To clear sagebrush or not to clear sagebrush?

Mrs Howey

Chirping
Jun 22, 2017
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I'm moving onto a property that has great basin sagebrush. The sage in my area tends to spread across the ground and doesn't tend to get that tall. When I move my coop over there and get the run set up should I clear the sagebrush? I have chickens, a turkey, and some quail. I thought about clearing the sage in the chicken run since I do not free range my poultry and I don't know if eating sage is bad for them. And I'll probably leave the sage in the quail run so they have some cover.
 

Mrs Howey

Chirping
Jun 22, 2017
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It's fairly rare here in Wyoming to see sage get above 2 feet. I've seen some get tall (around 5 and 8 feet) in very remote areas so it's not impossible. On the property it's all about ankle height. Very small at the moment and wouldn't provide much shelter for my larger chickens. I do have bantams so they might like it. I also plan on having 2 chicken runs so I can let one run rest while the flock are on the other one.
 

Zach123

Songster
Mar 10, 2012
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149
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Platteville, CO
A two foot tall shrub (at 2’-5’ tall I’m guessing it’s big sagebrush, Artemisia tridentata) probably won’t bother chickens, but it may be a pain for you trying to navigate the run. I’ve worked in sagebrush country and traipsing around in it can be a bit annoying (it’s not like walking through grass or a forest, you don’t need me to tell you that, you LIVE there. Although it is absolutely stunning country). In any event I would at least clear a path for yourself from the gate of the run to the door of the coop and any other access you might need. I agree the chickens will appreciate having the shrubbery to hide out in and find some shade.

Just se that the stuff on the run is only ankle height, which would be strange for big sagebrush. If it’s any of the other sagebrush (fringed or Louisiana sage, named for the territory explored by Lewis and Clark, not the the state btw) the chickens will probably rid the run of it in short order regardless.
 

Mrs Howey

Chirping
Jun 22, 2017
63
61
91
I actually have Louisiana sage at my current house. Its definitely the big sagebrush out at the new property. I helped my in laws clear sagebrush from their property about 10 years ago, its definitely a tripping hazard. I've just never had my flock out on sage before and didnt know if it would hurt them if ingested. I would like to thank everyone for their responses. I will leave the sage and see how it goes when I get the flock out there.
 

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