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Thread: Chickens and Apples

  1. #1
    Brack is offline Seedling
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    Default Chickens and Apples

    So today we bought 3 chickens, and we'd managed to get a green frog medium co-op and a 10' square wire run second hand.
    They seem to be doing alright, my question related to the location in the garden. The best/'right' place to put the run in the garden has put it over an apple tree I planted back in February (which isn't much more than a 18" stick at the moment). I quite like the idea of the tree in the corner of the run giving them some shade, and them fertilising the tree a bit too. But if I have to move it it'd be easier to do so now when it's barely grown some roots and only has half a dozen leaves.
    My big question is: will they destroy it/should I move it?
    The hens in question are all hybrids, an amber, a speckledy and a blue haze. In their first half a day they've eaten a bit of grass, scratched in the mud a touch and have ignored the tree. They don't seem too destructive yet (I put a lettuce plant that'd gone too dry and was on the way out, they gave it a cursory peck then wandered off).
    Any advice/opinions gratefully received.

  2. #2
    veggiechicken's Avatar
    veggiechicken is offline Warning, May contain nuts
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    How high is the run - and how tall will the tree grow?
    Personally, I'd move the tree outside the run, while its a stick, and plant it alongside for shade.
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  3. #3
    SarrissUK's Avatar
    SarrissUK is offline Early Fruiter
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    Chickens will pull at anything, even if they have no intention of eating it. They're playful and inquisitive. Give the tree a chance to grow to provide shade in the future, but not in amongst the chickens
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  4. #4
    Nicos's Avatar
    Nicos is offline 'Allo 'Allo !
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    I have an elderflower tree in my run but it's well away from the fence. My gals like to roost in it when it's very hot or raining. Yours could eventually be a small flutter away from being an escape route when it gets bigger.
    I too would move it.
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  5. #5
    Jimny14 is offline Tuber
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    I don't keep chickens nd have no experience in this area but just thinking, would rabbit spiral or a larger tree collar be enough to stop the chickens investigating the trunk? If so it would save moving the tree and would possibly end with the chickens having a lovely tree within their run as some enrichment.
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  6. #6
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    The chicken wire/rabbit spiral sounds a good idea.
    I had a very young apple tree in the middle of my first run (no longer have the run, apple tree doing very well) and nettles grew round it, the chickens wouldn't go near it. The nettles protected the tree and didn't reduce its growing vigor even though they shared the same space.
    Just an interesting observation i noted and maybe there's other "off putting" plants that keep them away
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  7. #7
    Brack is offline Seedling
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    Just as an update, yesterday I moved the tree. Thanks for views/advice all.
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  8. #8
    Nicos's Avatar
    Nicos is offline 'Allo 'Allo !
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    You enjoying your chooks?...better than TV any day
    Sometimes in the summer, we pull up a couple of patio chairs, crack open a bottle of something and just sits and watches 'em .Highly entertaining!
    Last edited by Nicos; 12-05-2019 at 09:37 AM.
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