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    • CommentAuthorAnna P
    • CommentTimeAug 18th, 2010 9:05am (Aug 18th 2010)
    Hi I am a new member and a two week chicken owner. We have put together a run to extend the coop we bought and I wanted to soften the look of the run by putting in some plants around the outside. Are there any plants which are known to be beneficial to the chickens as they will obviously be able to peck at them through the wire.
    Any suggestions??
    • CommentTimeAug 18th, 2010 10:33am (Aug 18th 2010) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    That is a really good question...

    we had a thread on what chickens shouldn't eat - - but didn't cover what they could eat.

    I would think that grass is probably the main one! The hens will strip the tips as it grows, and as it's quick-growing they shouldn't be able to completely kill it off (though they will if they can! For example if they get too much access to it!)

    You could also plant veggies - spinach, quick-growing lettuce, let it go to seed, tomato plants, growing corn...

    I think your main problem will be stopping the hens from stripping whatever you are growing bare - they'll see it as a personal mission to decimate whatever you plant within range (even if they have treats and food in the run!)

    Good luck, and let us know what you decide to plant as we could do with doing this too!
    • CommentTimeAug 18th, 2010 3:21pm (Aug 18th 2010)

    Keeper of the hens

    Grass is a good idea because they can put their heads through and peck it, but they won't be able to kill it by scratching at it.

    Chickens love dandelions, but not sure you'd want to grow weeds around the outside? :P
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeAug 19th, 2010 5:40pm (Aug 19th 2010)
    You can buy them a turf roll from the garden centre every now and then and just replace it when they've destroyed it. that way they get grass but you get to keep your garden!
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeAug 20th, 2010 3:25pm (Aug 20th 2010)
    A old fashioned idea is Rosemary planted round the Hen house as it is supposed to deter mites and such. You can put small sprigs in their nesting box as well. The hens will not eat it but is worth a try as is anything to keep mites away with out having to use chemicals.
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeAug 20th, 2010 5:34pm (Aug 20th 2010)
    If I didn't think the rabbits would eat it I'd give it a go!
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd, 2010 8:28pm (Aug 23rd 2010)
    I must take some more cuttings off mine come to think of it.
    • CommentAuthorthe big hen coop
    • CommentTimeAug 24th, 2010 11:05am (Aug 24th 2010)
    try buttercups and dasies or are they poisonaus
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeAug 25th, 2010 7:39pm (Aug 25th 2010)
    They don't usually eat those so could well be.