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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:18 pm 
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Wise One
Wise One

Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:42 pm
Posts: 2650
Location: Cardinia Shire, Victoria.
Has anyone read this book? I was thinking of buying it, haven't actually seen a hard copy of it, but have seen it online. In the next few weeks we are finally going to begin our garden (new house, lack of funds until tax return comes in lol) Looking forward to planting our garden but hoping the girls won't destroy the lot! Advice/opinions welcome please. :th

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1 Stafford, 1 moggy, 2 British shorthair cats, 1 Green tree frog, 2 Eastern long neck turtles, 13 chooks- lots of different breeds, 2 almost adult boys and a worn out husband!


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:12 pm 
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Champion Bird
Champion Bird

Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:26 pm
Posts: 974
Location: Tasmania
I haven't read the book but do have free range chickens AND a garden.
Be prepared to protect every new plant until it's roots get a hold. I place three or four bricks or rocks around the new plant. Off cuts of weld mesh laid over the soil work really well and are less obtrusive. If a plant is getting eaten faster than it can grow it gets a collar of bird mesh as well.
Provide a chicken dust bath area.
Plant some dense shrubbery for hiding in and for shade.
Chickens love spreading mulch for you. Invest in a leaf rake so you can return the mulch to the garden bed.
And a stiff broom.
When not in the garden, free range chickens will rest on your back porch/ paving and fertilise it.
Have fun planning your chicken garden.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:36 am 
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Wise One
Wise One

Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:42 pm
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Location: Cardinia Shire, Victoria.
Thanks Artemis! I have a very small vegie patch at the moment, my OH has fenced it in and has planted some extra near the dust bathing box for the girls, seems to be doing the trick. I guess anything l want protected needs to be fenced in or covered! The book looks interesting so l might see if l can borrow it from the library first.

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1 Stafford, 1 moggy, 2 British shorthair cats, 1 Green tree frog, 2 Eastern long neck turtles, 13 chooks- lots of different breeds, 2 almost adult boys and a worn out husband!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:26 am 
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Champion Bird
Champion Bird

Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:26 pm
Posts: 974
Location: Tasmania
One of the best chicken garden trees would have to be the Mulberry. Great for shade in Summer and being deciduous, (in southern climates) sun in Winter.
But best of all, the fruit. Full of vit. C and antioxidants. What I don't pick, or can't reach at the top, falls to the ground and is happily devoured by the chooks. I know when my hens have been feasting by their purple stained beaks and feet. :-)
You won't find mulberries for sale at the grocer, not because they don't taste good, but because the fruit is delicate and has to be eaten soon after picking.
This tree is very hardy and easy to grow. If you know someone with one you can just cut a branch, about 30 cm long, stick it in potting mix and it will grow. Now, in Winter, is the time to take a cutting.
I hope you have room for one. Your hens will love it.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:15 pm 
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Wise One
Wise One

Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:42 pm
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Location: Cardinia Shire, Victoria.
Interesting to know, thanks for that. My OH was talking about planting some sort of trees that have some sort of berries directly behind the chook pens, l just can't think of the name at the moment :hmmm: I will have to ask him! Looking forward to going plant shopping! The OH has said the garden is not all about the chooks- why on earth not? :laughing

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1 Stafford, 1 moggy, 2 British shorthair cats, 1 Green tree frog, 2 Eastern long neck turtles, 13 chooks- lots of different breeds, 2 almost adult boys and a worn out husband!


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 7:00 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:23 pm
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Location: VIC
I have the book, it has some lovely pictures and ideas that I found more inspirational than informational. If reading it doesn't get your husband on board with the chicken garden philosophy, then nothing will!

The book does have nice lists of plants to try, but I find anything woody is good. The main trick is to make sure plants are well established before letting the chooks anywhere near them. And even then, you might want to use rocks to prevent them from dust bathing too close. You never can tell what they'll go for or when so be prepared to lose anything they have access to.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 7:18 pm 
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Wise One
Wise One

Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:42 pm
Posts: 2650
Location: Cardinia Shire, Victoria.
Hi JVD, I actually received the book in the mail yesterday. I agree it is good to get ideas from it rather then it actually being informative but l have enjoyed looking at other people's chooks and set ups!
My OH is an ex landscape gardener anyway so he was rather miffed that l needed to buy a book. He is starting to come around re the chook friendly garden, initially he was not very happy with the girls destroying his newly layed turf! :hiding He is agreeable to making some areas 'chicken proof' where he doesn't want the girls to go and has made a nice dust bathing area for them. Luckily for me he is very handy with tools because l am completely useless!

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1 Stafford, 1 moggy, 2 British shorthair cats, 1 Green tree frog, 2 Eastern long neck turtles, 13 chooks- lots of different breeds, 2 almost adult boys and a worn out husband!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:34 pm 
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Champion Bird
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Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:48 pm
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Here's a list of plants my girls do not touch:

Clivia, Lavender, Thyme, Rosemary, Roses, Daphne, Wooly Bush, Purple Fountain Grass, South African Daisy, Hydrangea, Gardenia, Cammelia

But I totally agree with everyone else re: protrecting roots - my baby plants all have bricks around their base!

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:44 pm 
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Wise One
Wise One

Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:42 pm
Posts: 2650
Location: Cardinia Shire, Victoria.
SydneyChick wrote:
Here's a list of plants my girls do not touch:

Clivia, Lavender, Thyme, Rosemary, Roses, Daphne, Wooly Bush, Purple Fountain Grass, South African Daisy, Hydrangea, Gardenia, Cammelia

But I totally agree with everyone else re: protrecting roots - my baby plants all have bricks around their base!



Hi SydneyChick! Haven't seen you around for a while. Thanks for your list of different plants, a few of them are my favourites!

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1 Stafford, 1 moggy, 2 British shorthair cats, 1 Green tree frog, 2 Eastern long neck turtles, 13 chooks- lots of different breeds, 2 almost adult boys and a worn out husband!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:09 pm 
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Champion Bird
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Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:48 pm
Posts: 853
Location: Sydney, Australia
Hi bwds! Thankfully my chookuns have been very healthy lately plus work has been hectic...

But it IS good to talk chicken again!!

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:wee One Husband, 3 children, 2 dogs, 3 ducks, 2 Pekin hens 1 RIR hen and 2 Bantam Araucanas. ** If you think my hands are full - you should see my heart!**


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