Chickens and the Garden

MissChessy

Songster
12 Years
Sep 24, 2007
332
1
141
Texas
Does anyone let their chicken free roam where their garden is located??? How do you keep them from eating up your plants? Do you use the bird netting??? We are getting ready to plant our garden and want to keep our hens on free roam and would like some suggestions.
 

hypnofrogstevie

chick magnet
12 Years
Jul 12, 2007
7,365
14
261
Newton NJ
We use chicken fencing around the garden. This year we are relocating it where the chickens cant go. The old grden is now a flower garden
 

MissChessy

Songster
12 Years
Sep 24, 2007
332
1
141
Texas
Did the chicken fencing work to keep them out? What do you mean by chicken fencing? Chicken wire? How did you keep them from flying inside. My flock flies over the fence and goes over to the neighbors yards. I've tried the wing clipping thinger and that went South, didn't work at all!

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hypnofrogstevie

chick magnet
12 Years
Jul 12, 2007
7,365
14
261
Newton NJ
Mine dont even bother trying to fly over it. they just walk into it. LOL. Yeah chick wire. You can also wrap the chicken wire around the plants to form a barrier so they cant eat them.
 
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whatnow?

In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 17, 2008
78
2
29
SE PA
We have to fence our garden off because of deer. I wanted to try using a narrow chicken tractor to fit between wider planting rows (I always plant too close anyway, this is more incentive to spread it out.) I expect some collateral damage, but if they can feast on caterpillars it may be worth it.
 

chickenannie

Songster
12 Years
Nov 19, 2007
3,152
35
231
Pennsylvania
MissChessy, we had the same problem, and made a very simple fence with metal posts and 40-inch chicken wire around our large garden. It worked great! Over winter, we allow the chickens in the garden to dig everything up and help compost the mulch, but this week we just put the fence back, and they don't think to fly over it. I don't know why -- except maybe they're lazy fliers. they also have lots of other interesting places to roam around the barn buildings and yard and fields, etc. Maybe once a month a chicken finds a way into the garden, but we just find the hole and patch it up.

You can also buy simple chicken fencing from Premiere that is electrified. It is an easy movable netting that can be solar powered. I didn't get it because it was more expensive, but my friends us it.

Good luck!
 

Beekissed

Free Ranging
12 Years
Feb 14, 2008
22,974
4,915
602
This world is not my home.
I will be fighting the same thing this year and have decided on raised bed gardening. I will either use hoops with netting or cloth over the beds, whichever seems cheapest. I'm going to plant red clover between the rows for the chickens to eat. I set out a house plant for some sun (it had bloomed all winter) and the stinkers stripped it....every last leaf. All that green grass and such and they had to pick on my poor lobelia! I expect I will have to try and abandon many solutions to this problem. Can a person have their gardens and free-range too? We shall see......
 

MissChessy

Songster
12 Years
Sep 24, 2007
332
1
141
Texas
It is killing me leaving them in the coop! They just pace back and forth in the run wanting to get out and roam the neighborhood. When we are finished picking our garden, I'm setting them free!! They will run straight for the garden and get to work stripping it out. I have 2 Boston Ferns in a huge planter and they have stripped it too! I love those chickens, but goodness, I like fresh veggies too. I'll keep giving them treats though. We are tilling up a new area to make our garden bigger and I'm throwing in the grass for them to tear up.
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kayri

Songster
12 Years
Jul 6, 2007
353
2
141
RI
Miss Chessy, what do you mean the wing clipping thinger went South. it didn't work? They still flew over the fence?

I am counting on the wing clipping thing to work this summer. Once everyone's garden comes up, they can't roam the neighborhood digging things up.
 

Beekissed

Free Ranging
12 Years
Feb 14, 2008
22,974
4,915
602
This world is not my home.
The wing clipping thing always works for me....ya have to clip just one side. All the primaries on one side. If you clip both, they still can't fly properly but they have equal lift on both sides. With one side, they can't quite get it right. At least that's what Grandma always told me! My hens just barely get enough lift to get up on the roost or into the laying boxes. Of course, they are all big, fat hens so that might factor into it!
I know the rooster seems to get more power in his flight as he had both wings clipped when I got him. Kinda sad, too, as they clipped them REALLY short, too short for my comfort.
 

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