Shade bushes the chickens won't eat/destroy? Ideas?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Sonya9, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. Sonya9

    Sonya9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If possible I would like to get some fast growing shade bushes (or little trees or whatever) that the chickens will NOT destroy so they have shade and hiding places near their coop.

    The fence will be electric poultry net and I do plan to move that from one side of the coop to the other to give them fresh grass and such so I can't grow vines along the fence itself.

    There will be a permanent 8 x 6 dog run attached to the coop so I could grow vines on that but really want something else in their too (164' of temp fencing being used).

    Ideas?
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2014
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    Do you have what we call dog fennel up there? It's a common weed here. I just let a few clumps of it grow out, and mow around them. They hang out under them all year, off an on, especially in the summer.
     
  3. Sonya9

    Sonya9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know I have seen it growing in the back field (i had to google it) but everything back there died over the winter so it is pretty barren right now.

    I will look for it. I am wondering if tree roses would also be an option.
     
  4. Klutch

    Klutch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Texas Privet
     
  5. Kymarose

    Kymarose Out Of The Brooder

    I planted fast growing willows.... one was a pussy willow and I don't remember the name of the other, but it wasn't a weeping willow. They grow fast... a couple of years to be full. I just let them grow as they want without trimming. They give good shade and good, quick shelter if a hawk flies over. The branches spread out from the ground and on up. Also, the chickens love the pussy willow buds..... they hardly leave me any to pick for vases.
     
  6. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    Cedars are nice and attract bugs lol.. mine have well groomed underneath but have not ruined them, they like to perch up in them too.
     
  7. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    The dog fennel tops die off over the winter but come back in spring. Mine have a large coop, so if they want shade in the winter, they just go inside. Actually, they do the same on the very hottest days; evidently it's cooler in there than in the shade outdoors.
     
  8. SusanPC

    SusanPC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm reviving this thread, because I am in the process of planting around the chicken coop and run (and our entire backyard in general) and am looking for some more suggestions. I live in southwest Texas - HOT and DRY and FREEZES. So far, I think I've collected a few ideas from searches here and elsewhere.

    Vitex - known by other names
    local and regional grasses
    I've been thinking about various large growning juniper bushes, but I'm getting conflicting info. on whether they are poisonous or not

    Any other input on good shrubs, plants, trees, and more to plant around coop/run for shade, cover, and bug introduction to the soil?
     
  9. ChickInDelight

    ChickInDelight Never an Empty Nest

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    I am in Virginia. I am gardening-challenged. The shade is on the opposite side of m property from the coop. The girls stay undercover and around the fenceline most of the day. (We have hawks, eagles, bear, coyontes....)

    I moved a few small Cedars closer to the coop. They turned brown. I planted one Cypress, but did not know that fresh chicken poo would burn it up.

    So far, I have had to build shade.

    What can I plant that will grow fast and provide cover?

    I wish I could successfully transplant some of my HUGE Lilac. (At least I think it is a Lilac. It spreads like disease.)
     
  10. Kymarose

    Kymarose Out Of The Brooder

    Willows work wonders for me. When we moved here 8 years ago my flock had no shade. I put up pieces of plywood to make a little shade. The next spring I planted willows and they have grown to do exactly what I wanted. I wish I could remember the type and name of those that I planted, I can't... but I know they are not weeping willows. Plant them in the spring as soon as your soil is above freezing. Give them plenty of water. We have well water here... I hope you, too are on a well. Here in the Pacific Northwest we have an abundance of rain 9 months out of the year... and that helps. July, August and September can be hot and dry. I keep a trickle of water running on them during the hot summer days. I hope this helps. Willows are fast growing.
     

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