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How to keep chickens out of the garden? UPDATED with successful method.

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

For hundreds of years families have had gardens and chickens both. Yet, in old pictures of my farming family, at least, I don't see fences around the gardens and yet the chickens were free ranging. How did the old-timers keep the chickens out of the garden? How do you do it now? 

 

I am at war with my own flock right now, trying to keep them out of the garden. Anyone have any suggestions? (I do have a 4 foot picket fence lined with chicken wire along the bottom so they can't go under, and I'm considering adding more height to the fence, combined with clipping wings, so they cannot hop over the fence any more.) Just wondering if there are any other cheap options out there (e.g. not involving electricity). 


Edited by Daisy8s - 5/10/12 at 9:03pm

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post #2 of 25
I don't know how other people do it, but I grew up in the country where and at a time that most everybody had free ranging chickens. Gardens were proected from them in two ways. Either a good fence or the garden was a real long way from the coop. Usually a combination of these two.

I use a good fence since I don't have the space. I need to keep deer and other things out of the garden too.

Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought....Abraham Lincoln (Freedom carries responsibility)

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.....Judge Learned Hand  (The more sure your are that your way is the only right way, the more likely you are wrong.)

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought....Abraham Lincoln (Freedom carries responsibility)

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.....Judge Learned Hand  (The more sure your are that your way is the only right way, the more likely you are wrong.)

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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post #3 of 25

I have raised beds (4' x 8'). I bought a couple of 3/4" PVC pipe, bent them over the bed & attached them with 3/4" straps. Then I wrapped it with bird netting. It was quick, easy & cheap.

The chickens can still go through the garden, but can't get into the beds.

 

Here's the shopping list:

2 PVC pipes, 10' (I used 3/4" electrical PVC - cheaper than plumbing PVC)   $3.38

2 pkgs PVC strapping (3 straps per pack)    $1.86

1 pkg bird netting (14' x 14')  $9.97

 

Total cost: $15.21 per bed.

 

I'm not sure if this will work for you, but maybe it'll help give you some ideas. Good luck!

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daisy8s View Post

For hundreds of years families have had gardens and chickens both. Yet, in old pictures of my farming family, at least, I don't see fences around the gardens and yet the chickens were free ranging. How did the old-timers keep the chickens out of the garden? How do you do it now? 

 

I am at war with my own flock right now, trying to keep them out of the garden. Anyone have any suggestions? (I do have a 4 foot picket fence lined with chicken wire along the bottom so they can't go under, and I'm considering adding more height to the fence, combined with clipping wings, so they cannot hop over the fence any more.) Just wondering if there are any other cheap options out there (e.g. not involving electricity). 

post #4 of 25

Gotta fence one or the other.  Chickens and gardens do not co-exist peaceably.  

 

We use poly deer fencing for the deer, but it also keeps the birds out.

 

LL

 

 

Practicing Sustainable Agriculture At The 45th Parallel

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post #5 of 25

Yeah, good luck with that! wink.png  I have an herb garden that they like to dust bathe in so I took a pair of pruners and cut up some small tree branches and wild saplings into straight 8 inch "stakes" and hammered them into the ground about 6 to 8 inches apart.  It kind of looks like somekind of a chinese torture device, but it discouraged them enought top go find another place.  I've also used wooden shims that I had leftover, but the sticks didn't cost anything.

 

My big garden is farther from the house but if I can keep them out until the plants are established, they usually only dust bathe in between the rows.  Maybe you could use old milk jugs to cover the plants until they're bigger.  Some people use them to protect from frost, but it might keep chickens away also.

 

I also had a problem with the chickens digging up plants in my flowerpots.  I found some chunks of broken tile or rocks placed on the soil around the plant ruined that fun game!

 

Now to find a way to keep them from pooping on the front steps!

post #6 of 25

cattle panels over the top with chicken wire....best option i think?

post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rungirl View Post

Yeah, good luck with that! wink.png  I have an herb garden that they like to dust bathe in so I took a pair of pruners and cut up some small tree branches and wild saplings into straight 8 inch "stakes" and hammered them into the ground about 6 to 8 inches apart.  It kind of looks like somekind of a chinese torture device, but it discouraged them enought top go find another place.  I've also used wooden shims that I had leftover, but the sticks didn't cost anything.

 

I also had a problem with the chickens digging up plants in my flowerpots.  I found some chunks of broken tile or rocks placed on the soil around the plant ruined that fun game!

 

 

I like these ideas. Homemade with stuff I might have on hand. But, is it a pain to reach over your stakes? Or, do you remove them while you're working a section and then replace them?

 

And, of course I'd wonder if they'd just hop right over since they are happily hopping the 4 ft fence, after all. I have six beds that are 3'x14' and then two huge beds for corn/squash/melon. That's a lot of area to protect....  

Backyard farming with my flock of super talented manure composters and bug hunters.

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Backyard farming with my flock of super talented manure composters and bug hunters.

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post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridgerunner View Post

I don't know how other people do it, but I grew up in the country where and at a time that most everybody had free ranging chickens. Gardens were proected from them in two ways. Either a good fence or the garden was a real long way from the coop. Usually a combination of these two.
 

Ah, I bet you're right about the garden being placed far away from the coop. Now that you say that it chimes with pics I've seen of farmsteads way back when. 

Backyard farming with my flock of super talented manure composters and bug hunters.

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Backyard farming with my flock of super talented manure composters and bug hunters.

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post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 

Nice set-up there, Fred. I was going to PM you with this specific question so I'm glad you chimed in. How tall is your fence? Do you have any determined to get over the fence and if so, do you clip wings? 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred's Hens View Post

Gotta fence one or the other.  Chickens and gardens do not co-exist peaceably.  

 

We use poly deer fencing for the deer, but it also keeps the birds out.

 

LL

Backyard farming with my flock of super talented manure composters and bug hunters.

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Backyard farming with my flock of super talented manure composters and bug hunters.

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post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daisy8s View Post

Nice set-up there, Fred. I was going to PM you with this specific question so I'm glad you chimed in. How tall is your fence? Do you have any determined to get over the fence and if so, do you clip wings? 

 

How expensive is the poly stuff?

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