Chickens and the Garden

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MissChessy, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. MissChessy

    MissChessy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 24, 2007
    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.
     
  2. hypnofrogstevie

    hypnofrogstevie chick magnet

    Jul 12, 2007
    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
     
  3. MissChessy

    MissChessy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 24, 2007
    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![​IMG]
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  4. hypnofrogstevie

    hypnofrogstevie chick magnet

    Jul 12, 2007
    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.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2008
  5. whatnow?

    whatnow? Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 17, 2008
    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.
     
  6. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 19, 2007
    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!
     
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    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......[​IMG]
     
  8. MissChessy

    MissChessy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 24, 2007
    Texas
    [​IMG] 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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  9. kayri

    kayri Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 6, 2007
    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.
     
  10. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    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! [​IMG] 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. [​IMG]
     

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