I want to plant some things for my girls to nibble on, lay under, etc in their pen. They don't get to get out too often because of dogs. The list of no no's is pretty extensive. Any suggestions? Also looking for shade tree suggestions for just outside...or should we just cover the pen with some sort of roof? The pen is 16x20 and I have 4 girls.
The lists are long, ascholz, but sometimes not too accurate (my chickens have been roosting in a wisteria arbour for two years and have removed every new leaf each spring and are fine, although everyone lists wisteria as poisonous to them). The wisteria does look a bit stressed. They also love oxalis--again listed as poisonous.
I think, on the whole, they stay away from truly poisonous plants and can tolerate some as long as they are not forced to eat them exclusively. So you wouldn't want to pen them up with potentially toxic plants--but if they are just free-ranging a bit in the yard--they will probably be fine.
There are some plants, like Oleander, that are extremely toxic to almost every living thing, and I would concentrate on keeping them away from that sort of plant. I wish someone would make a more realistic list of toxic plants
I also ordered some of this chicken forage. I have only four hens. I was going to put a row of sod for them to walk around on. I also heard that if your hens eat marigolds, their egg yokes will be a nicer yellow. Is that true?
I ordered some of the chicken forage too. Now if it just stops raining long enough so we can pull our weeds, and plant it, that will be great. I'm just worried that when we finally get out of the cool rainy weather, it will turn 90 and dry every day and cook everything.