Need shrub for INSIDE run... ?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ibarbidahl, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. ibarbidahl

    ibarbidahl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Does anyone have any suggestions as to what to put inside of a run that they won't demolish? I need a decent sized shrub (2 or 3 really) to place inside the girls run and I'm at a loss as to what I should be considering and what should definitely be off the list.

    Any ideas?

    I need:
    Something at least 3-4 ft tall
    Decently leafed so as to help with a sound problem (my run is between 2 houses and echoes)
    Non-toxic
    Preferably something they won't eat down in 2 weeks time
    Something that is not too fast growing
    Xerioscape friendly. I don't want to water it by hand 3 times a week - but weekly is fine.

    I really don't care if they get into the shrub, but I don't want them to pick it clean. If the bottom was 'pruned' that wouldn't bother me. I also wouldn't be bothered if they perched in it and used it for shade or other natural ways. I mean that is another reason I want it there.
    I only have 3 birds but I know they are capable of hounding something when they are confined. The run is approx. 160'sq (really long and skinny) the shrubs would need to either be pruned or naturally thin.

    ANY suggestions or other ideas to lessen the echoing are MUCH appreciated.
     
  2. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    Maybe a pyracantha?
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. ibarbidahl

    ibarbidahl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nice suggestion. I will defninitely be looking into that one this weekend! Hopefully the big box store near me will have a couple.
    Edible berry. Thorny, I like... May keep any critters away, too! :-D
     
  4. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    People don't seem to grow those here like they used to. I don't have any but I do like them.
     
  5. Mehjr10

    Mehjr10 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine like to sit under and in my azalea bushes, i don't see them picking leaves from it. But it is also outside of my run, which they have down to bare dirt.
     
  6. tweetysvoice

    tweetysvoice Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Have you thought about ornamental grasses? We have a huge one (not sure of the type) in our run that the birds love to hide under. You can see it in the background of this picture. They hardly touch it and I never water it at all. Did very good in the heat and drought of this summer in Kansas.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have three boxwood shrubs in my run--now about 10 feet tall. Very clean bottom that they can walk under and not toxic that I know of (after a year+ nobody has died). But, they aren't very shady and the branches are too upright for them to perch in them. I watered them plenty the first year they were planted but none at all after that--even is this dry year.

    My pine tree is their favorite spot, though. They perch on the branches, dust bathe under it, hide from aerial predators, sleep in the shade during the heat of the day. I'd definitely recommend some kind of evergreen so you get the sound barrier all year long.

    Oh, and other people have had good success with grape vines if you want shade. Just protect their bases when a ring of chicken wire when they're young, plus provide something for them to grow up. Wouldn't help much with providing a sound barrier in winter, though.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
  8. ibarbidahl

    ibarbidahl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ended up settling on GUAVA plants! Hearty, non-toxic the flowers and fruit are perfectly edible and bonus I may actually get fruit one day. The shrubs can be kept cut at the 6' x 3' height I'd like and they will eventually give the girls a place to hang out inside. For now they are simply a distraction and a tiny amount of shade. SURE make the run look nicer and they can't reach the top half of the shrubs so they should live through the hens attentions... SHOULD.

    [​IMG]


    I'll keep an eye on the bushes in case they get torn to shreds and move them out. I'm thinking Areca palms will work if these don't or a small fan/cabbage palm. But, so far a few days in and all is well. :-D

    (The view is from the hen house looking out at their run) SO much nicer now!
     
  9. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May I suggest some form of protection around the base. At least till they are established. Fencing about a foot out should work.
     

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