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chicken herbatorium

 
                                      
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I have just built a simple living plant feeder for my 5 chooks - posted at my blog http://www.randomplantings.com/?p=751
Has anyone else tried this type of system before and if so, was it successful? Even though the chickens can't scratch at the plant roots, I still suspect they will peck the plants (mainly comfrey) to within an inch of their lives.

James
 
Leah Sattler
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I've never tried it but it is an intrigueing idea. especially for those that are unable to free range or have large paddocks for their poultry. I suppose as long as you keep the screen high enough up that the plants can retain a certain amount of foliage they should be fine. observation of my chickens has revealed that they tend to nibble the tops anyway. the scratching tends to be more for bugs...sorta.....chickens will scratch irregardless of where they are......it is an automatic sort of response largely. this technique reminds me of the SCOG technique. I tried it breifly with tomatoes. I was too lazy to keep up with it.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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A family friend keeps chickens loose in her backyard garden.  Somehow, they don't seem to do much damage.  She isn't willing/able to talk about her methods in this regard, unfortunately.

She definitely does not limit their access with screens.  I think they somehow choose to eat plants other than the tomatoes and zucchinis.  Maybe she just knows not to plant or to weed anything chickens appreciate.
 
Alison Thomas
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I too let mine free-range totally free.  Oddly they don't seem to go in the veg patch nor in the polytunnel much even though the gate/doors are always left open these days.  They seem to hang about with the geese in the orchard, or scratch about on the drive.  Hope it stays this way.

I have loads of ornamental plants that I brought over with us from Scotland (always heve been a keen gardener but only recently became aware of permaculture and self-sufficiency, now that we have a decent amount of land) and i'd like to plant them out but i have to plan carefully as i'd be gutted if the chooks ate them.
 
                              
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randomplanter wrote:
I have just built a simple living plant feeder for my 5 chooks - posted at my blog http://www.randomplantings.com/?p=751
Has anyone else tried this type of system before and if so, was it successful? Even though the chickens can't scratch at the plant roots, I still suspect they will peck the plants (mainly comfrey) to within an inch of their lives.

James



What plants would be most suitable?  I've heard siberian pea tree is good, and that they like chickweed & other random weeds, but if you are planting just for chickens what is a good mix?
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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In my climate, pigeon pea seems more appropriate than Siberian pea tree.

Looking at the lifecycle of the hills nearby, I'm planning to use some millet, as well.

Edit:  As I read more, I'm thinking Western redbud and creeping pellitory.
 
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