Shade Plants for Chickens: Non-Toxic Plants for Your Coop




shade plants for chickens non toxic plants for your coop

Shade plants for chickens that are non-toxic and safe for your coop include marigold, lavender, nasturtium, dandelions, rose, amaranth, cucumber, corn, clover, cabbage, thyme, lemon balm, oregano, rosemary, and more. Deciduous trees are ideal for providing shade in the summer and sunlight in the winter, while shrubs and bushes can be planted underneath for additional shading options.

Some recommended shade trees for chicken coops include pineapple sage, lavender, rosemary, fig trees, lemongrass, climbing roses, tree roses, and butterfly bushes. Plants like clover, alfalfa, sunflowers, peas, lentils, raspberries, blueberries, and dandelions can also be added around the chicken coop for grazing options.

Shade Plants For Chickens

Providing shade for chickens in their coop or run is crucial for their health and well-being. Just like humans, chickens can overheat and suffer from heat stress if they are exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods. Luckily, there are plenty of shade plants that you can incorporate into your chicken coop to create a comfortable and cool environment for your feathered friends.

Safe Plants For Your Coop

When choosing shade plants for your chicken coop, it’s important to select ones that are safe and non-toxic for chickens. Here are a few options:

  • Marigolds: Not only do marigolds provide beautiful blooms, but they also have natural insect-repelling properties.
  • Lavender: Lavender is known for its calming effects, and chickens can benefit from its aromatic scent.
  • Dandelions: Dandelions are a common backyard weed, but they are completely safe for chickens to eat.
  • Rose: Roses are a classic choice for any garden, and they also provide shade and beauty to your chicken coop.
  • Symphytum: Also known as comfrey, symphytum is a nutrient-rich plant that chickens enjoy pecking at.

Quick Growing Plants For Chickens

If you’re looking for shade plants that will grow rapidly and provide quick relief from the sun, consider these options:

  1. Amaranth: Amaranth is a fast-growing plant that not only provides shade but also produces edible leaves for your chickens.
  • Cucumber: Cucumbers have large leaves that create ample shade, and the bonus is that chickens love eating cucumbers too.
  1. Corn: Corn plants grow tall and provide shade, as well as a delicious treat when the ears are fully grown.
  1. Clover: Clover is a versatile plant that can be grown as a ground cover or in hanging baskets to create shade and provide forage for chickens.
  1. Cabbage: Cabbage plants have large, leafy heads that can create a shady spot for your chickens to cool off.
  1. Kale: Kale is not only rich in nutrients but also grows quickly, making it an excellent choice for a shade plant in your chicken coop.

Toxic Vines For Chickens

While there are many safe and beneficial plants for chickens, it’s essential to be aware of toxic vines that can be harmful to them. Here are a few toxic vines to avoid:

  • Rhododendron: Rhododendrons contain toxins that can be fatal to chickens if ingested in large quantities.
  • Wisteria: Wisteria contains a compound called lectin, which is toxic to chickens and other animals.
  • Jimsonweed: Jimsonweed is a highly poisonous plant that can cause hallucinations and potentially death in chickens.
  • Ivy: Ivy can irritate the digestive system of chickens and cause discomfort.
  • Mountain-laurel: Mountain-laurel contains toxins that can be harmful to chickens when consumed.
  • Honeysuckle: Certain species of honeysuckle are toxic to chickens and should be avoided.

By carefully selecting shade plants for your chicken coop and avoiding toxic vines, you can create a safe and comfortable environment for your feathered friends. Remember to monitor your chickens’ behavior and consult with a veterinarian if you suspect any signs of poisoning or discomfort.

shade plants for chickens non toxic plants for your coop
shade plants for chickens non toxic plants for your coop

Creating Shade For The Chicken Coop

When it comes to keeping chickens, providing shade is essential for their well-being. Creating a shaded area in the chicken coop helps protect them from excessive heat and sunburn, ensuring their comfort and health. In addition to providing shade, incorporating non-toxic shade plants into the coop area can enhance the overall environment and provide additional benefits for your flock.

Choosing The Right Shade Trees

Deciduous trees are ideal for providing shade in the summer and allowing sunlight to filter through in the winter. They also provide leaf litter, which is a favorite foraging spot for chickens. When choosing shade trees, it’s important to avoid trees that only provide light or dappled shade. These may not offer enough protection from the sun. Opt for trees that provide dense shade and can withstand the pecking and scratching of curious chickens.

Planting Shrubs And Bushes

To complement shade trees or to provide shade in areas where trees are not feasible, planting shrubs and bushes can be a great option. They can create additional shade and offer hiding spots for your chickens. Some suitable choices include:

  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Lemon balm
  • Oregano

These plants are not only non-toxic to chickens but also have natural insect-repelling properties, which can help keep pests away from your coop area.

