Before I screw up...any advice?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by birdlovin gal, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. birdlovin gal

    birdlovin gal Out Of The Brooder

    52
    0
    29
    Apr 13, 2009
    Western MA
    We are planning to build our coop at the end of the garden, which is a brand new tilled area in a field overrun with strawberry vine. My thought is to build their run 3 or 4' wide around the entire garden perimeter (25' x 35'), or at least on three sides of it. I am hoping my 6 girls will keep the garden weed/bug free.

    Has anyone tried this? Does anyone see any problems with this idea? Is this too big an area for 6 chickens to keep up with?

    We do not use any pesticides.

    Thanks for any input you may have.
     
  2. siz8003

    siz8003 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 31, 2007
    Fitz.,NH
    Sounds really cool to me [​IMG]
     
  3. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    Michigan
    What are you planting in the garden? They will typically eat anything and everything that they can get ahold of. If the plants are large you may be able to get away with it... but they will most likely sample the fruit [​IMG] They completely stripped my honeysuckle vine and butterfly bush that they stumbled across.... I will be putting up a fence to keep them OUT of my garden!

    Re-reading your post..... you will be keeping them OUT of the actual garden but run them along the edges in a long run? That would probably work nicely...and provide a barrier from other animals getting into the garden [​IMG] If you need pollinating bugs to come and go you may only want to do 3 sides so that they do not have to always go through past the chickens...also it'll be easier to get wheelbarrows etc in and out of the garden...and also when you go to till the ground next year.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2009
  4. birdlovin gal

    birdlovin gal Out Of The Brooder

    52
    0
    29
    Apr 13, 2009
    Western MA
    Yes, keeping them out - I want the fruit of my labor for me!

    I was planning a WIDE swinging doorway that will open/close off the chickens when I am in the garden. Also to get in a tiller/wheelbarrow, etc.

    I hadn't thought of good bugs not getting in...thanks! Still, I'd like to free range the girls when I can be out with them. Won't they head straight for the garden if given a chance?
     
  5. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    Michigan
    I would say... yes [​IMG] Mine have found the bird feeders and head right for them first thing in the day [​IMG]
     
  6. funkychickenowner

    funkychickenowner Out Of The Brooder

    95
    0
    39
    Aug 30, 2008
    Sussex County NJ
    Oh they defiantly will keep your Garden weed and pest free as well as veggie free they eat everything green and then some with no prejudice!
     
  7. birdlovin gal

    birdlovin gal Out Of The Brooder

    52
    0
    29
    Apr 13, 2009
    Western MA
    OK, so maybe I'll put their run on three sides, then just use a chain link fence on the last side to keep them out, yet let in the "good" bugs.

    Any other thoughts of why this might not work? I really like the idea of having the girls keep out the strawberry vine, that stuff takes over when you turn your back...
     
  8. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Since you're in Massachusetts and like us, you have every predator possible, be sure to build as though all of them are already drooling at the prospect of your having chickens! We've never been sorry for intensive barriers over and under the run and coop...[​IMG]
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    85
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    They are not going to keep the garden weed-free or bug-free. However, if you manage things carefully and are lucky you may have a few fewer bugs, and *possibly* a few fewer weeds.

    Remember that the vast majority of pest insects FLY, and weed seeds are already in the soil or come in by runners or blow in as new seeds.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,118
    3,322
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    What you are talking about is called a moat. This link is to a Mother Earth article about this concept.

    http://www.motherearthnews.com/Sustainable-Farming/1988-05-01/The-Chicken-Moat-Enclosure.aspx

    It will take a lot of work and will be expensive. And I second, third, whatever, the comments on making it predator proof.

    If done right, it will stop certain animals from feasting on your garden (think mainly deer, but others also) while reducing the number of pests, such as grasshoppers, a little. I though the comment about hawks being deterred by the enclosure created by the double fencing interesting, but I personally would not bet the farm on that working 100%.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by