If you’re raising chickens in your backyard, you’ve likely put a lot of thought into creating a safe, comfortable environment that allows your birds to thrive.
One often overlooked aspect of chicken run landscaping is the use of shrubs and other greenery. However, planting shrubs in your chicken run can have numerous benefits for both you and your feathered friends.
Why You Should Incorporate Shrubs into Your Chicken Run Landscaping
First and foremost, shrubs provide shade and shelter for your chickens. This is especially important during hot summer months or rainy seasons when chickens may become stressed or uncomfortable in direct sunlight or inclement weather.
Additionally, certain plants chickens won’t destroy can be used to help control dust and regulate temperature in the run. As they grow, shrubs also attract insects and other small animals that chickens love to eat – providing them with an additional source of food while also helping to manage pests.
The Best Shrubs for Chicken Runs: Small Shrubs and Quick-Growing Plants that Thrive
When it comes to choosing what plants are good for a chicken run, there are several factors to consider. For example, some plants may be toxic to chickens if ingested – so it’s important to choose carefully. Other considerations include the size of your chicken run space constraints as well as the climate conditions specific to the area where you live.
While there are numerous types of bushes for a chicken run available on the market today, some evergreen shrubs for chicken runs include boxwood or holly – which provide year-round greenery that will keep your coop looking beautiful come rain or shine. Alternatively, small shrubs such as rosemary or lavender can serve both practical purposes (such as regulating temperature) while also providing an attractive, fragrant addition to your chicken run landscaping.
Other Options for Chicken Run Landscaping
In addition to shrubs, there are several other types of plants that can be incorporated into your chicken run landscaping. For example, vines to grow over chicken coop structures can provide additional shade and shelter for your birds while also adding a natural, rustic appearance to the space.
Quick growing plants for chickens such as clover or alfalfa are also an excellent option – and can serve double-duty as an additional source of food for your flock. Consider what to plant around chicken run areas as well – using existing trees or ornamental grasses to create a beautiful backdrop that will make you and your chickens feel right at home.
Types of Shrubs for Chicken Runs
Bushes for Chicken Run: Common shrub species suitable for chicken runs
When it comes to choosing bushes or shrubs for a chicken run, it is important to select species that are non-toxic and safe for chickens. A few examples of common shrubs that are safe include blackberry, blueberry, currant, elderberry, and raspberry.
These types of shrubs can provide both food and shelter for chickens. Additionally, some evergreen shrubs such as boxwood or yew can also be good choices due to their dense foliage which provides ample shelter.
What plants are good for a chicken run: Characteristics to consider when selecting shrubs for chicken runs
When selecting the best plants and shrubs for a chicken run, there are several characteristics worth considering. For example, quick growing plants like the butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii) or the rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) can create an instant impact in the area while providing shade and cover.
Plants with smaller leaves such as lavender or thyme tend not to attract mites since these pests do not like their scent. If you’re looking to plant vines over your chicken coop instead of installing shade cloth you could try grape vines since they’re non-toxic and also provide edible fruit.
Toxic plants for chickens:
It is important to avoid planting toxic plants such as azalea, rhododendron, daffodil bulbs or foxglove which can all be harmful if ingested by chickens. In general it’s best to focus on native species that thrive in your region since they will already be adapted to local soil conditions and climate patterns making them more resilient in harsher weather conditions.
Benefits of Shrubs in Chicken Runs
Provides shade and shelter for chickens
Chickens are sensitive to overheating, and while they have a built-in cooling mechanism, providing an extra source of shade can keep them more comfortable. Shrubs are a great way to provide shade in a chicken run because they can block direct sunlight but still allow air to circulate. Not only do shrubs offer protection against the sun, but they also offer shelter from wind, rain, and other elements that might make the chickens uncomfortable.
Attracts insects and other small animals that chickens love to eat
Chickens have an omnivorous diet, which means they eat both plant and animal matter. Providing shrubs in the chicken run can attract insects like grasshoppers or ants which are excellent sources of protein for your chickens. Some shrubs like berry bushes bear fruit which attracts birds and other creatures who will become part of your flock’s diet.
Helps control dust and regulate temperature in the run
Dust is a common problem that comes with raising backyard chickens. The dust can irritate their respiratory systems making it hard for them to breathe.
Shrubs help mitigate this problem by trapping dust particles on their leaves as well as breaking up wind currents that pick up dust from surrounding areas. Additionally,shrubs release moisture into the air through photosynthesis which helps keep chicken runs at optimal humidity levels so that your flock stays healthy all year long.
Adding plants around your chicken coop is also great for aesthetics; good landscaping will make your coop look pretty while providing numerous benefits for you birds! It’s important when choosing plants around your coop or run to make sure you choose plants that won’t be toxic for your birds such as lilies or azaleas.
In addition evergreen shrubs such as juniper or cypress can provide cover during cold winter months and also year long privacy around your coops. Some popular bushes that grow quickly and are great for chicken runs include butterfly bushes, which attracts butterflies (and therefore will attract the attention of your chickens), and blueberry plants, which will feed both you and your birds!
Vines like wisteria or honeysuckle can be trained to grow over the coop to provide additional shade in hot summer months. Be sure to choose hardy, quick growing shrubs that are easy to maintain so they can truly help you maximize the benefits they offer.
How to Plant Shrubs in Chicken Runs
Tips on preparing the soil and planting shrubs
Before planting shrubs in your chicken run, you need to prepare the soil. Start by removing any weeds or debris that might be present in the area where you want to plant.