Ideas For Making Shade Structures

If planting trees or shrubs is not feasible, you can create shade structures to provide a shaded area for your chickens. Here are some ideas:

  1. Install a canopy or tarp above part of the chicken run to provide shade.
  2. Build a pergola or trellis and train climbing plants like grapes or vines to create a shaded area.
  3. Use old umbrellas or shade sails to create temporary shade spots that can be moved as needed.

Remember to regularly check and maintain these structures to ensure they are secure and not cause any hazards for your chickens.

By choosing the right shade trees, planting suitable shrubs and bushes, and creating shade structures, you can provide a comfortable and shaded environment for your chickens. Not only will this ensure their well-being, but it can also enhance the overall aesthetics of your coop area. Remember to always choose non-toxic plants to keep your flock safe.

shade plants for chickens non toxic plants for your coop
shade plants for chickens non toxic plants for your coop

Chicken-friendly Plants For Free Range

When it comes to providing shade and a safe environment for your free-range chickens, it’s important to choose plants that are both non-toxic and beneficial for their well-being. Accommodating grain-like plants, fruit trees and canes, as well as chicken-safe weeds and herbs in your coop area can create a harmonious and natural habitat for your feathered friends. Let’s explore some examples of chicken-friendly plants that can be easily incorporated into your coop.

Grain-like Plants

  • Clover
  • Alfalfa
  • Sunflowers
  • Peas
  • Lentils
  • Buckwheat

Grain-like plants not only provide a source of shade for your chickens but also offer a nutritious treat for them to peck at. These plants are rich in nutrients and can be easily grown in your coop area. The chickens will enjoy foraging for the seeds and leaves, keeping them occupied and stimulated. Plus, incorporating these plants can be a cost-effective way to provide additional feed for your flock.

Fruit Trees And Canes

  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Mulberries

Fruit trees and canes not only provide shade but also offer delicious fruit for both you and your chickens to enjoy. The shade provided by these trees and plants can create a cooler environment for your flock during the hot summer months. Additionally, the fallen fruit can serve as a natural treat, attracting insects and other small critters for the chickens to forage on.

Shade Plants for Chickens Non Toxic Plants for Your Coop


Chicken-safe Weeds And Herbs

  • Chickweed
  • Dandelions
  • Nettles

While many people consider them weeds, chickweed, dandelions, and nettles can actually be beneficial additions to your chicken coop. Not only do they provide shade and natural foraging opportunities for your chickens, but they also offer valuable nutrients. Chickens love pecking at these plants, as they are rich in vitamins and minerals.

By incorporating these chicken-friendly plants into your coop area, you can create a lush and safe environment for your free-range chickens. Remember to ensure the plants you choose are non-toxic and suitable for chickens to consume. Providing shade, foraging opportunities, and nutritious treats will not only enhance your chickens’ well-being but also create a beautiful and natural space for them to thrive in.

Frequently Asked Questions For Shade Plants For Chickens Non Toxic Plants For Your Coop

What Can I Use To Shade My Chicken Coop?

Deciduous trees are ideal for shading chicken coops as they provide shade in summer and sunlight in winter. Avoid trees with light or dappled shade and consider planting shrubs and bushes underneath for added shade.

What Is The Best Shade Tree For A Chicken Coop?

The best shade tree for a chicken coop is a deciduous tree. Deciduous trees provide shade in the summer and sunlight in the winter, making them ideal for chicken coops. Avoid trees with dappled shade and plant shrubs and bushes underneath for additional shade.

What Plants Are Safe Around Chicken Coop?

Safe plants to have around a chicken coop include Marigold, Lavender, Nasturtium, Dandelions, Rose, Amaranth, Cucumber, Corn, Clover, Cabbage, Wormwood, Thyme, Lemon balm, Oregano, Rosemary. For shade, choose deciduous trees or plants like Pineapple Sage, Lavender, Rosemary, Fig Trees, Lemongrass, Climbing Roses, Tree Roses, and Butterfly Bushes.
Grain-like plants such as Clover, Alfalfa, Sunflowers, Peas, Lentils, and Buckwheat are also suitable. Chickweed, Dandelions, and Nettles can be added as well.

What Can I Plant For Free Range Chickens?

Plant shade trees like deciduous trees that provide shade in summer and sunlight in winter. Avoid trees with dappled shade and plant shrubs underneath. Some safe plants for chickens include marigold, lavender, nasturtium, amaranth, and thyme. Avoid toxic vines like wisteria and ivy.


Providing shade for your chicken coop is essential for the well-being of your flock. Choosing the right shade plants is crucial to ensure that they are safe and non-toxic for chickens. Some examples of shade plants that are chicken-friendly include deciduous trees, lavender, rosemary, and fig trees.

These plants not only provide shade but also offer hiding spaces and foraging opportunities. Remember to avoid trees with light or dappled shade and consider planting shrubs and bushes underneath for added shade. By incorporating these shade plants, you can create a comfortable and safe environment for your chickens.

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