Fruit trees/shrubs for chicken run

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by alex s., Nov 9, 2008.

  1. alex s.

    alex s. Junior Member

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    Does anyone know of any fruit trees/shrubs/bushes, groundcovers, edible plants that can grow in a shady chicken run? It gets about 3-4 hours of direct morning sunlight(during the summer) and for the rest of the day its in shade but not in deep shade. Any groundcoves wold have to be unattractive for chickens otherwise they would survive 2 minutes. By the way I'm in Brisbane.
     
  2. alex s.

    alex s. Junior Member

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    Re: Fruit trees/shrubs for chicken run

    By the way I just relised that it gets dappled sunlight from for about another 3-4 hours
     
  3. paradisi

    paradisi Junior Member

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    Re: Fruit trees/shrubs for chicken run

    I've got a custard apple and a lychee in a similar situation

    bananas are an option, coffee, choko and passionfruit - tho you'll have to start the vines off outside the run and let them grow over the fence

    with that much light you could try tropical peach/nectarine, lemon tree?? maybe an orange??

    I've got a soursop in partial shade


    try sweet potato as a ground cover - you need to set up a raised frame over the plants - something like a wide lattice - the chooks can stand on the lattice and get their head down to the greens but can't get to the ground to scratch - - or plant outside the chook run and let the sweet potato vine scramble through and over the fence - - will be eaten quickly but so what - you get the eggs...
     
  4. dylanz

    dylanz Junior Member

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    Re: Fruit trees/shrubs for chicken run

    On the outside of your run, you could plant amaranth. Any reasonably small-sized grain would be well received by the chooks. I recently did something that I now think is actually pretty cruel... I planted a Macadamia Nut tree in their run. I'm sure they'll realize that they are impenetrable, but when they start falling, they'll probably be a bit frustrated for a while trying to get into them :)
     
  5. alex s.

    alex s. Junior Member

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    Re: Fruit trees/shrubs for chicken run

    By the way this is a picture of the run. The 'topsoil' has washed away before we moved in but I was thinking I could sheet mulch but then you have chickens just scratching it all up. So maybe some chicken wire, hessian etc could stop them from happering my efforts.Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Does anyone know of any groundcover that will grow in these conditions( limited sunlight and chickens scratching around all the time)?
     
  6. paradisi

    paradisi Junior Member

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    Re: Fruit trees/shrubs for chicken run

    put some straw in just for the chooks to scratch in - this will help the soil too and be fun for them (once it looks like the mulch has all gone or is coated in chook poo - - dig it up and use on your garden or in the compost and then replace the straw

    for the fruit trees - dig a hole, plant the tree and put a chook wire cylinder around it with a couple of tomato stakes to stop it being moved and this will stop the chooks getting at the roots for a while too
     
  7. kanintalagaeh

    kanintalagaeh Junior Member

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    Re: Fruit trees/shrubs for chicken run

    For the chickens, we've got wild cucumbers (small ones), datiles, some fig varieties, guavas, soursop, and grasses. I'm getting in thorny natal plum bushes for hiding because I'm quite tired of having them eaten by cats.

    About the sweet potatoes-- so that's what happened! They ate them all. I was wondering who came in and took our tops. It was a sizable patch and they had their fill :)

    My suggestion for your area would be to get a couple of significantly grown trees in that they may not stomp on, and get some groundcover growing under cages. I got some cinnamon that kept getting trampled and I just put wire mesh over it, supported by broken pots. I also got them messing up my transplants a lot, so I put the pots pretty close to each other and held them in a tight square with logs so they wouldn't topple over when the chickens walked over. The suggestion in the sweet potato is great!

    A good method is to create one "intensive" area (compost with lots of life) where they will concentrate their energy and time in, to allow for growth on the damaged soil. Although with the small area, chances are they'll be back and forth. Once I thought I was going mad with the chickens taking everything apart, so I made certain areas for them to loiter around at and wait for fruiting season. A pit, a water bath, etc. Anything to get them away from the starting ups.
     

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