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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 11:48 am 
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Dapper Duck
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Joined: Fri May 03, 2013 9:48 pm
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Location: Australia
I am thinking of planting some pumpkins in a side yard in which a few hens run and dust bath for about three hours each day. Does anyone know if they will eat the vine and young fruit? The area immediately around where the seeds would be planted will be protected with chicken wire but the vine won't take long to grow through that and sprawl up along the side yard.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 12:20 pm 
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Phoenix
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Hi AH,

Having planted pumpkin vines for the last couple of years in the chook area, I can safely say, they dont eat the vine much at all, it is hairy and does not appeal to them....however, the pumpkins themselves are another matter.

I use milk crates to cover all young fruit which also allows room for the pumpkin to grow underneath without taking its sunlight away to much. I have used this method with great success but dont forget and sit on the crates, they will crush the vines underneath the rims.

J

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:45 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Your plan to surround the planting area with wire will deter scratching chooks. I'm not sure though about letting the young plant spread unprotected before it gets the chance to mature its shoots. Perhaps widen the secure perimeter if you can?

I always do because the young vines are not abrasive enough for my chooks. They will nibble at the shooting vine, always after the very young leaves, not eaten but dropped on the ground as if they're pruning. Same story with young fruits when curiosity kicks in. So I protect the whole plant until it can trail up to safety; be it over the fence or any upright support out of harm's way. Any developing fruit don't get direct contact with soil being up there. And chooks or bush rats don't jump/climb the mature vines to get to the fruit. Too prickly by then, even for them I think.

Just how I grow pumpkins. Good luck with yours.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:59 am 
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Dapper Duck
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Location: South East Melbourne
I've got to say, I love the milk crate over the developing fruit idea jocler! Last season I lost all but one puny pumpkin to the chooks and the marauding muscovies.

I have found that all of my chooks including the current young Araucana chicks, are avid pumpkin/squash vine destroyers. I've tried caging, netting and growing them up fences, they will eat what they can reach right back to the tough main vine. I do not yet have grass/lawn for them, and the selection of plants from which they graze is small. Even though they get fresh cut greens daily, I guess they will eat what they can from whats available. Mine also eat tansy, sage and nasturtium, which most books say they don't tend to like.

This season I'm growing them in the compost heap, and in hay bales away from the chook yard. :)

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:10 pm 
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Wise One
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Location: Cardinia Shire, Victoria.
I am growing pumpkins at the moment and the girls seem to be uninterested in them, that is probably because they are to busy eating my silver beet and lettuce! The plants are growing lopsided because they are can get to one side of the plants through the fencing! Oh well plenty to go around if they don't eat the lot! :roll:

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:01 pm 
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Phoenix
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:-D i can so relate to this...

Just came back from 2 weeks away last week, went out to the veggie patch which had been growing with rampant pumpkins, zucchini, silverbeet and tomatoes- there were only stalks left, all the veggies and greens had been pecked clean by my beautiful beady eyed birds, who must have discovered where the veggies are grown when our house sitter wasnt looking, cheeky chooks :biggrin:
The last couple of days ive noticed too that they all line up and jump at the cherry tomatoes to pluck them off the vine, doesnt seem to matter if they are ripe or not, they all go down quickly, will have to fence the area off.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:42 am 
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Proud Rooster
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So... not a good idea then Deb to have the chooks freerange in my fenced off veggie patch then? :rofl:


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