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How do I keep my free-range chickens out of my flower beds?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I have spent most of the summer refurbishing my extensive perennial beds.  They are all mulched and ready for winter. Unfortunately, my free-range chickens find these gardens to be ideal for digging and taking dirt baths.  Has anyone discovered a way to keep chickens out of gardens short of erecting an unattractive fence?  Is there any type of repellent similar to those used to keep cats from using gardens for litter boxes?  I don't want to keep my chickens locked up, but that's the only sure-fire solution that I've found so far.

post #2 of 9

The short answer is, nope.  

 

There are a couple of things you can try, but with chickens and flower or vegetable gardens there is never any guarantee.  I'm assuming if you've already winter mulched the perennials, the heads and stalks of the flowers have been cut back.  If so, you can try what we did, although I readily admit we had mixed success.  

 

We got out the chicken wire (at last - a use for those rolls we bought way back when!) and laid it flat down OVER the entire bed, overlapping where we needed to and pinning where we needed to with landscape fabric staples and bamboo stakes.  We did this right over the mulch last fall.  I will say that it was a great help keeping the leaves we covered the beds with in place and not blowing all over the place when our winter winds hit.  Despite freezing and snow, the winds here are still strong enough to blow the top layers off, so that was an unexpected bonus.  The girls didn't like walking on the chicken wire, and couldn't scratch through it anyway.  But they always tried.  It did also keep out rabbits, which was kinda nice.  

 

The other thing you can do is the one solution you don't seem to be in favor of, and that's fencing.  Good fencing make good neighbors - or in this case chickens.  We found that if we used a decorative fence, they happily leaped right over it and went back to work.  If we used a tall wire welded fence, I frankly thought it looked kinda tacky and wasn't afraid to tell hubby so - repeatedly.  That's when we went to the chicken wire stretched out flat over the beds.  As I said, it kept them from scratching in it but didn't keep them out of it completely.

 

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.  Hope that someone chimes in with better ideas - I'm all ears too!

post #3 of 9
Another blogger constructs these beautiful beds with a tilted beautiful framed wired top for his extensive gardens. His name is attimus. He posts pictures and has some great setups. His blog is my very own micro farm or something like that.

 My daily ramblings on about nothing http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1011208/making-the-most-of-it

 

 

If you can't laugh at yourself who can you laugh at.

 

I speak in silly and smartypants....

 

A picture is always worth showing.

Reply

 My daily ramblings on about nothing http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1011208/making-the-most-of-it

 

 

If you can't laugh at yourself who can you laugh at.

 

I speak in silly and smartypants....

 

A picture is always worth showing.

Reply
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by lindalouly View Post

Another blogger constructs these beautiful beds with a tilted beautiful framed wired top for his extensive gardens. His name is attimus. He posts pictures and has some great setups. His blog is my very own micro farm or something like that.

Would you happen to have a link to that?  If I just put attimus in the search box will that take me there?  I'd love to see that, and maybe copy it!

post #5 of 9
It's under managing your flock.... The name of the thread is. My very own micro farm

 My daily ramblings on about nothing http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1011208/making-the-most-of-it

 

 

If you can't laugh at yourself who can you laugh at.

 

I speak in silly and smartypants....

 

A picture is always worth showing.

Reply

 My daily ramblings on about nothing http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1011208/making-the-most-of-it

 

 

If you can't laugh at yourself who can you laugh at.

 

I speak in silly and smartypants....

 

A picture is always worth showing.

Reply
post #6 of 9

 My daily ramblings on about nothing http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1011208/making-the-most-of-it

 

 

If you can't laugh at yourself who can you laugh at.

 

I speak in silly and smartypants....

 

A picture is always worth showing.

Reply

 My daily ramblings on about nothing http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1011208/making-the-most-of-it

 

 

If you can't laugh at yourself who can you laugh at.

 

I speak in silly and smartypants....

 

A picture is always worth showing.

Reply
post #7 of 9

Yep, I did a search and found it.  Here's a link for anyone else who might be interested.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/944651/my-very-own-micro-farm

 

When I have a little more time this afternoon I'll peruse it more closely.  Thanks, @lindalouly!  I appreciate your information!

post #8 of 9

Here is one of them

live grow and learn.

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live grow and learn.

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post #9 of 9

I want to make it clear that at no time was any chicken harmed or threatened whatsoever, I love my girls..but I had a problem with my flock going up on our bluestone patio to poop, and I mean poop all over. They'd start this habit every day around 4. So every day around 4 I placed the dog-who is very gentle with them, but as a general rule the chickens do not like the dog-up on the patio. Then with a broom I'd gently shoo them off the patio, and then carry them directly into the coop and give them treats. Meaning-you go on my patio, free range play time is over.

It was time consuming but I did this every day for 5 days straight. Now they do not go on the patio, and around 4 they go right into the coop. 

With many things, I've found if I repeat the activity 4-5 days in a row they get trained.

It may or may not work with flower beds.

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