Chickens make a valuable addition to any garden through their supply of eggs for you, manure for your garden and their love of weeds, slugs, snails, caterpillars and other garden pests. To create a harmonious garden, it is important to know which of your favourite plants they won’t nibble on, which plants make a great snack for them (and you!) and what plants create a chicken friendly environment.
Chickens need shelter from the elements. Orchard trees such as apples, pears, plums and peaches offer shade in summer. Currants, raspberries, blueberries and feijoas create good low height cover for bug browsing chickens (make sure you remove chickens from the area before fruit appears or protect the fruit). Hawthorn and barberry grow into a thorny thicket which is ideal protection from small animals. If you prefer flowers, hebes provide year round cover.
Dust Bath Area
Chickens love a good dust bath. Conifers or pine trees planted together in a large section create an ideal dry, dust bath area at their base.
Delicious Plants For You & Your Chickens
- Chicory – Contains a prebiotic that stimulates the growth of the absorptive surfaces of chickens intestines, improving the digestion of glucose.
- Clover – is a nitrogen fixer for your soil and a source of phosphorous for chickens.
- Kale, silverbeet and spinach – contain the precursor to vitamin A, which is useful to your chickens during winter.
- Sunflower seeds – highly nutritious when ripe and dried.
- Wheat sprouts – grown to 5–10cm provides a nutritious snack.
Plants That Don’t Appeal To Chickens
Typically chickens will not touch azaleas, salvias, lavendar, pittosporums, and roses. They don’t like groundcovers with strong odours, spikes or abrasive leaves such as marjoram, oregano and juniper.