Mar 16, 2016
I was thinking of building my new coop inside my (not yet built) veggie garden. My intent was to set it up where I can create tunnels around the garden to keep them out during the day (the garden would already be fenced but the tunnels would help protect against air attacks).

My one concern with this and letting the roam in the gardens directly are I've read online that veggie gardens are safer if used AGED manure....should I be concerned with them poop directly in the garden?

The plan WOULDN't be to let them directly in the active crops for obvious reasons of them eating the veggies but I was hoping for a little bug controls AROUND it and then could turnover areas not being used during that particular growing seasons.

What do you guys think? Good idea? Bad idea??
Sounds like a chicken moat, which many folks have done successfully as a way to help de-bug gardens - don't think the fresh poop should be a problem.
I have my coop inside a run which is attached to a fenced in garden bed area, so I can control when the chickens have access. My setup is relatively new so I can't say whether the poop is going to be problem yet, but my current concern is that the chickens are pulling up young plants so I'm thinking of making a chicken wire "lid" to go over the planted beds for now. I imagine that would keep them from pooping in those areas too. Any beds that aren't planted I give them full access, so they can turn over the soil and pick up bugs.
THanks for the responses. I was planning on doing mine similar to yours. My coop and run would actually be the back fence to my garden. In the run I'd have a gate type to open them up to access to the garden. I was planning on doing one tunnel all the way around the garden with portable enclosures for them to turn over a garden bed
Tunnels all the way around garden is a great bug deterrent...and if the garden fence side of tunnels is 2x4 welded wire, they'll keep that fence line clear of vegetation.
Make sure you have some access to tunnels in case a bird gets in trouble and needs rescuing.

Letting them in the garden after harvesting is over in the fall (to clean up any bugs, till your mulch into the soil, eat any weeds) until the snow flies is great too...all the fertilizer' can 'weather' over the winter to enrich the soil.

But fresh poop with actively growing food plants can cause a couple problems..... too much nitrogen, E.coli, salmonella.
Some folks use it, but it is very carefully placed in the garden around only certain plants, so employ due diligence.
Thanks for your response aart. My plan would obviously be to put the tunnels around the outsidie of the garden along the well as allowing them access when I want to spots not being used that season or even the walkways (where I'd throw a portable tunnel down). I think my concern is more for the question of whether my tunnels which would be next to an active plant would leak over or contaminant them

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