Quick-growing shrub/tree to plant?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by radishgirl, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. radishgirl

    radishgirl Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 4, 2013
    Placerville, CA
    So we have a coop, a 16x16' run but our birds are free-range during the day. We have a fenced area that is appx 40x40' BUT it is very open and doesnt have a lot of brush/cover so the chickens dont like it. Sooo, they venture on over to the garden and other naughty places.

    I would love ideas on what to plant in that large 40' space. Currently there are a few tall oak trees.


  2. DavidKerk

    DavidKerk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 9, 2013
    Pine trees like blue spruce work great for me. My chickens like to go under them when it's raining or just really sunny out. They can also be trimmed fairly well and don't grow at an enormously fast rate.
  3. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    I like the loropetalum (Loropetalum chinense) that my chickens use as their day spa. The problem will be allowing the new plant to grow large enough to survive the chickens, so that they can use it.

    Before the chickens, it was leaved down to the ground. Now there is an open space beneath the plants 24" tall.

  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Wisteria grows very fast and will climb most anything. Even in winter it makes a good cover. My meat birds hang out under it after gorging themselves.
    Climbing roses and hedge roses like Meidiland spread quickly and don't need anything to climb on. A hawk wouldn't stand a chance getting a chicken out from under it.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013
  5. bills

    bills Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 4, 2008
    vancouver island
    Laurel makes a wonderful refuge for birds of all types. It grows very quickly, and with yearly pruning soon becomes very thick. This thick growth above causes a shadow, which soon creates an empty space underneath it, for the birds to seek shelter, or shade.
    It is a hardy plant that can stand severe winters, does not shock from a winter pruning, and does not require any special care. It can withstand a certain amount of drought conditions, but when first planted it will require regular watering.
    It can be grown as a hedge, (and often is), but will create a nice large shrub/bush, if just one or two plants are placed in the middle of a yard. You can prune it to look like a large round ball if you want, to enhance the yard aesthetics..

    Only the cherry laurel is toxic from what I have learned. It is fairly uncommon in N. America, as it grows more like a tree, than a shrub. A nursery, or a bit of internet research would be helpful in picking the best type for your needs.
  6. radishgirl

    radishgirl Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 4, 2013
    Placerville, CA
    thank you all for the great suggestions, I am off to google them and see what looks like a good fit.

    forgot to say I am in North Cal. Id prefer drought tolerant, but I can give it irrigation for the first couple years.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by