Plants to protect chickens???

GlacialMold

Hey guys! I have 9 chickens, we will be getting 5 more this spring. We have a lot of hawks and bald eagles around here, plus the occasional golden eagle. I would like to put in some plants that would protect them from aerial predators. The only good one I found so far was Firethorn. We live in hardiness zone 8. Do you have any good recommendations? Spines and thorns are nice to have.
 

Dewclaw83

Look into some berry plants - black berriers and raspberries. My hens love hiding in our blackberry patch, and once the berries grow - snacks! (For chickens AND humans!)
 

GlacialMold

Where we live, blackberries are super invasive. My parents hate them, as do my grandparents. Raspberries may work though. I forgot to mention that we live in a valley right nxt to a creek, so it is kinda humid, and not very warm. We also don’t get a whole lot of sunlight. Maybe 6-8 hours in the summer in the front yard and 2-3 hours in the winter. The backyard gets a bit less sunlight. The soil is generally pretty moist, and the plant has to be big enough to withstand deer and the chickens.
 

juniperlea

You must live next door to me, as you also live in the deepest, darkest depths of nowhere!!! In which case, you need to abandon hope! lol.... kidding!

Vines...... grape, wisteria.........?
 

GlacialMold

Yah we live in the foothills of Mt Hood in Oregon.

Here is the backyard. The chicken run is in one of the pics.

Oh, and also I was wondering if chickens can eat amazon sword???
 

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AquaMan3640

Here is the backyard. The chicken run is in one of the pics.

That looks like a sweet spot you have! As for using plants to protect the chickens, I haven't had luck with mine. Hawks and Eagles are incredible predators that will hunt your chickens and keep coming back. I don't how you could protect them if they are free-ranging, but if you hang up CDs near your coop with fishing line, the reflection will mess up the Hawk/Eagle's vison so they'd be safe there.
 

juniperlea

Well, my first response is to ask you if I can move into your chicken run! Second, I see that lighting for vines, plants etc isn't viable, and, the trees are excellent for birds of prey. You could set up nets above the run, but they could injure or kill the predators, which is against the law. Honestly, I would use a dog. I'm not joking.

Best Dog Breeds To Protect Farm Chickens | Global Animal
 

GlacialMold

We have an English shepherd puppy who is still a puppy and therefor still learning that the chickens are not interested in being her friends, and are also not snacks. After she is 1 or 2 yrs old, she will be perfect for the chickens.

I have also considered using low-power air soft guns when I see a hawk swooping down on a chicken.

Here she is.
 

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juniperlea

Excellent idea. They're shepherds..... they can be taught to herd and protect!!!
 

GlacialMold

She does it instinctively. At the dog park, she starts nipping at the other dog’s heels and trying to herd them a little bit. She is also very protective, and doesn’t like it when my brothers are upstairs playing and I am down stairs. She is a great dog, very mellow, but she is still a puppy.
 

GlacialMold

Well, my first response is to ask you if I can move into your chicken run!

Only if you lay an egg every day and eat chicken food. Also, offense but I don’t think you’d fit on their roost. It is kinda cramped in the coop too. The nesting boxes are also very small, and in the winter it gets cold.
 

juniperlea

Only if you lay an egg every day and eat chicken food. Also, offense but I don’t think you’d fit on their roost. It is kinda cramped in the coop too. The nesting boxes are also very small, and in the winter it gets cold.
LOL! You're right, as my BMI of 20.6 and the English sheepdog's bmi, which would probably be greater than that, won't fit! Between us, though, we'd be able to keep each other warm! And, I no longer produce eggs!!!! I'm fairly certain I could survive on chicken food though..... grains!!! LOL. Anyway, I hope you solve this problem. I think your puppy is the answer!!!
 

fishkeeper19524

I would as a roster if you can, he will defend your chickens
 

GlacialMold

We found a solution. It is the same idea as a chicken tractor, but better. For now, we will make a 50’ long tunnel out of chicken wire, lay that on the ground, and put the chickens in it during the day. They would have access to food, water, and a small nesting box. Later on this year or if the tunnel doesn’t work out we will buy 25x50 feet of poulty netting, make a few 6’ posts with concrete bases and make a sort of circus tent for the chickens to be in during the day. It is not very secure from land based predators, but we would be keeping an eye on them.
 

MoshJosh


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sorry, not helpful.
 

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