Are chickens good veggie garden bug control or will they tear it up?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by nurkdenflurn, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. nurkdenflurn

    nurkdenflurn New Egg

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    Feb 9, 2009
    I will be the lucky beneficiary of a donated flock of chickens next month - 10 hens and a rooster. I have heard mixed reviews on whether or not chickens are a blessing or a curse in the vegetable garden. I had thought they would eat lots of bugs for me, but will their scratching and digging be a problem? Or will they eat the plants? I'm responsible for a school's garden and we have plots all over the place, so fencing isn't really an option. Can you give a newbie some advice?
     
  2. BeardedChick

    BeardedChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes and yes. They are very hard on gardens. Mine get to go in the garden before planting and after harvest. Otherwise, every ripe tomato has a hole pecked in it.
     
  3. BeardedChick

    BeardedChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    PS. [​IMG] Welcome to BYC!
     
  4. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Chickens and gardens don't go together!! Not unless you keep them out of it until you are done picking everything.

    They are crazy for tomatoes!!!!
     
  5. B. Saffles Farms

    B. Saffles Farms Mr. Yappy Chickenizer

    Nov 23, 2008
    Madisonville, TN
    They will eat lots of the bugs, and lots of your plants, and they also love to scratch.
     
  6. farmerlor

    farmerlor Chillin' With My Peeps

    My girlies are allowed in the garden only until the tomatoes start to ripen. Seems like they don't mess with them when they're green but once they start to change color all bets are off.
     
  7. nurkdenflurn

    nurkdenflurn New Egg

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    Feb 9, 2009
    This is so helpful...thanks a bunch. I'm mildly bummed that the little omnivores aren't more selective. [​IMG] Since fencing isn't an option for the chickens, do you have any suggestions for how to let them be free ranging happy chicks while protecting the veggies? Mobile chicken tractor??
     
  8. lovemychix

    lovemychix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 14, 2008
    Moulton Iowa
    Mine tear up everything. [​IMG]
     
  9. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    I've decided I'm going to build a tractor to use during the summer and use my big chicken run as a garden. It's got a good sized fence to keep the deer out. (and chickens) Then let them have run of it come fall.
     
  10. notsooldmcdonald

    notsooldmcdonald Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 14, 2008
    Lempster, NH
    I'm actually hoping they will tear up the garden a bit. My DH really wants a pig, but I'm afraid I'll get too attached and won't have the guts to send it off for slaughter. I've told him that if we let the chooks into the garden after he's rototilled it in the spring that they'll do just as good. Of course, I also plan on putting up webbed electric fence to keep both the flock and deer out when the veggies have been planted. Here's crossing my fingers that they do a good job![​IMG]

    -Christian
     

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