Plants for grass run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by pfd, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. pfd

    pfd Out Of The Brooder

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    May 17, 2009
    Alabama
    We just put up a 8'x10' coop and are currently working on getting the 5' chicken wire up around the coop. The run will be approx. 50' x 50' and (for now) has only grass in it. Plans are to add a sand spot as well. What can I plant inside the run for protection and shade that's chicken hardy? It does get hot here in Alabama in the summer. We currently have 2 roosters and 4 hens with 5 baby chicks (which are still in the house of course). Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Quote:[​IMG]

    Better plant trees or shrubs that will spread out. The more mature the better. Even a few chickens will have that down to dirt in no time. I am sure there is a list somewhere of plants that are poisonous to chickens. Oleandar comes to mind. But best check out the list for sure. You can also do some shade cloth too.

    It gets pretty hot here as well 110 for several days 90 for a few months. Lots of ventilation and a place where they can go to get out of the direct sun. My coops are open air on two sides made of dog kennel panels with silver coated canvas on top.

    One thing to note is there should be overhead protection from predators in the run as well. With such a big one it may be hard to do. Just keep in mind Hawks and owls love fresh chicken.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2011
  3. ARose4Heaven

    ARose4Heaven Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 16, 2009
    Flippin, AR
    Chicken wire around the pen? No, no! that's a no, no. Chicken wire keeps in chickens...it does NOT keep out varmints.

    Any tree or shrub you put in there needs to be good sized or the chickens will kill it. Your grass will not last long either. Some folks put in a raised bed of assorted greens with chicken wire about 4 inches above it so the chickens can "prune" it, but not kill it.

    Good luck... and welcome to the crazy world of chicken!!!
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2011
  4. Spudd dud

    Spudd dud Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 8, 2011
    Mondovi
    Quote:That's a great idea! I think I might try that this year, I'll let you know how it goes![​IMG]
     
  5. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    You probably need to put chicken wire around anything you plant in the run to keep it safe from the chickens until it's grown big enough so they can't reach it. A friend of ours has the most interesting shrubs in his yard. They're pruned from the underneath, right at the level of height that a chicken can jump. Perfect, as though he used an electric hedge trimmer.
     
  6. pfd

    pfd Out Of The Brooder

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    May 17, 2009
    Alabama
    Thank you all for the input. We were thinking about putting a more mature tree in the center to possibly have something to trape some netting to keep at least hawks and such out.

    Since the ducks get their own run on the other side of the chickens I guess I could switch the 2 groups on occation to give the grass a chance to come back? Why do chickens have to be so distructive?[​IMG]
     
  7. ARose4Heaven

    ARose4Heaven Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 16, 2009
    Flippin, AR
    Another fun thing is to plant a row of sunflowers just outside the run. When the seeds are ripe, and start to fall into the run, the chickens go crazy!

    I have an Elderberry tree and 2 mulberry trees in my run. I have been surprised not to have chickens roosting in them. But oh boy! do they ever prowl under them when the berries start to drop!
     

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