Landscaping With Chickens And Ducks
If you have chickens or ducks, then you know that having a garden and keeping your landscaping in good shape can be a challenge. Some plants and landscapes just don't do well with poultry. However, there are some plants you can use which not only look good, but they are also practical for both you and your birds. Here are some ways to make your landscape more chicken- and duck-friendly and look good while doing so.
Don't be afraid to grow flowers:
Many poultry owners will tell you over and over again that you cannot put ducks and chickens together with any type of flower. Not only will they eat or tear apart the flowers, they will destroy the soil. However, there are some flowers and flowering shrubs that they are less likely to destroy. Butterfly bushes are one of those that chickens and ducks tend to ignore. Rose bushes are also acceptable if you keep them protected until they can grow strong enough to resist and occasional nibbling on some of the leaves. Daylilies are also another choice that chickens, especially, seem to ignore.
Provide shade bushes:
In addition to flowering bushes, shade and hiding spots are very important, especially if you free range. Providing adequate cover will give your smaller chickens and ducks more protection against hawks and provide a quick escape. Some bushes, such as hawthorn, not only provide cover, but some chickens may eat the berries. Also, check into juniper, honeysuckle and sage for good ground cover and to provide extra shade that is particularly important for light-colored birds.
Plant some for nibbling:
Another fun thing you also might want to consider is providing plants that your ducks and chickens will actually like to eat. Some of these plants are also edible for humans, provided that the chickens don't eat all of them at first. These include clover, greens, sunflowers, oregano and various herbs. The great thing is that you can arrange these plants to enhance your landscape. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that you might want to keep your birds away from these plants until they become established.
Though chickens and ducks can be rough on your landscaping, it doesn't necessarily mean that you have to go without beautiful flowers or beautiful designs. You can also try protecting your plants with decorative stones or bricks. If you're willing to put in a little bit of upkeep, you can have a functional, yet pretty yard or garden for you and your birds. If you are considering renovating your current landscape with your poultry in mind, talk to a landscaper about more plant and design options to keep both you and your chickens and ducks happy. For more information, see a website such as http://www.masterlandscape.net.