Planting Vines for shade

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by puckbunny87, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. puckbunny87

    puckbunny87 In the Brooder

    Apr 3, 2008
    Norco, CA
    I just finished cleaning out an old pheasent run for my chickens that have not arrived yet, and I have kind of a strange question... I want to plant some kind of fast-growing vine (the pen is covered top-to-bottom in chicken wire) to shelter them from afternoon sun. I was thinking along the lines of morning glories (except these are a no-go as they are poisones to chickens).... they grow fast, are very light (I don't want it to pull down my chicken wire!) and provide coverage. Anyone have any ideas on a similar vine that is not harmful to chickens?

    I live in So Cal, zone 8-9 (I cant remember which)

    I would like to get something planted soon, so it will have time to establish before the chickens are old enough to go outside.
  2. CarlaRiggs

    CarlaRiggs Songster

    Regular green beans will grow pretty quickly. The scarlet beans look quite pretty with the red flowers. Put black plastic garbage bags on the planting area for a day to heat up the soil, then plant the seeds. Leave the black bags on over the seeds and with the warmth and moisture, the beans should be popping up in just a few days. Beans are heavy feeders, and in California we seem to be low in nitrogen, so be sure to put in some all purpose fertilizer before planting. Fish emulsion applied every couple of weeks will help the seedlings grow quickly.
    I'd plant the seeds a few inches out from the wire, though. The chickens will pick through the wire at them. As long as they can't grab the base of the vine, it will be fine.
    Just make sure you purchase bean seeds for vines and not bushes. [​IMG]

    Where abouts in southern California are you located?

  3. puckbunny87

    puckbunny87 In the Brooder

    Apr 3, 2008
    Norco, CA
    Wow, I never thought of beans! I love those scarlett beans... I've never planted them, but they look awesome. That would definately save me some space, too.

    I'm in and out of the Norco/Corona area. Technically, my house is in in Norco... chickens will be kept in my boyfriend's mom's yard, and I think she's technically zoned as Riverside? She can have poultry and we cant [​IMG] but she's letting me use her yard, and the old brooder/pheasent pens
  4. allen wranch

    allen wranch Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    San Marcos, TX
    There is also a fast growing vine called Malabar Spinach. It is really a spinach and it is good for hot climates. If your birds don't eat all the seeds (pink flowers, purple berries), it will come back the following year.

  5. You could start with peas, continue with beans, nasturtium and spinach and maybe have a grapevine???[​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2008
  6. utahmethodist

    utahmethodist Songster

    Mar 7, 2008
    SLC, UT
    Careful with the scarlet runner beans.....they're a bit poisonous to humans when uncooked so I'm assuming you should use caution with chickens.
  7. professor-yellow

    professor-yellow Songster

    Mar 23, 2008
    I thought beans are toxic for poultry.

    I like the golden hops for shade. it grows fast through spring and summer and dies back in the fall (at least in Washington).

    It has a very nice aroma as well. It will come up every year without having to worry about them.
  8. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    Quote:Please!!! Find reference to this statement. Been eating flowers and young pods, plus beans for 20 years!

  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    raw MATURE beans are mildly-to-somewhat toxic to poultry and mammals both. Am running out the door right now but will find you references later if you want, or just google for it, there are myriad references to it including research papers.

    however, raw IMmature beans (including scarlet runners, which I myself grow for greenbeans) or cooked mature beans are perfectly harmless.

    Personally I would not worry about it unless you are intending to pay no attention whatsoever to how your plants are growing and what your chickens are doing :p

    I am also wondering whether you'd get such a good crop of beans, grown alongside a chicken run, on account of they grow mostly foliage and not many flowers/beans if you give them too much nitrogen, which I'd think likely to happen near a chicken run. Just theory though, not experience here.

  10. puckbunny87

    puckbunny87 In the Brooder

    Apr 3, 2008
    Norco, CA
    Whew... I had no idea beans were toxic at all.

    I researched Scarlett Runners and as far as I can tell, they may not give off too many beans during the summer here because of the heat. Plus with any other kind of bean I may mix into it, all the nitrogen would not be beneficial to a good crop... buuut if it grows big and leafy, and shades the chickens, it will be worth it to me. I will keep in mind to pluck any beans early, so they don't end up falling and getting eaten by the birds.

    I looked into Malabar Spinach... it looks pretty awesome plant-wise. I don't know if it would do well on this pen, but I'd like to grow it seperate just for the eating-value ;-)

    Thanks for all of the responses!

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