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What type of bush can I put in the run? UPDATE!!!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by krcote, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. krcote

    krcote Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2008
    Concord, NH
    I've had chickens for quite some time now, but I have just become interested in making their run more interesting due to less time free ranging. They still get to roam, just not nearly as much as previously. I have seem some bushes planted in runs on BYC, I would love to do this! Anyone have any insight on a type of bush what would do well with high N due to poo, New England hardy and something that I can buy (or dig up [​IMG] ) large enough initially so the girls don't demolish it? I know it is a tall order but there must be SOMETHING!!! Thanks all.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2011
  2. mmaddie's mom

    mmaddie's mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm glad to see your question... I don't have an answer but would like to see what other folks say.

    I am creating a new run area and will have to remove a Pussy Willow that is right in the middle of the area... just last night I was thinking about leaving it and just keeping it trimmed back... I guess I can always hack it out if it doesn't work. But, like you, I thought it might be a nice green, shady, point of interest for the girls?
  3. jason_mazzy

    jason_mazzy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 7, 2011
    I would think large blueberry would be nice. the highbush variety are miniature trees, and produce something edible that the chickens would love!
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    It depends somewhat what your soil and sun and so forth are like.

    But, for an average-good mostly-sunny site that is not on serious clay, some reasonable options would include (in no particular order)

    ninebark (the species, not fancy-leaved cultivars; it will grow too big for a small run but for an ample full-height run will be ok and you can always just let it grow out thru the run fence mesh)

    forsythia (ditto on size), unless you are in a cold enough zone that forsythia does not do well there

    bush-type willows (ditto on size, for some of them; prefer damper rather than drier site)

    lilac (ditto on size but can control easily with pruning if desired)

    red osier dogwood (ditto on size but can easily control with pruning if desired)

    No guarantees on any of these but they include most of your 'usual suspects' that MIGHT work for you. (there are others that might work too, I've just listed what I'd consider the best bets, that I can think of offhand anyhow). For any of these, you would be best off protecting the area around their roots (to a signfiicant distance!) with some large pavers or big stones or something like that, so the chickens cannot scratch up the newly planted rootball and can't do too much damage to the roots on an ongoing basis.

    Good luck, have fun,

  5. krcote

    krcote Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2008
    Concord, NH
    Quote:Right, pavers it is. I have lilacs! I best get out and start digging! I will have to keep them pruned because I have a 7 foot roof on my run, but plenty of sun via the southern exposure. Perfect day here for transplanting, cool temps and not a speck of sun in the sky [​IMG]
  6. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    We have bamboo growing on our property (and plenty of it), so I've been doing the same thing for our chickens as I do for enrichment for our indoor birds. I cut a couple of boles of bamboo and just stick them down into the ground in the run so that they stand upright. After about a week, the bamboo is dried up and then I just replace it with fresh boles.
  7. Buff-Island-Australorp

    Buff-Island-Australorp Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2011
    Bixby, OK
  8. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Now I have a vegetable garden and in it was some Lemon Balm. This was one thing the girls didn't eat. The thing is to keep a wire fence around what ever you plant so they don't "scratch" it out of the ground. You could I suppose use river rock as a mulch. Choose some thing with out berries and non toxic.

    You might try some ornamental grasses that grow tall. They might eat some but not all. Also chickens jump so expect it to be bare to whatever height they can leap. Ate my tomato up to three feet.

    I have plans to plant Scarlet Runner beans on the outside to grow up the wire to provide beauty and shade.
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Maybe it is just me, but I have never had good luck transplanting established lilacs. They don't necessarily die but it may take 5+ years (for me) before they resume growing. As opposed to purchasing container-grown stock which transplants fine. Removing suckers from established lilacs, and transplanting those, works a LITTLE better for me than trying to dig up noticeable-sized bushes, in the sense that they seem to get growing faster, but since they start much smaller to begin with I'm not sure how much it gains.

    But maybe it's just me, if you've moved your lilacs before with success then by all means do it (and tell me what I'm doing wrong, LOL)


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