What kind of tree/bush to plant in chicken yard

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Little Ameraucana Mom, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. Little Ameraucana Mom

    Little Ameraucana Mom Need Help, Can't stop hatching!!!

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    Jul 8, 2008
    Greencastle, In
    I've got newly made runs and want to plant some trees or shrubs in there for shade, what would be something that would bush out, but not get out of control that would make the most shade?? I really like dwarf fruit trees, but not sure how much shade there'd be once they get taller.
    Any suggestions???
     
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Are you thinking "in the run"? Does that limit the height?

    Imp
     
  3. Little Ameraucana Mom

    Little Ameraucana Mom Need Help, Can't stop hatching!!!

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    Greencastle, In
    I thought I'd plant something in the middle of the run, that way they should have shade all day long. I was worried if I planted something that got to tall, it wouldn't make as much shade, unless it is really bushy.
     
  4. Hollywood Chickens

    Hollywood Chickens Songster

    Mar 12, 2009
    Florida
    something that they will or will not eat?
     
  5. Little Ameraucana Mom

    Little Ameraucana Mom Need Help, Can't stop hatching!!!

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    Greencastle, In
    I guess it doesnt' really matter as long as it isnt' toxic to them. I'm just partial to fruit trees.
     
  6. crazyhen

    crazyhen Crowing

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    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    First nothing has a chance to grow in the chicken yard! It will be completely nude of anything in an amazingly short time.
    I have planted trees outside the perimeter of the fence. I also use a tarp over part of the fence to give them some evening shade. Just be sure the tarp will not get full of water when it rains and break the top of the run. Mine did; so I think shade cloth would have been better. I just punched loads of holes in mine and now it works fine.
    Chickens dig too much to allow anything to really grow where they are confined. If you want to try; you can fence the rectangle where you want to plant and plant a scrub there. I can not make a good suggestion for a scrub unless I know what part of the country you are in and your climate. In the lower south the fig trees do well and can be kept pruned. They will not have figs much as there will be too much nitrogen in the soil. In the North a deciduous scrub that really leafs out well could be used but be sure it is not poisonous to the chickens. Gloria Jean
     
  7. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    I have lots of fruit trees in my yard. 2 huge cherries in the back with the chickens. They do provide lots of shade, but are old trees. Planted in the 1970s. The chicken like to peck at the cherries that drop. I just this year planted 2 pears next to the coop. Too little to provide shade yet. But I really don't need to worry about heat here in Western Washington. I planted plum, peach, and apricot in my side yard and they grew pretty fast, just planted 3-4 years ago. I have 2 old huge apples in the front yard that shade the entire front yard. So if you like fruit trees go for it. Just one caution. Raccons are attracted to the fruit trees especially the cherries. When there is fruit I sometimes have raccoons and chickens in the yard at the same time. So far no problem, but did want you to know.

    Imp
     
  8. Little Ameraucana Mom

    Little Ameraucana Mom Need Help, Can't stop hatching!!!

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    Jul 8, 2008
    Greencastle, In
    I've used tarps, but they just seem to get ripped up in all the wind and storms we have here. That is why I thought I"d try trees, I was going to fence them off, until they got bigger.
    I hadn't thought about fruit trees attracting coons. I have fruit trees in the garden, but most are producing fruit yet. I know my peach tree attracted alot of rabbits !!!! LOL !!
     
  9. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    You could contact your county extension office for the best recommendations for things that will grow well in your gardening zone. I'm in SE Florida so the things that grow best here may not do well in your state.

    Another thing to consider is if a tree/large shrub growing in the run will enable the chickens to hop into its branches & fly over your fences. Or when it's big, if hawks will perch in the branches and swoop down on your birds.

    The chickens really don't mind what they use for shade, even pieces of plywood propped a few feet off the ground will keep them cool & happy. I ask for unwanted patio & beach umbrellas from my local FreeCycle and set them in the ground inside sections of PVC pipe secured into the dirt.

    I wish you success with whatever you decide to use.
     
  10. Hollywood Chickens

    Hollywood Chickens Songster

    Mar 12, 2009
    Florida
    Mulberry tree/shrubs are perfect the chickens won't eat it unless they are really hungry and it can grow as a shrub or a tree and they grow really fast and the fruit is delicious!
     

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