Am I in too deep???? Digging Chickens.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dwdoc, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. dwdoc

    dwdoc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 13, 2010
    Seffner, Florida
    First, I just started with Chickens in mid-December. I have some very young pullets that I watch as they play, spar and scratch. The day before yesterday I adopted two adult hens and they are scratching around for food, it's amusing to watch for a new chicken owner.

    But here is my question: They are going pretty deep...about six inches thus far. Is this normal? How far do they tend to go? I keep them in my backyard and I don't want a yard full of pot holes...a little "tilling" is ok but six inches may be more than I am comfortable with. Is there a way to minimize the damage to my backyard?
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    They dig dust holes so they can make sure to get any lice/mites off themselves. The only way to keep them from digging in certain spots would be to fence/partition them off so they can't access them.
  3. Rockin' Reds

    Rockin' Reds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 3, 2010
    Penrose, Colorado
    Yes...they will. We have a nice lunar landscape going on. [​IMG] They completely destroyed all of the bark I had in both the front and side yards. They sure can dig!! [​IMG] Oh well...I will fix it this spring and then put a temporary fence around it when they are free ranging. My husband kicked them out of the backyard because of the developing lunar-scape and told me they had the other 9 acres to destroy. [​IMG]
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I find it amusing to look out into the yard and see four or five hens in their fox-holes. They get deep enough that they can pop their heads up and look around before going back to dust-bathing.

    Looks like Whack-a-Mole, but with chickens instead of moles. And no whacking, of course.
  5. dwdoc

    dwdoc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 13, 2010
    Seffner, Florida
    Wow. Here I thought I had done ALL my research. I guess this will be an ongoing learning experience. I have decided that I will have to rethink my coop arrangement. Now, I am planning to create a fenced in enclosure within my already fenced in yard.

    Now, I'll just sit back and wait for the next unexpected activity... What other surprises am I in store for??? LOL
  6. Keri78

    Keri78 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 17, 2009
    In my experience the best way to limit "Chickie Damage" to your nice yard is to limit the amount of chickies living in you yard![​IMG] They are so sweet and fun and addictive that before long they can take over![​IMG] I've seen people set up little kiddie plastic pools and fill them with dirt and sand and they will use that for their dirt baths. Have fun![​IMG] It's definitely a learning experience.[​IMG]
  7. dwdoc

    dwdoc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 13, 2010
    Seffner, Florida
    I live in Florida and the area where the coop is located there is no grass...its under a large grandfather oak. So I don't have a nice lawn to lose...Bonus.

    And I have limited myself to 8 chickens...PERIOD! Although I hear that "Chicken Math" does not allow for the setting of limits....but I'm pretty stubborn.
  8. happychickengirls

    happychickengirls Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 21, 2010
    They do love digging their holes in your yard for sure!!!! One thing like they said is to put up a fenced in area where you are okay
    for them to wander around in. Also I will tell you once you give them an inch they just want more and more!!! When I first let them out of their coop to free range they loved being in my gardens (diggin around in there) I didint mulch this past year but I imagine if you do have any mulch in your gardens it wont stay their for long!! They were happy with that for awhile -then started coming right up onto my deck and pecking away at the back sliding door when they wanted their treats!!!!! Good luck with your chickens and enjoy!!!!
  9. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 6, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
  10. desertskynm

    desertskynm Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 3, 2010
    That's what I said about 20 chickens ago... [​IMG]

    Maybe you can withstand their cuteness better than me...

    (Now I am moving into ducks as well!)

    Happy Poultry Fanatic [​IMG]


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by