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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:48 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:58 pm
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Location: Canberra, Australia
Well, if were lucky we will have a new house soon enough....and ive been thinking...

The place has an ideal spot for a 8-9 fruit trees - but if I do that, no space for a chicken run.

Can you combine the two? I would protect the ground directly around the base of the fruit trees...

Thoughts - im sure someone would have thought of this before...

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 5:17 pm 
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Clever Cockerel
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Location: SE QLD
I see no reason why not, as long as you can put something in there to give them shelter from the weather, and a good, strong, fox-proof fence all around the outside.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 5:33 pm 
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Ol' Bustard
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Location: MIRBOO in Gippsland, VICTORIA
My Australorp breeding stock (40 hens and roos) occupied my parents citrus orchard (about a 1/4 acre) from 1964-1975 will excellent results. The birds did very well and the trees enjoyed the extra fertile soil.

No problems I say.

Linz :)

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:03 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 6:28 pm
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Location: Central Coast, NSW
My setup is very similar to this. My 40-odd birds wander around my orchard and outside it. It works well.
Good luck :-D


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:06 pm 
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Fiesty Fowl
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If they're young trees, I'd just put a ring of chicken wire around the base just in case they get a bit scratchy!

I'd also have a house within the orchard so you can lock them up at night. Protects them from Mr. Fox and means they'll have a place to lay their eggs so you're not traipsing around looking for a nest!

:-D


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:38 pm 
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Sultry Swan
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Location: mid victoria
we put rocks as well at the bottom of our trees for a while.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:44 pm 
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Golden Kingfisher
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Location: Canberra
Sounds like a great plan to me :) My chook run is under a plum tree and the tree is very happy. The chooks scratch around my dozen or so fruit trees when they're out in the garden and help to manage insect pests.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:10 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Location: Bywong NSW
We did just that last year. Pics on my blog if you are interested http://tatumhills.weebly.com/1/post/201 ... ckens.html
In this and other posts.
Shelter was is the main issue for us as while the trees are small, but I put up some simple structures and added a few dog kennels from the tip shop. Also, their main coop and small run are in a different area about 20 m away and is quite sheltered. They quickly learned to go back there when the weather required. The small run and is connected to the orchard run via a wire tunnel which they learned to use surprisingly quickly! :)

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:15 pm 
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Wise Wyandotte
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Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:10 pm
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Location: SE Qld
I planted a lime tree in a new and too sunny pen. I looked around nurseries until I found one with a long trunk and not too many branches. Then fed the plant through a piece of black perforated ag pipe. Planted the tree and placed rocks around the base for protection. Well that was 18 months ago ant the tree has GROWN and is flowering. So yes fruit trees in your chicken pen can work really well.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:57 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:19 pm
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I have also done this, and it worked very well - its very restful seeing them amongst the grass and the trees. The only problem is that the chooks jump up to steal the fruit if its low hanging on dwarf rootstock :biggrin: And, to be serious for a second, I try to monitor how much rotten fallen fruit they ate, I'm never too sure if too much acid or fermenting plums for example are a good thing for them. And in fact, I seem to remember reading that chooks shouldn't eat apple pips because of a toxin/poison, although I don't know if its true, some of ours go mad for an apple core and live to tell the tale :-D


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:06 am 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Yes, agree with Mrs Biscuit, and depends how young the fruit trees are, a wing will need to be clipped to slow them down from flying on them, and young branches might break. Also if you have animals attack fruit you need space to net the trees.
Lots of people have both chooks and fruit trees, just need to be aware of what can go wrong :bg

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 4:28 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 3:00 pm
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Location: Buninyong, Vic
I too have fruit trees in my runs.
I have turned my larger orchard into a pen for my ducks. Small trees will need protection until well established but they do very well - especially with the added bonus of lots of duck poo!
All of my other pens (13 in total) have apricots, cherries or figs planted in them. I find the shade they provide is excellent in summer and as the are deciduous in winter lots of sun gets where it's needed. I think it's a win-win all round. We get lots of fruit and the chooks get all the windfalls reducing future disease reserves.
And they look nice too :)

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