Planting along the run fence

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Meesh, May 17, 2008.

  1. Meesh

    Meesh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 12, 2008
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    Hi,

    I am trying to decide if planting something thorny like roses or raspberries would be a good idea along my chicken run fence. It would deter dogs and larger predators, but what about small predators? Would it make it easier for them to dig in without being seen? Or will the roots make it harder to dig in?

    Is it better to stick with annual plants and an electric fence to protect the run?

    Thanks!

    Michelle
     
  2. NoSpringChick

    NoSpringChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2008
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    I don't know, but my guess would be that a thorny bush would not deter my dog.
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    Remind me, what kind of fencing (material, size, etc) is your run fence?

    Pat
     
  4. fullhouse

    fullhouse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am planting barberry bushes. They hurt!
     
  5. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
    Good question!!

    Great idea!



    Can't wait to hear if it will make it easier or harder for small preditors!!!
     
  6. Meesh

    Meesh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The run is going to be made of steel arches, covered w/ no-climb horse wire all the way over the top. Probably will have hardware cloth along the lower 4'. It has 12 x 12 floor space, 6' head height.

    We are going to move the henhouse and setup the run in June (I have the arches to build it already). Will be renting a trencher to do electric so I'd like to set the no-climb wire down a good foot into the ground to discourage big diggers.

    Thanks!

    Michelle
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ok, thanks - I have a brain like a sieve [​IMG]

    Personally, I would doubt that planting along the fence would encourage small predators very much (and if this is 2x4 mesh, really all that can go thru it will be rats and weasels and snakes, right?) (and hardware cloth along the bottom 2' would discourage most snakes). Sure, it would provide cover... but most of them will be out at night and really it only takes 1 brave individual to cause a problem, so if it were me I would kind of just figure my run is secure or it is not, irrespective of plantings, you know? And electric fence is not necessarily going to be that effective at excluding small predators *anyhow*.

    The big advantage of perennial plantings, like roses or brambles, is that they provide a little bit of shade and windbreak and psychological cover for the chickens all year long. Whereas annuals are really only 'useful' for several months in the summer, after they've grown up and before they croak in the fall. To me, the definite year-round benefits of perennials would outweigh any very small theoretical advantage of annuals.

    It will take a goodly while before a rose hedge or etc will be big and thick enough to impress dogs etc. though.

    JMO and I'm sure others will have a different take on it,

    Pat
     
  8. I planted honeysuckle for shade on the last part of ourchicken run, first half has a blue tarp, so the honeysuckle will(hopefully) grow over the other end for shade.and cover the chicken wire I have to keep out the hawks.
     
  9. Velociraptor

    Velociraptor Out Of The Brooder

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    Should I post a picture of my boy eating the rose buds? he's not one for the encyclopedia but more for 888-flowers (made up number) and cheese fries.
     
  10. Meesh

    Meesh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ... and my young hens have stripped all the lower leaves off of the honeysuckle in front of their coop! Honeysuckle is good eatin'.

    I would like to plant some small perennials inside the coop, too. I saw a quail habitat setup like that, and it was really neat. Maybe a small lilac variety or a silver buffalo berry?

    Pat, I agree with what you wrote - I thought I could use either a thorny hedge or electric for dogs and such. Don't want them getting near the fence!

    But I was a little worried that if a small predator got in under the hedge and started digging, I might not see their work until it's too late. My worrying is prompted by some nocturnal varmit having the audacity to stroll into my cold frame (same type of hoop structure) and dig a hole in the middle of it, apparently hunting for worms! It gave me a big reality check on how fast motivated critters can dig in good earth. I thought something 'rooty' like hardy roses or raspberries might make the digging a little bit tougher...

    For this year, I'd like to plant some sorghum, sunflowers, and vining beans along the outside of the coop to give some fast growing tall shelter. :) The chicks sure like playing under the tall shrubs in the garden.

    And for fun, a photo of our neighbor's rose hedge.

    [​IMG]

    Cheers,
    Michelle
     

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