Chickens Destroying my yard.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by bendystar, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. bendystar

    bendystar In the Brooder

    Apr 28, 2010
    San Diego
    I know this may bug you- but I'm bummed my chickens are destroying our yard. We have a nice coop for them with plenty of room, but I like to let them out in the afternoon to "free range". We have a fairly manicured yard with an island of grass surrounded by plants and the chickens are trampling the flowers and bushes and scratching all the ground cover and mulch into the grass and in general making a huge mess- not to mention the poop! Poop everywhere! [​IMG] We have a fairly small yard, only 3 chickens- and 2 young children.

    So, I'm grump some- my biggest problem is the chickens rush the door of the coop when I open it to change water, collect eggs, etc. So It's nearly impossible to NOT let them out if I go in there. I also feel guilty if I keep them pinned up all day. Hmmm... I'm hoping someone has some words of encouragement that will help me feel good about getting these chickens in the first place. We've had them about 7 months, but I only recently started to let them out often enough for them to do real damage.

    What do you think?

  2. geepy

    geepy Songster

    Feb 24, 2009
    central FL
    Welcome to the world of chickens. I put some decorative fencing around my flowers. You could grow them a garden with greens just for them to scratch around in.
  3. They always want out, but it isn't realistic. This is a side of "ranging" chickens that doesn't get a lot of attention. If you had 40 acres, they'd likely spread their digging around and it wouldn't be quite so noticeable, but even then, they still like to dig around the flower beds and around the house. It's their instinct and their nature. You'll just have to be a meanie and refuse their pleas. There isn't a whole lot of choice.

    The also seem to prefer pooping on the steps, side walks and other really nifty place. [​IMG]
  4. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits...

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    I'd say get just used to it.. [​IMG]
  5. geepy

    geepy Songster

    Feb 24, 2009
    central FL
    Sorry forgot to Welcome you. [​IMG]
    On a bright side, I let mine scratch around the house and haven't seen a bug in the house in years.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    nay, I have way more than 40 acres, and they make a beeline for my flower bed.

    The only thing you can do is fence! Either fence them in, or out of what you don't them tearing up.

    You mentioned a nice coop, does it have a run attached to it? If not, that is what you might need to do, they do need to get outside in the sun and fresh air.

    As for them complaining, if you ignore it, they will get used to it. Mine free range most of the summer, (my garden is fenced off) and come the fall, I have to pen them up, because of the predators will get them before I get home from school. When I go down now, I can leave the run door open, and they don't go outside, they are so used to staying in the run.

  7. patman75

    patman75 Songster

    I'm banning my chickens from freeranging because of the damage and peace of mind. I'm I going to fence in a large chicken pasture that is attached to their run and just let them in it when I'm home. The pasture will not be as secure as the run but will give them the extra space they want and will be full of clover and other goodies for them.
  8. Amyable

    Amyable Songster

    Dec 16, 2008
    Greenleaf, WI
    Same problem here. I really like free ranging them, it cuts down the feed bill and they get lots of bugs and greens. However, my flower beds are in ruins and they eat my raspberries [​IMG] So I'm thinking of using deer netting around the parts of the yard that need protecting. Cheap and it blends with the background.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011
  9. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    [​IMG] and the joys & challenges of chickeneering. Now you know that to a chicken, the world is its salad bowl, toilet bowl, and dust-bath bowl. You can:

    Just leave them in their run all the time. Chickens don't "have" to be let loose to run free, they're domestic birds, not wild eagles. As long as they have adequate space in their run you don't have to feel guilty about keeping them confined. You can continue to add new sand/mulch/shavings to keep it fresh. And give them greenstuff to peck for their health & amusement.

    You can keep them from running out of the gate whenever you open it by tossing a handful of scratch into the run whenever you have to go in. Get them running away from the gate while you open it & enter. Sometimes you can fool them by tossing a handful of mulch, they'll run to see what it is.

    You could also construct a small "tractor", a portable bottomless pen. It can be placed wherever you wish in your yard, and moved whenever you wish. That way they get the benefits of free-ranging while keeping your gardens & landscaping safe from their dinosaur feet.
  10. Amyable

    Amyable Songster

    Dec 16, 2008
    Greenleaf, WI
    Very good, Sunny. Chickeneering, love that! [​IMG]

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