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Chickens love raspberries

 
Dan Cruickshank
Posts: 59
Location: Virginia
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Our land/yard is quite open. We recently increased our chicken run area to include our small raspberry patch, and much to my surprise and delight I discovered that the chickens just love working the raspberry patch for me. They've created dust bath areas underneath the raspberry canes--thus keeping the canes weeded, they run under the raspberries to hide from predators (me included), and they've really enjoyed the shade that the raspberries have provided for them from the hot Virginia summer sun.

My only fear is that, when the raspberries become ripe, the chickens will eat them and leave none for me. Perhaps they'll just keep the bugs off the canes? We've had quite a few raspberries with worms on them in the past years.

Do anyone know if chickens will pick raspberries that are above their heads? Or will we still get our usually abundant harvest?

Just sharing, and thanks for any comments!

Dan
 
Renate Howard
pollinator
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
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It depends on how crowded/bored they are. We had ours running free range and they only ate the berries that were close to the ground, while wild birds (like catbirds!) ate the majority of the higher ones. The preferred the wild berries to my raspberries, tho (as did we!). And the ones under leaves were almost always left for the humans.
 
Martin Vandepas
Posts: 11
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
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My chickens used to love the raspberries. They would eat any they could reach but their wings were clipped so that only meant about 3 feet off the ground. They would follow me around when I was harvesting raspberries and race to snatch up any that fell to the ground. I would toss any bad berries down to them and they would clean up the mess. Be careful with the bowl of raspberries you are holding, they might peck it out of your hand.
 
Billy Kearney
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Around our house we say: why did the chicken cross the road? Because that is where the mulberry tree grows.
 
Dan Cruickshank
Posts: 59
Location: Virginia
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Oh, gosh, why did the chicken cross the road?

My answer, "That's what the farmer wants to know." In other words, I don't like it when my neighbor's come talking to me about my chickens having crossed the road to the other side, and I'd like to keep them from doing it. If I knew why, then I could keep them from crossing the road.

Another farmer's answer, "Because the bugs were better on the other side."

From our experience? "Because he was following the turkey."

But what about the cow? "It was the chickens day off."

Why didn't the skeleton cross with the rest? "He didn't have the guts."

On a more serious note, the chickens like hiding underneath the elderberries too ... there's just not nearly as much shade underneath our young elderberry bushes as there is underneath the raspberries.

Dan
 
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