Planting for chickens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ChickChickHorray, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. ChickChickHorray

    ChickChickHorray Chirping

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    Hi everyone! Newbie chicken keeper here and pretty new to the page, so I hope I’m posting in the right spot! We’re starting our first flock this year and want to plant a variety of herbs, flowers, bushes, etc. for our flock to enjoy. We really want to grow a type of ivy or flower up the side and top of the run, not necessarily for them to eat, but something that’s chicken safe Incase they decide to munch on it, any suggestions? Their area is going to be huge and have a variety of things to munch on, with their feed available at all time too of course. What is everyone’s favorite type of plant and herb that you all plant for your chicks to enjoy? We were told some chickens enjoying laying under bushes for shade, is there a certain bush that anyone likes to plant for their chickens? We’re very new to chickens, so any advice is welcome, we love gardening so gardening for the chickens is on the agenda! We’re in Memphis, zone 7. We have pretty hot and humid summers around here!
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
  2. FeatherMtnFarms

    FeatherMtnFarms Songster

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    I'm still trying to find the best things to plant myself (ducks are little destroyers lol!) but sofar here's some stuff I have experience with:
    Lemonbalm - their favorite thing to eat in the whole world, mine was gone almost as soon as I planted it! So if you want it to stick around don't get it, lol
    Rosemary - the exact opposite of lemonbalm, lasted very late in the year and bad weather hit it and everything, got fairly big actually, highley recommend!
    Parsley - did pretty good too, lasted quite some time
    Plants with little flowers - they were so curious in these that they ate them up a lot wo either get all green plants and/or plants with a lot of color (not small flowers)
    ...those are some of the biggest things I remember of what I've planted in the past and how it went. Make sure you buy stuff that will work good in your climate, I know, obvious but worth remembering! Happy planting!
     
  3. JaeG

    JaeG Crossing the Road

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    Lots of greens in the vege patch but you'll need to make sure they can't get into it or they will help themselves and decimate your beautifully growing veg (plus some things like potato stems/leaves and tomato plants - tomato fruits are fine - are poisonous). They are great for digging it over at the end of the season though, or before it's time to replant.

    Here's a list of poisonous and safe plants in relation to all birds. I'm sure there are lots more online too if there's a particular plant you aren't sure about.
    https://www.petcoach.co/article/bird-safety-poisonous-and-safe-plants-for-birds/
     
  4. X_and_Z

    X_and_Z Chirping

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    If you post your general location or USDA zone people will be able to offer more specific suggestions.

    Chickens are ridiculously destructive - they can dig huge holes tearing up roots of established plants, eat new leaves of almost any plant and destroy anything just getting started in no time. You can keep plants in with them, but it does take some effort on your part to protect the roots/leaves of the plants.

    My chicken run contains a chicken grazing frame with wheat grass, a mature meyer lemon (probably 40+ years old) with pavers strewn around the base to protect the roots, an espaliered pomegranate on the fence and a mature (woody) potted trailing rosemary. They have eaten all the lemon leaves that they can get to but they leave the lemons alone. The rosemary is doing well which is surprising since they LOVE digging in potting soil, but I think the woody stems have kept them from doing that. The pomegranate is very deep rooted and seems fairly impervious.

    Many people seem to like to grow squash vines over their chicken runs on trellises made of cattle panels - the squash grow well on trellises and the chickens can share int he bounty. The squash have to be planted outside of the run though.

    This is a nice general article on landscaping the chicken run:
    http://fresheggsdaily.com/2012/04/chicken-run-landscaping.html

    And another one on how chickens are helpful for gardening (outside of their run):
    http://fresheggsdaily.com/2012/02/chickens-gardening.html

    And here is what appears to be a comprehensive list of good plants for chickens:
    https://insteading.com/blog/chicken-friendly-plants/

    I have this book and it is a fun read, but it does focus on gardens with at least 100 sqft per chicken to spread out the destruction so that more plants have the ability to survive:
    https://www.amazon.com/Free-Range-C...en-Friendly/dp/1604692375/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

    This one may appeal more to you though:
    https://www.amazon.com/Gardening-Chickens-Plans-Plants-Your-ebook/dp/B01M9CS60R/ref=dp_kinw_strp_1
     
    micstrachan and JaeG like this.
  5. ChickChickHorray

    ChickChickHorray Chirping

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    Thanks so much! I’ll update with the location. We’re in Memphis, zone 7.
     
  6. ChickChickHorray

    ChickChickHorray Chirping

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    Thank you for the advice! We already have some Rosemary and are ready to get planting!
     
    FeatherMtnFarms likes this.
  7. FeatherMtnFarms

    FeatherMtnFarms Songster

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    Awesome!! Good luck!
     
    ChickChickHorray likes this.
  8. ChickChickHorray

    ChickChickHorray Chirping

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    Mar 3, 2018
    West Tn, Zone 7
    Thanks so much for the advice!
     

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