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Chickens Destroying my yard. - Page 4

post #31 of 34
Originally Posted by bendystar 

I know this may bug you- but I'm bummed my chickens are destroying our yard.  We have a nice coop for them with plenty of room, but I like to let them out in the afternoon to "free range".  We have a fairly manicured yard with an island of grass surrounded by plants and the chickens are trampling the flowers and bushes and scratching all the ground cover and mulch into the grass and in general making a huge mess- not to mention the poop!  Poop everywhere!  sad  We have a fairly small yard, only 3 chickens- and 2 young children. 

So, I'm grump some- my biggest problem is the chickens rush the door of the coop when I open it to change water, collect eggs, etc.  So It's nearly impossible to NOT let them out if I go in there.  I also feel guilty if I keep them pinned up all day.  Hmmm... I'm hoping someone has some words of encouragement that will help me feel good about getting these chickens in the first place.  We've had them about 7 months, but I only recently started to let them out often enough for them to do real damage.

What do you think?


Have you considered building a fence around their henhouse, so that they can go outside to play but be confined to just one part of your yard?

This is what I have done, and it works splendidly.   Of course, it took building a 5 foot tall fence and attaching another foot of chicken netting on top (sort of like a barbed wire top, but made with harmless metal chicken netting) to do it.

It wasn't all that expensive because I was able to get some "livestock fencing" wire from my brother, who lives in the country.   He had some left over from when he built some fencing on his home.

Then I bought some metal T posts, pounded them into the ground, hooked the livestock fencing onto the T posts, and built my own gate out of 2 by 4's and livestock fencing.    I use a simple 79 cent hook and eye to fasten the gate.   

The livestock fencing was alot cheaper than typical city type fencing, but it had holes in it large enough for smaller birds to get through.   So I took wire ties and attached metal chicken netting that I bought at Tractor Supply for a very low cost.   The livestock wire and metal posts prove to be excellent though inexpensive fencing, while the cheap metal chicken netting tied to that fence supplements it -- and keeps the smaller hens from climbing through.

After doing this, I am able to let my chickens out in to their own fenced in yard, and they leave the rest of my suburban yard and organic vegetable garden alone.

Barry is father to 21 hens, 3 cockerels, 2 cats and a currently unknown number of babies born today, Nov 10, 2011!
Barry is father to 21 hens, 3 cockerels, 2 cats and a currently unknown number of babies born today, Nov 10, 2011!
post #32 of 34

Mine free range, could go to the next county if they chose.  After they scratched all the mulch from around my bushes I stopped replacing it and just trim around them.  I put a chicken wire fence around the garden to keep the chickens out, and of course open it when harvest is done.  I had planted shrubs rather than flowers, anyway, because they're low maintenance.  I have a sort of flower bed out front, with stone edging and cypress mulch, but with shrubs rather than annual flowers, and they leave it alone.  They come up to my back door in the AM for treats which I put on the ground, so I rarely see chicken poop on the porch.

I can't stand the idea of their not free ranging.  If I wanted a big petunia bed or the like, I'd fence the bed.

post #33 of 34

yep - I've learned the hard way - I have a relatively small back yard and 4 chicken who just love to range.  This Spring I see that my neighbors all have beautiful green lawns and my back yard is suddenly a dust bowl!  Well, I'll re-seed and struggle to tack back my yard and they will stay in their run/coop area - which is big enough for them.  I'll have to give them grass clippings and other little treats to keep them happy.  I've noticed that they lay better when they free range though - alas - a happy chicken is an egg laying chicken - but they will just have to stay in cause its caused hundreds of dollars in damage and now our back yard looks awful!!:barnie

post #34 of 34

i've been running into this as well...  my plan is to fence off one half of the yard with deer fencing and plant a cover crop there.  once it grows in i'll move the chickens to only have access to that area to range in.  then i'll rehab the half that they've tilled for me  :)  (one way to look at it)...  i live right up against the sand dunes and beach so have welcomed them digging scratching and pooping all over.  although the area they are in right now looks horrible i know that the soil is better for it and the new cover crop i plant will grow really well.  


i do wish i could find some things that would survive their digging though.  so far jasmine and bamboo are the only things left out there.  maybe rose bushes?

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