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What was worrying was that we had to move to Maine last summer and take root again in New England. It was very unfortunate to leave our farm in Virginia. So many pleasant little things brought years of construction, increase, creation and leaving them behind was cruel. One of the amazing creations was our landscape chicken coop.
As you know, in any place plant breeding takes some time, but especially where chickens are involved! Many plants have been thrown into the wind for many years, while I experimented with various ways to make their for the time of growth inaccessible to chickens, but little by little I managed to create a real oasis for my pack and enjoy it in full least.
And now I'm back to square one. Our fenced backyard, which was covered with lush green grass in August last year, is now a barren, mud-filled area. I'm so happy that spring is finally here, and I will be able to plant plants! In addition to everything, I moved 900 miles to the north - from zone 7 to zone 5 - but fortunately, I easily I was able to find similar plants in Virginia, which will feel equally good in the state Maine.
My years of trial and error gave me the opportunity to make a plan on the spot and I turned to the Nature Hills kennel, which agreed to provide me with various plants that are resistant to the attention of the hens and are ideally suited to our new work.
Planting bushes and shrubs mainly serves several purposes, the most important of which are:
- provide chickens with shade and protection from the wind;
- serve as a screen from neighbors and any predators passing by.
The entertainment will be small eyes-candies in the backyard that will follow how we care for chickens or look in the kitchen window when we are preparing dinner or washing dishes.
Some of my favorite plants that I planted in Virginia are rozans, shrubs buddlei and juniper, so I bought them all - just making sure that I chose to be resistant to frost variety. I also added a few blueberry bushes to the list, because after all, we are now in Maine!
All I have chosen from the Nature Hills kennel
I am not indifferent to buddleys, because they not only grow incredibly fast and beautifully blossom, but they also have down branches that provide an ideal place for my chickens so they can take a nap or take a break from the sun. They are not toxic to birds, but chickens have never been interested in eating leaves, which is why buddlei are my first choice for breeding. Of course, I made a stone base in the form of a ring to protect the roots, and also placed the bushes in the cells. Until they grow up, this is a good way to protect them.
I chose these three varieties:
- buddleya Nahno Blue;
- buddleya Pink Delight;
- two-colored buddley.
I decided a few climbing roses to plant outside the fence along one side, so they would grow up, and then through the top of the fence to provide an even greater shadow, as well as mask some parts obstacles. Chickens love to eat roses and will stand under the bushes, waiting for the falling petals. In addition, they will eat fruits if they are broken in half.
The sorts of roses that I chose:
- climbing rose Zephirine Drouhin;
- climbing rose William Baffin.
Since we are in Maine, I decided to plant blueberries. Chickens love blueberries and, to protect the bushes, I decided to plant them on the outside of the coop. They will continue to provide protection from the wind, as well as protect the chickens from prying eyes and predators - and, I'm sure, will share berries with chickens!
I chose these two kinds of blueberries:
- blueberry Duke;
- blueberry Northblue.
Juniper and other evergreen shrubs are an excellent choice among perennial plants, because chickens do not touch them and they remain green all year round with a small number of flowers. Again, I'll set the base with the stones to protect the roots.
I chose these two kinds of juniper:
- juniper Compacta Andorra;
- juniper Gray Owl.
Plants sent from the Nature Hills nursery are selected for a specific zone. All that I chose came in large containers and had a lively and healthy appearance. I was very satisfied with the quality. I planted all the bushes and until now they all seem to feel very good.
I leave the stones around the base of all the plants, so the chickens can not damage the roots, but I will remove the cells as soon as the plant reaches two feet in height. Even if chickens eat the lower branches and leaves, the plant should still be good at this place.
Stay with us in the coming months to view new photos so you can see how plants grow, ripen and unite to provide a shadow and attract a look to our new chicken coop! I think it will be good and worth waiting to see how these beautiful plants grow and blossom!