Important points to keep in mind with chickens in the yard:
- Different chickens have different tastes. Someone else’s hens might develop a taste for things like nastursium, while others leave it alone. Experiment and never buy a ton of anything to start with. I will leave a newly purchased potted plant where the hens can nibble. If they ignore it, in the ground it goes the following week.
- Hungry chickens will eventually eat almost any plants if there is nothing else to forage around or no other good food source. Check toxicity levels before planting anything. Chickens don’t normally bother poisonous plants unless they have nothing else to choose from, but also try not to plant stuff that is deadly like foxglove or oleander. I generally have a mix of fast growing annuals they can munch and chicken proof shrubs and perennial plants.
- I always put out lots yummy treats a couple of times a day and give them constant access to their feeder and waterer. I have a modest amount of grass in the backyard that my hens munch on throughout the day so they are never at loss for green stuff.
- Temporarily fence them out with chicken wire or other portable fencing until plants are more established
- Fence off the vegetable garden
- Plant more fruit trees, shrubs, and woody perennials to provide “bones” to the garden so it doesn’t look bare.
Here is an article with some good tips and advice on keeping a nice garden with chickens:
A lot of the plants on this list are also drought tolerant due to the water restrictions we have locally. For my post about poisonous plants and toxicity, click here. They are not in any particular order so far, I’ll get around to sorting eventually.
Salivias ( a lot of varieties!)
Four O’clock (not pictured yet)
Nandina Domestica (heavenly bamboo) I cut off the berries to keep the chickens from eating it if they fall to the ground.
Purple Heuchera (coral bells, but they ate my green leafed coral bells)
Sedum “Autumn Joy”(not pictured yet)
Leather leaf ferns
Osteospemum (not pictured yet)
Amarillys Belladona (naked ladies)
Citrus (not pictured yet)
Mother in Law’s Tounge
Limonium (sea lavender)