Large chicken yard, but need to plant it...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mumztheword, Oct 1, 2014.

  1. mumztheword

    mumztheword New Egg

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    Aug 16, 2012
    We are getting 6 chickens soon, and I have a coop with an attached run coming for them (coop is 24 s.f, run is 48 s.f., so a little small there). Because the run is a bit tight, I am also fencing in a 24' x 26' chicken yard for them that will be next to the garden. Right now, it's simply weedy lawn, so I'm coming up with my plan to have the compost bins in there, and want to plant something that the girls can hide under since the yard won't be covered.

    What I REALLY want, is to plant a couple rows of some blueberries, and a row of raspberries, and maybe put my asparagus patch in there. I know full well that I'll need to temporarily fence them off when they are fruiting (and netting too, for the birds), but when they are not fruiting will the chickens destroy them? At my old place, the chickens liked to hide and sleep in my asparagus patch, and I didn't notice that they tore it up too badly since the fronds were really tall and provided good hiding. With that sized yard, each chicken is getting about 100 square feet of forage... with a compost bin for easy pickins too. I'll also let them into the garden after harvest to clean up for me.

    Am I nuts?

    Thanks for any insight!
     
  2. wilburness

    wilburness Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 23, 2014
    Austin
    Of course you are nuts...we all are [​IMG]. Seems like you could use your chickens to help clear the weedy lawn. I don't know how much they will want to eat blueberry/raspberry plants, but mine seem to leave the blackberry leaves alone. You will probably need to have other stuff that is more tempting to keep them from the berry bushes, because if that is all there is, they will probably eat them. Your weedy lawn will provide that for awhile at least. Sounds like your chickens didn't bother the asparagus plants previously. If you are planting from bare root, you might just have issues with them scratching and digging them up and never giving your plants a chance to mature. Might need to plant the berries from containers, not sure if that is an option with asparagus.
     
  3. umaerth

    umaerth Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 29, 2014
    Pullman, WA
    You might protect the base of the plants, or your chickens will dig wells under them which could destroy roots/mulch that you've laid down. My girls love being directly under any cover and dig dust baths under shrubs which can destroy roots.
     

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