Chicken coop and garden combo?

Advertisement Purina Flock Layer


8 Years
Aug 22, 2011
Hi All! First post and I don't have chickens yet but am planning on starting my lifelong love of chickens next spring. I am planning on getting about 6 Easter Eggers as I want my chickens for eggs and pets, not dinner. I live in the Pacific Northwest.

My question is this. I had originally planned on letting my chickens roam my garden as natural bug munchers, but have quickly realized through my research that they will dig up and eat my garden to pieces. What is a good coop/run design to allow the chickens to help with garden bugs but keep them out of the garden. I have enough land to "free range" them quite a bit but love the idea of dual purpose chickens. As of yet I have not started on my coop construction and will most likely buy a prefab something and install the necessary fencing myself.

I'd love all ideas and especially some pic's of other people's set ups.
I have always thought about a fenced in garden spot, attached to the coop or run, so that the chickens could be fenced OUT in the spring and harvest time, but given access after harvest and through the winter. The chickens would fertilize and till the soil and it would be easy to dump bedding there in the fall so it could age before spring. Just a thought...
I have a converted 6x6 shed and a run 6ft high run directly from the door about 3 or 4 metres long which they get let out to every morning but I have a fenced off section of my garden so when I let them out of their run they have their own bit of the garden to destroy lol.

it works well for me so I recommend doing something similar.

hope it helped.
I find they only eat seedlings and will mostly leave established plants alone.

It you want less damage to the garden, consider a feather footed breed. They can't scratch to save their life lol mine (faverolle & d'uccle) just stand near the clean footed birds half the time and steal whatever they scrape up! If you any kind of bantam they will do less damage than a more powerful full size chook. The bantam faverolle lays a decent size egg too! D'uccle's eggs a puny though lol

good luck with the chickens and garden mix

we did out our garden 3 months before deciding to get chickens and they took two weeks to compleatly destroy it !

we had statues, lights, water feasture grass, shale, and wood chippings inareas sounds messing wrote like that!

it did look lovely but them girls love to mess so far they have destroyed some of the lights broke around 4 statues in half and 2 have there heads missing and the shale and wood chippings are everywhere they love to dig in to it , they must find a lot of bugs under them

if i was you id not do my garden up before getting chickens ! but.... on the other hand it is amazing to see them roam about the garden free to being stuck in a pen. they do come a live and run ( mine look like turkey dinasaurs) and they love to chase anything that moves and sunbathe whereever the sun is inthe garden.

good luck on the chickenfront , one idea i would say is to corner off a bit of land if you plan to dosome gardening or grow veg

they have ate all my tomatoe plants including leafes and stems , cabbages and apples of the tree this year ( my first year with chickens too) they are a cheeky lot they also ate all my new plants I put in like begonias, pansy ect ect i think theres about two plants left ! which they keep to sleep besides on the good sunny days in england that we occasionaly have !
oh and another thing may sound very funny but true

dont let them get yourtoilet roll !

my dog decided to put the blame on the missing toilet rolls on my chickens by hiding a pack behind the coop. the lovely ladys found this and tore it into confettee int he garden was a very funny site
If you have enough space, you could build your coop at one end (using a rectangular space just for an example) and at the other end build your garden.

Fence off your garden, our 4' garden fencing works fairly well but if you put that on top of a raised garden box edge it would work better. then fence off the larger outer area as the run. You will have made a "Chicken Moat" around your garden.

Also, you can let certain plants grow out in to the chicken moat area, leave the base of the plants and roots on the inside protected area, and the chickens will pick bugs but leave the plant alone. Things like winter squash, pumpkins, gourds etc they do not like.

If you do something like that, you might be the envy of the neighborhood with the reduction in bugs in your veggies.
Great ideas guys and gals. I think I'm going to try and do something like the chicken moat. It shouldn't be too hard and I like the idea of them havins some controlled access to the garden as slugs will munch you outta all your veggies here.

Thanks again!
the chicken moat is a great idea! I had to fence our garden in after the girls destroyed it- they even ate things other folks said they would avoid- like squash leaves, and tomato leaves. They also did a lot of damage to our raspberry bushes that we planted outside of the garden so I have had to block them off too- the raspberries are not even in fruit as it is their first year- but the girls shredded all the leaves and new vines! Chickens are so destructive, I love them but they will eat almost anything!

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