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How to keep hens out of vegetable garden?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

My hens free range and I just planted my garden a week ago, and they won't stay out of it. Has anyone found a good method for keeping them out? My husband doesn't want to fence the gardens and I don't want to keep them in their coop and run until the garden is mature enough to withstand their snacking. Suggestions??

post #2 of 15

Trust me, the garden will never be mature enough to withstand their snacking.   You need to fence it in or keep the birds in.   Last year the deer got to mine and destroyed it right before the tomatoes were ripe. As soon as the chickens saw what was left start to turn red they pecked holes in all of them. This year we have a fence.

Raising Call Ducks, Silkies, Black Copper Marans, Blue Wheaten Ameraucana and Easter Eggers in rural New Jersey.
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Raising Call Ducks, Silkies, Black Copper Marans, Blue Wheaten Ameraucana and Easter Eggers in rural New Jersey.
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post #3 of 15

No fence for the garden. Your garden is finished. jmho  Wish I was wrong for you.

" If you love two people always pick the second one cuz if you really loved the first you won't have fallen for the second."
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" If you love two people always pick the second one cuz if you really loved the first you won't have fallen for the second."
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post #4 of 15

The only thing that has worked for me is fencing unfortunately.  It sure is ugly because I use the orange construction fence so it is easy to zip tie to stakes in the ground, not permanent.  However, a vegetable garden is a lot of time, money and is truly a labor of love and I know I would hate it if it got torn up by the chickens.  It is a 4 foot fence and they still get in every once in a while.  I would love to know an alternate method as well.

Proud to have 11 dogs, 13 chickens, 6 piggies and wanting to move to more land so I can have more critters.  Just got a pot belly for my house pig.
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Proud to have 11 dogs, 13 chickens, 6 piggies and wanting to move to more land so I can have more critters.  Just got a pot belly for my house pig.
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post #5 of 15

The garden will need a fence or the chickees will need to stay in.  This is the surest way - even then they can be amazingly willful about getting those yummy garden treats.

"Kindness can become its own motive.  We are made kind by being kind"  - 1 awesome hubby, 4 funny kids, 2 sweet dogs, 1 crazy kitty, 1 talkative guinea pig, and chickens (Welsummer, Orpington, Icelandic, GNH, Polish, Silkie, EE/OE/Am/Ar and layers)

 

My Swap pages http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/coldupnorth-swap-page  or http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/mix-and-match-swap-page

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"Kindness can become its own motive.  We are made kind by being kind"  - 1 awesome hubby, 4 funny kids, 2 sweet dogs, 1 crazy kitty, 1 talkative guinea pig, and chickens (Welsummer, Orpington, Icelandic, GNH, Polish, Silkie, EE/OE/Am/Ar and layers)

 

My Swap pages http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/coldupnorth-swap-page  or http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/mix-and-match-swap-page

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post #6 of 15

I think you have to fence it. No choice. And it better be a GOOD fence! LOL, learn from my mistake - I put up a 'lazy' fence this year with just four fence stakes and some chicken wire.. Big chickens have not managed to get in, so all is well, right? Nope, PLENTY of room for my little chicks to get under it and they can dig up stuff almost as good as mama. smile

post #7 of 15

We have our veggie garden fenced in with 2x4 welded wire fencing. It was pretty easy to put in. We got the green coated kind so it looks pretty good and will last longer as well. I've been letting the chickens free range in the evenings and I have to be vigilant about guarding my flower beds. Most of the time they scrounge around in the yard, but then they will suddenly do a sneak attack on a garden bed. The only thing that works to keep them out is me following them around going "whoa whoa whoa whoa!", "bup bup bup!", "scoot scoot!" and "hey!" tongue

Proud mother to a wonderful Min Pin/Pomeranian mix, 3 cats, 1 hermit crab, & numerous fish.... and finally! Chickens! 1 Black Australorp, 1 Barred Plymouth Rock, 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte, 1 Speckled Sussex, and an Easter Egger. Added 2011- An Easter Egger Roo, and a Buff Orpington. Newly added 2012- 1 Black Copper Maran, 1 Golden laced Wyandotte, 1 Deleware, and 3 Easter Eggers. 

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Proud mother to a wonderful Min Pin/Pomeranian mix, 3 cats, 1 hermit crab, & numerous fish.... and finally! Chickens! 1 Black Australorp, 1 Barred Plymouth Rock, 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte, 1 Speckled Sussex, and an Easter Egger. Added 2011- An Easter Egger Roo, and a Buff Orpington. Newly added 2012- 1 Black Copper Maran, 1 Golden laced Wyandotte, 1 Deleware, and 3 Easter Eggers. 

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post #8 of 15

Keep the chickens in a run during the time veggies are coming off (especially tomatoes, unless you like peck marks in them). Or put up netting or fencing around the garden.

post #9 of 15

Choices:

  Fence the chickens in.

  Fence in the garden.

  The only way that I have found  for chickens and veggies to coexist peacefully is to put them together in a pot and make gumbo...............smile

A dog, a cat and a mouse


"'I've switched to the barter system. Will you take eggs instead?"
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A dog, a cat and a mouse


"'I've switched to the barter system. Will you take eggs instead?"
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post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

OK, Ok.....looks like fencing has to be done to save whatever is left of the garden.......Thanks so much!! I just can't keep the girls kept in through the summer in their coop!

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