Landscaping the run (S Florida)


In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 24, 2010
Hollywood, FL
I have a small coop for 12-18 chickens, with a run about 15x25 (375 s.f.). There are currently 8 chickens, but i just ordered a bunch of chicks too. We are in S FL where the hens are comfortably outside year round, and I would like to landscape the run for their enjoyment as well as ours... Right now there is a ground cover of weeds and grass, 1 tree stump which they LOVE and 1 sad scraggly bush that they love to perch on. I want to add a fruit tree or 3, some bushes, ect.... can anyone suggest plants hardy enough for my girls. We planted a 3ft banana tree a couple of months ago, but they DEVOURED it in about 2 hours and we had to do an emergency transplant to save it! they have also devoured my aloe and mint in the past.

Any experience with (some of the plants in consideration)

passion fruit vine
night blooming jasmine

obviously, we want to eat the fruit, and while we're happy to share with the girls, we don't want to have it all munched or ruined
from another southern coop-person! i'm in san antonio,, but much dryer than your abode! i have a small lemon tree that my hens avoid totally. they love my salvia, although they just taste it occasionally - they haven't devoured it. i plan on planting more of the salvia greggii (evergreen perenial variety) this spring. pretty flowers and great smell. oregano is good (they hate it). rosemary...anything that's hardy and smells good when they play in it is an extra perk. someone said grapes, green beans, anything "snack-ish" that grows up and over is good, too. shade and snacks!
I've noticed that my girls find any citrus repellent.* A Meyer lemon tree or tangelo would be lovely and delicious! I think you'd just want to start with a tree mature enough - at least five gallons? I'm guessing the trace amount of citrus oil present in the leaves is what deters them.

I don't believe citrus trees are poisonous to chickens in the event of accidental ingestion, but maybe someone else can touch on this.

I know Confederate Jasmine has worked well in Tallahassee as a fragrant, shade-providing vine.

* not that they're offered it, but we did conduct an experiment to see what they'd do. a few curious pecks followed by rubbing their beaks on the grass. they ended up kicking around the rinds.

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