Tip Chooks scratching the mulch away from under garden trees

Discussion in 'Poultry, Domestic Livestock, Pets, & Bees' started by ClissAT, Jul 13, 2016.

  1. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    I don't mind the chooks scratching around under my fruit trees & in the garden because my soil is so poor, their attentions are actually helpful.

    However, it does wear a bit thin having to go out with the rake & put all the mulch back around tree when they continue to scratch it away after they have done their job & the tree needs to be left alone to grow.

    So I watched them & noted they always face the tree trunk therefore scratching the mulch away from the tree.

    This is what I came up with. It works 90%. The first time they went to this orange tree they formed a ramp with the extra biscuits of mulch & were able to scratch a lot right out over the top of the boards.

    I solved that problem by removing the extra lucerne biscuits. Now they face the boards to scratch so the mulch stays inside the boards.

    This fence is about 35cm high & the pegs are hammered into the ground about 15cm. An interesting discovery when driving the pegs was that I now have soft soil to that depth. I should have made the pegs longer to get them into the hard gravel below.

    I cut the old weather boards to length. I set the pegs out all squared up on the bench & laid the boards over the pegs then screwed them together. Each side is separate. Here also is a slightly smaller one around the coffee tree too. I will have to do more trees once I find more old weather boards.

    boards to stop chooks wasting mulch.jpg how to stop chooks throwing mulch everywhere.jpg boards around coffee tree.jpg

    Now I can also make compost right at the base of the tree so no more shovelling & barrowing compost, mulch, etc.

    Once I have created soil to half the depth of the boards, I can simply add a new board to the top of the existing ones with more pegs attached & driven into the ground. I think the chooks will still jump up that high (about 50cm) if the hunting is good!

    I mowed yesterday & enjoyed the ease of mowing along the straight boards.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016
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  2. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    That's a good fix to hens raking out the mulch from around fruit trees.

    I have to confess this is the main reason why I banned my hens from our orchard area - they just drove me crazy ripping away all the mulch I had placed around our fruit trees.

    Hmmm, yes, I like the concept! Square is also a clever move because even though I have a zero turn mower it's still a pain to cut a good circle around the fruit trees.
     
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  3. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    The main reason I chose square was because I was told the steering mechanism on my johndeere mower would break quicker the more tight bends I make it go around. So I have set upon a project of removing as many tight bends as possible from the whole of the mown area of my property.
    Anyway when having to mow a circle around so many trees, I inevitably ended up with a myriad of triangular bits to back & fill over after the bulk of the mowing was done. I hate that! :D
     
  4. Letsgokate

    Letsgokate Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    I like the boards around the fruit trees great idea. Great you solved the chicken and mulch issue too :)
     
  5. Ann@Monto

    Ann@Monto Active Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Great to see you're thinking like a chook. :) I placed large reo wire around a section I couldn't board, they couldn't scratch as it wasn't as fulfilling for them. They had plenty of other areas to scratch. I've moved from there and the tenant who lives there has a dog who ripped all the bromeliads I planted. Oh well, it's to be expected from a HUGE dog.
     
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