Planning a new orchard for 2020


Staff member
In the chicken yard is a pile of brush I left for rabbit habitat. After the chicken yard was enclosed (around 1/2 acre) I saw a noticeable difference in the number of wild rabbits in and around the yard.

In all honesty, I feel an orchard would serve my long term plans better than a wild rabbit brush pile.

The plan is over the next few months, and starting this weekend, to use a tractor and clear all the brush from the chicken yard. One goal is to clear a line of sight so I can set some stakes and strings out for spring of next year.

What I am thinking:

4 nectarine trees - already have one planted.
Several fig trees - already have 4 planted.
4 pear trees

There is plenty of room to plant all of those, with room to spare.

Thinking about peaches, but not sure.

Plums are another idea, I love plums.

The goal is to have a variety of fresh fruit for eating and to make jelly/preserves out of.

Why in the chicken yard? Hopefully the chickens and guineas can help control pests, and the chickens can eat fruit that falls off the tree.

Suggestions? Ideas?

Video showing the chicken yard with layout and size.



Staff member
After putting thought into the project:

Add more rain barrels to the chicken house - have around 6 in total
Design a drip irritation system using the rain barrels
Use Jobes and/or Miracle Grow fertilizer spikes - the big ones

I would like to design and build some type of screened box for composting next to the fruit trees. Maybe a 2 foot x 2 foot box made from pressure treated 2 x 6's. The board would double stacked on top of each other with hinges so the top section could be opened.

The goal of the boxes is to compost next to the fruit trees, but without the chickens digging through the compost. With a screened top the chickens would dig through all of the compost and throw it out of the box.

Important Topics:


Since the chicken yard is 100 yards from my house, the irrigation would have to be from rain barrels.