Then, loosen the soil using a garden fork or tiller. Make sure that the soil is moist but not waterlogged before planting.
When selecting shrubs for your chicken run, consider choosing quick-growing plants for chickens that will provide shade and cover quickly. You may also want to choose evergreen shrubs for chicken runs so they can provide year-round cover and shelter.
Maintenance techniques to ensure healthy growth
To ensure healthy growth of your shrubs, keep them well-watered during their first year of growth. Once established, they will require less watering but still need adequate moisture.
Some good bushes for chicken runs are those that don’t require much watering or maintenance. To prevent chickens from destroying your plants, consider fencing off any young or vulnerable plants until they are established enough to withstand pecking and scratching from chickens.
It’s important to note that some plants are toxic for chickens. So when planning your chicken run landscaping, research what plants are good for a chicken run and which ones could be harmful.
You can also plant vines over a chicken coop so that chickens won’t be able to destroy them as easily. Overall, planting shrubs in your chicken run can enhance its beauty and functionality while providing numerous benefits to your feathery friends as well!
Examples of Shrubs for Chicken Runs
Specific types of shrubs that are particularly beneficial for chickens
When it comes to selecting shrubs for your chicken run, you want to choose ones that provide a variety of benefits. Some great options include: 1. Bayberry – This evergreen shrub is perfect for a chicken run as it provides ample shade and shelter while also attracting insects and other small animals that chickens love to eat.
2. Chokeberry – Not only does this shrub produce edible berries, but it also attracts birds and other wildlife, which can help keep your chickens entertained. 3. Lilac – Chickens love the smell of lilacs, and this fragrant shrub also provides plenty of shade in the summer months.
4. Rosemary – This herb not only adds flavor to your cooking but also has natural insect-repelling properties, making it a great addition to a chicken run garden. 5. Butterfly Bush – As the name implies, this bush attracts butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds while providing shade and shelter for your feathered friends.
Descriptions and pictures of each type
Bayberry: Bayberry is an evergreen shrub with glossy green leaves that grows up to 10 feet tall. It produces small white flowers in the spring followed by blue-gray berries in the fall. The berries are an important food source for many species of birds and can attract them to your chicken run.
Chokeberry: Chokeberry is a deciduous shrub that grows 6-8 feet tall. In the spring, it produces clusters of white or pink flowers that give way to dark purple berries in the fall.
The berries are edible but have a tart taste when eaten raw. Lilac: Lilac is a deciduous shrub with fragrant purple or white flowers in late spring or early summer.
It can grow up to 15 feet tall and wide and provides plenty of shade for chickens. Be warned, however, that chickens may eat the leaves and flowers of lilacs, so it’s best to keep an eye on them.
Rosemary: Rosemary is a fragrant herb that grows as a small evergreen shrub. It has needle-like leaves and produces small blue or white flowers in the summer.
Chickens love the smell of rosemary and may even nibble on it from time to time. Butterfly Bush: Butterfly bush is a deciduous shrub with long spikes of purple, pink, or white flowers that bloom in the summer.
It can grow up to 10 feet tall and attracts butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds with its nectar-rich blooms. When planting shrubs in your chicken run, be sure to choose plants that are safe for chickens.
Avoid toxic plants like foxglove, daffodils, and azaleas as they can be harmful if ingested by chickens. Also consider planting vines or other climbing plants along the walls of your coop for added shade and visual interest in your chicken run landscaping.
Frequently Asked Questions About Shrubs in Chicken Runs
How many shrubs should I plant?
The number of shrubs you should plant depends on the size of your chicken run and the amount of space you want to allocate for plants. As a general rule, you should aim for at least 1-2 shrubs per chicken.
However, if your run is particularly large, you may want to consider planting more. Keep in mind that it’s always better to have too many shrubs than too few, as they provide important benefits for chickens like shade and shelter.
What if my chickens eat the leaves?
Some chickens are known to eat the leaves of certain plants, which can be harmful or even poisonous. To avoid this problem, make sure to research which plants are good for a chicken run and which ones are toxic. Some common bushes for chicken runs that are safe include rosemary, lavender, and blueberry bushes.
You can also try planting small shrubs for chicken runs like dwarf boxwood or evergreen shrubs that will not only give your chickens shade but also year-round greenery. It’s best to plant these bushes outside of the main area where your chickens roam freely so they don’t nibble on them all day long.
In addition, you can hang vines over the coop or grow quick-growing plants around the perimeter of the run as an extra layer of protection against plant destruction by curious birds. Adding some greenery to your chicken run landscaping is a great idea because it provides various benefits like temperature regulation and insect control while keeping your birds happy and healthy!
Shrubs provide numerous benefits for chickens, including shade, shelter, food sources, and natural regulation of temperature and dust. There are many types of shrubs that are suitable for chicken runs, including quick-growing plants like willows or dogwoods, small shrubs like blueberries or elderberries, or evergreen shrubs like junipers or boxwoods. It’s important to consider the characteristics of each type of shrub before planting to ensure their compatibility with chickens.
Final thoughts on why shrubbery is an important aspect to consider when raising backyard chickens
Overall, incorporating shrubbery into your chicken run landscaping can greatly benefit both the health and well-being of your chickens and the aesthetics of your backyard. Not only do they provide functional benefits such as shade and food sources but they also enhance the natural environment and provide a more organic look to your chicken run. With careful consideration in choosing non-toxic plants that thrive well alongside chickens combined with simple maintenance techniques such as pruning or mulching, you can create a beautiful landscape that both you and your feathered friends will enjoy!