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Strawberry patch for grazing chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by TheNewChixx, Mar 24, 2011.

  1. TheNewChixx

    TheNewChixx New Egg

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    Mar 24, 2011
    Today my boyfriend and I made the first step to having our own urban chicken flock. We are very excited, a little nervous, for our three chicks to join us in about a month (a Rhode Island Red, a Silver Laced Wyandotte and a Buff Orpington). Of course the chicks won't leave their brood in our home until May or June. We are new tentants and in our small Seattle yard we have a very uncared for, overgrown and weedy strawberry patch. It appears to have been left to it's own devices for at least a few years, and I (a first time gardener as well) do not think that it is salvagable or will bare any fruit (if you have any opinions/knowledge about this they are welcomed because we love to keep them... who doesn't love strawberries?!). We would like to get a movable coop/run for our chickens. My question is can we place the run over the strawberry patch and allow the chickens to have at it? What will be the outcome? Otherwise we will just pull up the strawberry patch and use it as more garden space. Thank you for your time and clucks of wisdom!
     
  2. aussieheelr

    aussieheelr Chillin' With My Peeps

    You'd be supprised how hardy strawberry plants are. We got to -23 this winter and easily spen a month of the summer over 100f here and they did just dandy. In fact last summer our strawberry plants spred like crazy, just put the soaker hose on twice a week for about 30 minutes ish.
    From experance chickens will destroy any plants they can get a hold of. Ours have even destroyed the greasewood bushes and rabbit brush (which is OK with us-dirty weeds) that was in their run. They tried hard to destroy our mint, but I swear that stuff can make it through anything once established.
    On another point though, the strawberrys need to be thined out every two years or so. Take the older plants out and leave behind the new ones started from runners the year before. The newer ones will produce and the older ones won't. Good luck and enjoy it all.
     
  3. Laigaie

    Laigaie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 4, 2011
    Fayetteville, AR
    I've got a pretty large yard (a little less than an acre, fenced) and only three hens, and have found that our chickies aren't doing a lot of damage to any one part of the yard, since they've got so very much space to run around in. However, if you're putting the patch in their tractor, you're going to lose the plants. It takes an awful lot of space and pretty hardy plants for the girls not to completely destroy it.
     
  4. alhanse77

    alhanse77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2010
    Rexburg, ID
    When my baby chickens discovered the strawberries last year, that was the end of them. However, if you let them eat the plants for a day they will get rid of a lot of debris and the strawberry plants will most likely regenerate. Plus, the poop will help enrich the soil around the strawberry patch and the scratching will till the soil a bit. Just a guess! [​IMG] Good luck!
     

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