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planting the chicken run

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  • planting the chicken run

    I never saw a chicken run with grundcovers growing. It would simply look great does anyone plant things in the chickenrun? How do you do this and what plants?
    I yet plantet two citrus and a banana, an epazote, lemongrass and comfrey all with plenty of old timber or branches around the stems.

  • #2
    planting the chicken run

    Hi Hedwig,
    If you can grow Bananas then you are not in my clim's but I do grow 'stuff' in and around my chook run.
    I have an area of (what can I say) average reinforced fencing that you see at schools.
    Laid down flat it is maybe10cm high...
    which means the chooks can eat the greens, but not scratch up the roots. I just sow wild bird seed and let them peck. Without the mesh they dessimate everything,
    I have Mulberry, Figs; Southern wormood and Rue. along the run that fall into the area or they can peck at as theraputic and extra feed.
    Any one got other suggestions?


    • #3
      this is a quite good idea! I ve got something similar laying around in the garden - i'll try. In every corner a brick and perhaps some mustard seeds and that it for the moment. and I can move this system around the pen until everything is green.


      • #4
        I'm just starting to plant out our chicken run. Got a couple of grape vines planted to go over the chicken house for shade and the chickens love grapes so they can have the fruit.

        I am transplanting wormwood, tansy, rue, feverfew & comfrey from other parts of the garden into the chicken run and putting behind a small chicken wire fence to start them off.

        I was struggling with how to get the groundcover going, and am going to try something based on Susan's description.

        We've also got loads of self-seeded kangaroo apple so I've sown some seeds of that as well to provide cover from sun & hawks etc. And will fit in a few more shrubs to do the same, but not sure what they'll be yet.

        We've got lots of crabapple so perhaps a hedge of that may go in on one side as well.
        People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing.
        That's why we recommend it daily.


        • #5
          If you can rotate your chook grazing areas just like you would other livestock, it will help. Just don't leave them in one place long enough to let them destroy it.

          Also consider planting edibles that they would decimate just outside the chook pen. When you go there to collect eggs or clean waterers, pick some and take/toss it in to them.



          • #6
            I love it! I just logged in to get some brainstorm ideas for chicken yard forage!

            I was planning on planting some chinese hawthorne (C. pinnitifada), a selection of euro mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia), and mulberry (Morus nigra) and was wondering about other ideas... the medicinals are an interesting twist. I was imagining tilling a bed around the edge of the yard and planting a sunflower guild for summer and a fava bean guild for winter. I was imagining two yards and putting my chicken house on wheels (wire bottom with straw underneath?) so I can roll it between the two yards.

            Anyone had luck with siberian pea shrub (caragana?). What about working the old yard with a hoe and sowing grain and clover and in off years and moving them each fall?
            Paul Cereghino
            Olympia, WA, USA


            • #7
              Juliette De Bairacli Levy's book

              I once was inspired by Juliette De Bairacli Levy's book on good herbs to plant around a chook shead. (Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable- a great book)
              Plants for nutrition, worms, disease control etc. I spent all day planting them on the outside of the cage.
              Next day when I let the chooks out for a run they ate all the herbs completely in about 15 minutes.
              Guess they know what is good for them too.
              "You can fix all the world's problems in a garden. .Most people don't know that"
              Music can solve all the world's problems. Not many people know that- MA 2005
              "Politicians will never solve 'The Problem' because they don't realise that they are the problem" R Parsons 2001


              • #8
                Chooks will trash any groundcovers that are growing. We have three yards off our chook house - one for the chooks, once they move onto the next we plant that one out in a green manure crop, then follow that with a food crop, after that is all done, the chooks are ready to be rotated through there and trash what's left of the vegie patch.

                Also good if any bugs get in the vegie patch, chooks are handy for throwing the grubs too.

                We also have wormwood, tansy and southernwood by the fence too.

                Sunshine Coast
                Queensland Australia