plants/bushes to put in run that chickens wont eat?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by frizzleman74, May 24, 2011.

  1. frizzleman74

    frizzleman74 Chirping

    Aug 10, 2010
    Fairfield County
    i want to put shrubbery in the run but i dont want the chickens to eat it. I think it will be good for them to have some bushes to hide under and stuff. Any suggestions,m thanks!
  2. ralleia

    ralleia Songster

    Mar 22, 2011
    Omaha, NE
    Anything that you put in the run will need to be protected for a while--even if they don't like to eat it, they *WILL* sample it, and they'll potentially uproot ANYTHING by their enthusiastic digging. Also, chicken poop is very "hot" as a fertilizer and can burn plants, so it would be well to keep them away anyhow.

    That being said, I planted Black Hills spruce tree in the run, protected by a rebar cage lined with chicken wire. Black Hills spruce is a slow-growing spruce, but it gets big. I only planted it there because I am planting a windbreak through the area and the chicken coop will probably be rebuilt by the time the tree needs room to expand.

    How much space to you have? You might plant a small tree that drops fruit in the fall--the chickens would LOVE that. My chickens enjoy eating the crabapples that fall from my crabapple tree (unfortunately the tree is far from the coop so I have to carry buckets of them to the chickens), and pears from my pear trees. There are PLENTY of semi-dwarf or dwarf fruit trees that might do well in your coop. What garden zone are you in, how much sun does the run get, and how much space do you have? Is the run to the south or north of the coop?
  3. Mattemma

    Mattemma Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    I agree they will sample EVERYTHING. 2 that I like are ornamental grasses. I have the white/green leaf one that grows about 5-6 feet tall.Fast to grow for cover. Also rose of sharon bushes. I have lots of seeds for that one.A bonus for that one is the flower buds attract jap beetles which I shake into a water bowl for the hens.The grass will give decent cover in one season.The ROS in 2-3.
  4. gertiie

    gertiie Songster

    Apr 18, 2011
    Warsaw, Indiana
    Also, chicken poop is very "hot" as a fertilizer and can burn plants,

    What do you mean hot ? Like extremely acidic ? And if it burns plants, are you talking the leaves and such , or how are ppl using it for fertilizer ?​
  5. bakerjw

    bakerjw Songster

    Apr 14, 2010
    Johnson City, Tn
    Hot as in a lot of nitrogen. A little can be used around plants but too much will harm them. It is best when mixed with grass clippings and leaves and allowed to compost for several months to a year.
  6. frizzleman74

    frizzleman74 Chirping

    Aug 10, 2010
    Fairfield County
    oh interesting, i didn't know that about their pop
  7. nancypo

    nancypo Songster

    Mar 26, 2010
    My Coop
    I spread around their coop stuff (pine and poop) and my garden loves it! BUT I use the deep litter method, so it's already broken down...

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