What to put in a 4x4 raised bed in the chicken yard?

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by sigmachigirl, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. sigmachigirl

    sigmachigirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 21, 2013
    We had built a raised 4x4x1.5 high veggie bed for our daughter's playhouse, which is now enclosed in the chicken yard. Last year we planted pumpkins for the first time, it worked well but they quickly outgrew our space and rambled onto the ground. Our chickens gobbled up the vines and tiny pumpkins when the chickens started to get more brave about eating plants. (was our first summer with chickens). This year I'm a little stumped... We are wanting something to fill the bed with. Can anyone think of something that might be safe in there with them? I will probably put up some willow edging to help protect the plants a little bit more. I have some parsley I could put in right now, and was thinking of rainbow chard, kale and lettuce. But not sure if that is smart. Though, it would be okay with me if they nibble the edges. Anything that grows there will likely just be for them anyway, just want to keep it looking pretty. We entertain a lot, and it's just off the patio. We also plan to put in some blueberry bushes, salal, and Oregon grape and some grape vines along the fenceline. Gotta block our girls from digging under our fence into the neighbor's yard! thoughts? also have a small spot where we intend to plant two small 1.5x1.5 planter boxes. May do kale there too to give the chickens some greens to eat during the winter.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  2. maxpedley

    maxpedley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chickens love carrots and sweetcorn the most so these would be great foe something to give your chickens. As for plants which are safe you do not really need to worry about how safe a plant is as chickens will not eat anything toxic or unsafe as long as they are well fed. They have stronger instincts than us and so where we may think something looks fine to give to our chickens they will know whether it is good to eat or not!
     
  3. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you're looking for foodstuffs for you in that bed, forget it! If you're looking to plant something for the hens to harvest continuously - try adding any leafy green (spinach, lettuces, carrots - just make sure to cover the bed with 1/2" mesh over the top. The plants can grow up and through it - the chickens will eat it down to the wire - but they'll not be able to dig up the plant, so the plants can continue producing!

    Many folks add these to the chicken runs, as the chickens tend to eat everything green within a season or two.
     
  4. sigmachigirl

    sigmachigirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 21, 2013
    Good thought. They get free range in half our yard all day, but we have some heavy diggers! Am going to need to do something to protect my itoh peonies. They left them alone last year, but they had a lot they could forage on. Will see about putting mint and lavender in there for them too.
     
  5. crosbygroup

    crosbygroup Chillin' With My Peeps

    They seem to leave Rosemarry alone. You might be able to plant that along the fence line.
     
  6. sigmachigirl

    sigmachigirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 21, 2013
    Great idea!! Thank you!!
     

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