What can I plant in my run that will grow quickly and give cover...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by JoeOxfordCT, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. JoeOxfordCT

    JoeOxfordCT Songster

    Oct 13, 2007
    Oxford, CT.
    Hi All,

    I'm giving chickens another try.....

    I need to plant some small trees, bushes, etc. both in and around my run to give some cover for my birds. I will also probably put some cover netting around certain portions of the run as well but I'm not trying to perfectly enclose (from the top) my run. The birds will get locked inside their coop each night. They can also hide right underneath the coop as well. I am going to dig out some small trees and bushes from the woods around my house and transplant them but it will still be a couple years for them to get established.

    Any ideas ?

    Here's a slideshow of when I built the coop last Summer (2007). I had birds until December or so but hawks proved to be more troublesome than in previous homes I owned. I got rid of the birds rather than continue to lose them at a rate of one every two weeks. I'm ready to give it shot again and just want to provide better cover.

  2. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Crowing

    Mar 25, 2008
    Just planting around your run would be your best bet. Anything that you plant inside the run that the chickens can get their beaks on will be eaten! I suppose if the tree is tall enough then you would be safe, but I would make sure they were tall.
  3. Suess hens

    Suess hens Songster

    May 4, 2008
    Altadena, CA
    If you put anything in the coop it needs to be hardy and "established" Seeds adn sprouts don't have a chance. If you live where berry bushes do well you can put one of those in, gives them shade and a bit of a hiding place. Mine use the berry bush in their run for that....but by August because of our dry heat it drops its leaves and goes dormant.
  4. Anny

    Anny Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    Detroit Michigan
    I've seem people have good luck with THICK bushes in the run, the chicken eat about the bottom foot or so but the top does fine, they like to run through the bushes and such, But you need bushes that are all ready rooted and strong, so the chickens don't kill them

    Putting netting over the run is a MUST if you have a hawk problem. I put chain link fencing on top of my run. (it's a dog run and I had extra panels so I laid them on top, works wonderfully)
  5. JoeOxfordCT

    JoeOxfordCT Songster

    Oct 13, 2007
    Oxford, CT.
    Quote:Any bushes in particular....?

    Yes, I will be planting established trees/bushes inside the run...I understand that the chooks will eat anything grown from seed.
  6. beefy

    beefy Flamingo Daddy-o

    Apr 21, 2007
    South Georgia
    what kind of bushes and trees do you have at your disposal?

    my chickens like to take cover under a grapevine. also azaleas make good evergreen cover but i would use caution putting htem in a confined area as the chickens would probably pick them out of boredom and they are supposedly poisonous. holly is another good everygreen cover. magnolia. i assume you need something that wont get too tall tho? vaccinium bushes. nandinas.
  7. JoeOxfordCT

    JoeOxfordCT Songster

    Oct 13, 2007
    Oxford, CT.
    Quote:Hmm...I have lots of grapevines...in fact, our neighborhood in loaded with it....I have to cut it off several trees in my yard every year or else it might smother the trees......

    I know I can probably get it to cover the sidewalls of the pen but I'm worried that if I let it climb the netting I plan to cover part of the run with, it might get too heavy in the winter when we get snow......

    Thanks for your suggestions though... [​IMG]
  8. fullhouse

    fullhouse Songster

    Apr 14, 2008
    Do you want an evergreen or deciduous plant?
  9. JoeOxfordCT

    JoeOxfordCT Songster

    Oct 13, 2007
    Oxford, CT.
    Quote:Ideally some of both......
  10. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    Silver Lace plant is a good one to use for your runs, I used it for two years and made the mistake of pulling them out totally at the fall clean up. [​IMG]

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