Plants that thrive & survive in my chicken run

Plants that thrive & survive in my chicken run

It has been trial-and-error {more error} when I've planted anything inside my chicken run and around the perimeter of my chicken coop.  I'm certainly not a green-thumb either.  But, there are numerous food and herb plants that can be planted outside and out of their reach, snipped off and fed to your flock to add variety to their diet.

Plants that thrive inside my chicken run: Mexican bush sage, lavender and butterfly bush.

I transplanted this pineapple sage (a tiny little scrub bush and look at it now!) from another bush in the yard and it too is growing like a weed.  It's super fragrant and provides shade during the summer.  (that's Hattie Mae's toosh that you see there)

Rosemary (two varieties: trailing/creeping + shrub/bush). I was planting these creeping rosemary plants and little miss up-in-my-space thought I needed some help. Which I did, really.  Both varieties are super hardy and I often find hens laying right on top of the low-lying bushes.  PS: this is Foghorn.


chicken coop

Rose Trees - any variety, color or fragrance.  I tried rose bushes and they were a big fail. But this rose tree has been a win-win.  It's a Neil Diamond and the buds and flowers have a pungent, long, lasting fragrance and when the petals run their course and fall to the ground - they don't last long and are gobbled up quickly.

EASY TO GROW ITEMS that I keep out of reach of my flock or they are annihilated in short order:

grow greens for chickens

Red Mustard (pretty spicy).  No, actually...damn spicy but most flocks enjoy it.  Look how a small amount that's been nibbled at on the leaf there on the bottom left. 

gardening with chickens

Colorful rainbow chard + broccoli greens tucked away in a secret area where the chickens don't have access.


Nasturtium with succulents (hen and chick) nestled in together. Zero care needed for both.  Plus they grow like weeds which ends up being mighty beneficial to me since I don't have a green thumb at all. And, as you can spy....there's eggs in there. 


Calendula literally grows like a weed pretty much anywhere and re-seeds itself yearly.  Chickens can eat the petals fresh or dried to enhance the color of their egg yolks. Calendula is the secret ingredient in Nesting Box Blend and Cluck Yea - but I trust you won't tell anyone. lol.

There you have it. That's what's growing in my run and some easy things to grow out of reach of your chickens that they will benefit from.




  • Hard to see some of your pictures cause they are sideways!
    You don’t have trouble with the chickens rooting around? My nasturtiums etc. were uprooted, in fact my whole flower garden was ruined.

    Sue Fox
  • I’ve had numerous, rose bushes, rose of Sharon, arbovitus, butterfly bush, multifloral in my run and they decimated them in a few minutes. I replanted and put fencing around them with stone around the bottom of the fencing. I have found that planting wheat grass with fencing over a wood box is great. It limits how much they can reach and allows the grass to regenerate. I can’t free range due to predators so I’m always trying to find things for them to eat and do.


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