill if I'm making home-made pizzas. :) But these herbs would break easy in the garden under chicken feet.
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    I also pot lavender...even though it has a woodier stem. It does not like growing in my gardens for some odd reason. So I have to pamper it in pots it seems. Ha.

    In the Garden I did sort of block off the chickens with a little diverting Pea Trellis fencing just to get some of the younger plants established. Just this bit of fencing--not very high-- was enough to sway them some where else in the yard. Apparently they'd rather not climb over. Now in the second year or later in the season I do not really need those fences.
     
  10. memphis

    memphis Overrun With Chickens

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    Great thread!! I'll get some pictures of my garden to post!!
     
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