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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:07 am 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:24 pm
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Location: Landsdale, WA
My chook run is about 150sqm with very little shade. I would like to plant a smallish tree, like a citrus to give the birds a bit of shade. What would be a good plant considering the rich droppings on the ground. We had a mango tree in there but it died presumably from the chook droppings being too rich.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:36 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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If you want a citrus in there put a lemon in and it won't look back. Make sure you protect around the bottom of it so that the chooks don't dig up it's roots. I planted my fruit trees in large tyres and then covered the base in with mesh so they couldn't get inside and dust bathe. I have apples, nectarines, olives,and a plum in my chook runs. They are the ones' we don't worry about too much if the chooks eat the flowers or the leaves but we still m anage to get fruit off most of them.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:45 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Location: Landsdale, WA
Thanks Darrssy. Using the tyres is a great idea.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:06 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Location: Tasmania
If you plant citrus trees which have a shallow root system it's best to provide a wire mesh barrier around the base of these trees so that the chooks wont scratch there and inhibit the growth of the trees. If you have ag wire use it. The video here on protecting your mulch will show you how to use wire to protect the roots of your citrus. http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s2923527.htm.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:13 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Location: Tasmania
http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/video/download.htm
No sorry, the video is here. I thought it was a great idea for anyone keeping free range chooks around their gardens.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 5:12 pm 
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Golden Robin
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you can also plant passionfruit vines on the outside of the run and have them grow up over teh run, they make excellent shade and they love the chook poo.

mulberry trees are another great shade tree for a chook run, they are gross feeders and love the manure.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:29 pm 
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Phoenix
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Excellent ideas in here - thanks! Might stick a mulberry in the middle of one of my chook pens :)


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:42 pm 
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Great Game
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You could try a star fruit tree, if they are available in WA, they are prolific producers when established and the chooks and ducks love the fruit.
John

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:45 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Star fruit ..... I have never seen these before. Looks like I'll be visiting a few nurseries this weekend. Thanks guys.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:17 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Im going to make mine into an orchard (apples, apricots, plums ect). Infoaddict you can get standard mulberry trees, Ive got one in my centre front garden and it stands about 1.5 metre high then branches weep down. Very attractive looking tree and prolific fruiter and are high in vitamins


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:45 pm 
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Phoenix
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Location: Tarago, near Goulburn
I've already got a mulberry in the orchard (small as it is currently) but it hadn't actually occurred to me to plant a tree directly in the chookpen. Granted, I'm planting berries all AROUND it but for some reason I hadn't visualised anything inside. I hadn't considered tyres for root-protection, however, thinking more about rocks, and tyres are MUCH easier. (Are there concerns about toxins leaching into the environment?).

I'd love to plant a citrus but our soil and climate isn't kind to them; they need north-facing walls and lots of wind protection to survive the cold and the dry.

Can anyone think of native trees that would work?

In warmer climes, for eg, any of the lillypilly varieties would be very popular in a chookpen, but I don't know how much they'd like all the fertiliser ...


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:03 pm 
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Golden Robin
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the other classic for in a chook yard, depending on how much room you have is a fig tree! my chookens love escaping the chook yard and hanging out under the fig tree in the backyard, especially in the summer..............it looks like its probably much cooler under there, and once again, the fig tree loves teh manure it gets in return. the lower leaves get trimmed by the chooks, there isn't much else green in my back yard, and when its fruiting, the chooks will even clamber up the branches to help themselves lol.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:47 pm 
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Clever Cockerel
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We have planted lemon, navel orange and tahitian lime trees in one of our coops. As Darrssy mentioned, man-o-man has our lemon tree exploded! It would be 50% larger than the others... and they are doing well!
Our bantam coop has a crape mertyl in it which is doing very well too.
On the western side fencing we are growing star jasmine which should give them shade from the hot summer afternoon sun.
Its just too easy to watch Shayne clean out her coops and put it around the trees!
Also as mentioned, we protected the trees with a 1.5m dia loop of heavy chicken wire tied to 4 timber stakes.
Works well :D


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 10:50 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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:hiya:
I have lots of plants growing inside my pen because I use is as an anti-aviary. My chooks free range most days and get loads of greens so they mostly leave the plants alone unless confined in there. I protect the plants with wire and/or rocks / recycled reo around their bases.
The fastest and most flourishing by far are the shahtoot mulberry and the elderflower. I think lemon would be the best of the citrus as far as enjoying the chook manure goes.
Also have a strawberry guava, pear and fejoa but these are very slow and have put on inches a year where as the other two grow in feet.
The vines like choko and tomato and pumpkin all do really well in there too, growing up the sides. My grape and blackberry on the other hand are slow to get going but will get there eventually I suppose.
Also have tansy and wormwood in there. These are fast growing, big and bushy and provide shade and shelter as well as medicinal and insecticidal benefits.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:26 am 
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Clever Cockerel
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My wife read your post ^ and wandered off mumbling "mmmm mulberries..." :rofl:
She would love one in the chook run. Maybe in the bantam run which has bird netting over it... i dont want wild bird-mulberry poo all over my car :D


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