Vines over the run...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by grullablue, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. grullablue

    grullablue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2008
    Madison, Wisconsin
    I'm sure this has been asked a million times.... and I've done a search, and found a couple of ideas...

    I have a nice enough chicken coop, sided and shingled, and even matches our house somewhat! I would like to grow some vines over the run this spring. They like to be outside in the breeze when it's hot, but their coop and run is right in our front yard, and has no shade from the sun. So not only would a climbing vine be functional, but it could also be beautiful!

    Searching this forum, I came across ideas of grapes, beans and honeysuckle. I was sad to see so many of the vines I'd love to have are toxic to chickens.

    So what I require is something that grows quite fast...(can I expect to see it climb up and perhaps over the 6' fence this year?) Giving them something to snack on would be nice, but not required. It will be planted outside the fence, obviously!

    What have other people used? That is very fast growing, and not toxic? My fence is quite strong, I am not worried about the weight on's like chainlink, metal panels though, not aluminum. They are HEAVY! They also cover the top of their run...the panels bolt together.

    I want a plan, so when the weather warms, I can start planting immediately.

    On a different note, I just received a sign for the coop door that I bought off of Ebay. I love it! Shaped like a stop sign, and it says "Protected by Chicken Security Force, monitored 24 hours". Thought that would be quite cute!! They do know EVERYTHING that goes on here, afterall!

  2. coolcanoechic

    coolcanoechic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi Angie,
    How about some climbing green beans. They grow fast and you can also have some to eat. The chickens won't be able to reach all of them. All it will cost you is a package or two of seeds and a little something to ammend the soil. The return would be great fun for both you and the girls.
    Another thought would be to plant giant sunflowers. They can be tied to the fence for support and then after they flower, you can give the heads to the hens to devour.
    These are not vines, but they are not toxic either, and can look nice as well as being practical. They should also provide enough shade to keep the ladies cool.
  3. FreedomLover

    FreedomLover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2010
    I've been looking into planting Malabar Spinach. It's not a "true" spinach but is spinach like in flavor, etc. It's a vining plant, with pretty blooms on it, is edible AND tolorates heat extremely well. :)
  4. grullablue

    grullablue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2008
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Thanks for the input! Someone at work suggested beans too.... I know SO LITTLE about growing anything on a don't know what's fast, relatively easy (although I'm in the yard messing with my WI tropicals all summer) and safe. There are some grapes growing on our property, I don't know what kind, but they have seeds, and are pretty tasty, and they actually are way too thick over in the back 40 where they was thinking of transplanting a few here in the yard. My grandfather planted them years ago, and their just on a section of vinyl post and rail fence...
  5. DCasper

    DCasper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 13, 2012
    Benton, KY
    I use camouflage netting since it can used year round and easily replaced. It can be purchased at most large outdoor stores and I learned in the desert how much shade the netting can provide. It last a long time and isn't very expensive.
  6. Tallulah Chicklet

    Tallulah Chicklet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 9, 2011
    New Haven, CT
    I am using camo netting, too, over a modified hoop run. I'm glad to hear you say it works well. It certainly makes the run blend in to the environment and I hope will deter hawks, etc.

    Last year the squash that I grew up and over bird netting over the run dragged my bird netting down, so I couldn't walk around easily. I plan to try the beans and malabar spinach, too, if I can prevent the chickens from eating the plants to the ground!
  7. kappelmd

    kappelmd Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 4, 2012
    Burlington, KY
    I have used the shade netting before for the top of some runs. It makes it much cooler, but I will also be planting some kind of vines around the chicken run and try to get them to climb a trellis for shade. I will also try the malabar spicach. Does anyone have any pics of their vined chicken runs for examples of what works?
  8. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

    May 6, 2010
    My Coop
    Grapes work well for us here. We have three vines inside the 40' run. Once they get established they grow extremely fast and ours cover the run before the terrible heat of summer arrives. These pics were taken a couple of years ago. There were nearly twice as many vines covering the run/coop last year.



  9. Linn Bee

    Linn Bee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Now is the time to take grape cuttings for spring planting. Just prune your grapes and save the prunings. I keep them in the fridge until spring planting time. I traded many such cuttings last spring and have heard back that almost all of the cuttings rooted and are growing.
  10. grullablue

    grullablue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2008
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Linn B...ok, so gotta learn how to do this! Seriously, take them now? I thought I'd dig some up...but I can just as easily root some cuttings?

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