Question Regarding Run Specifically Grape Vine/Roosting Place


Oct 13, 2017
Georgia, USA
So my chickens have found that the muscadine vine is a mighty fine place for them to roost in. It has a wooden frame all around it and I've placed 2x4s to persuade them to not jump on the vines and roots, but alas they still do this sometimes. For the most part they line up on the line of 2x4s that frame the middle of the frame of the muscadine vine frame. (I know that's a lot of frame verbiage in that sentence! lol)

Here is my worry: I've been told by many people that the chickens are probably going to kill it with the fresh manure. That all of the nitrogen won't be that amazing for the vine. Some people have said it might be amazing for it, but I tend to agree with the others that it will probably burn the vine up. My further question is what can I do about it? Do i need to add magnesium and phosphorus? Or what? I'm terrible with soil composition. I need to google it, but I was hoping that someone was an expert here and would give me a remedy for a large amount of chicken droppings. I've been placing browns (in the form of pine shavings and leaves) near the root system and also watering it well to try to make sure that it isn't burned too badly. I don't know if I'm making it worse or not.

Spring is coming in our area and things are starting to leaf out. Our muscadine vine hasn't started to leaf, but the vines are green - they aren't dead that I can tell when I snap them in half. Maybe it's a slow death, and I just don't know it. This vine has been in our family for decades. I would HATE for it to die because of something that I've done.

Any help would be greatly appreciated, and I'm sorry for the length of this request for help!


This is an old picture.. hopefully this is somewhat helpful for you to see what I'm talking about in regards to the framing and roosting of it all. The grape vine is in the behind of all of those roosting bars.
Yep, built it around the vine. Hope they do. The chickens really like the vine and I would like for it to work, as well. Maybe I can mulch it up around it? I don't know. Looking for some expert advice. lol Thanks aart.
It does make nice shade I'll bet.

Wonders what the roost system is far out it goes.
A good deep litter could probably (maybe I don't really know) dilute the nitrogen enough not to harm vine.

ETA: I would fence(1/2" HC) around trunks, to keep them clear of too much mulch, and go deep litter all around. Might need to build up litter slowly so as not to 'bury' root system.
Maybe make some 2x4 frames covered with 1/2" hardware cloth for around the trunk of the vine? That should stop most of the chicken poop from reaching the ground, and you could scrape it off for the compost pile like a poop board. Other than that, the best idea I can come up with is moving the chickens like @aart suggested. I'm sure other people will hop on with other suggestions also.

Good luck!
I think grapes are lean feeders. I may be grossly mistaken here. Have yet to successfully add those to my plantings. If I was in your situation, I would:

A. Move the chickens.

B. Take cuttings from the vine, and start a new arbor. Leave the existing vine for the chickens. If they kill it, at least they will have fun while they do. And if they don't kill it, they will enjoy the shade it continues to produce, the leaves, fruit, and most likely the many Japanese Beetles that it will attract.

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