Chickens kicking out my pine bark mulch :(


12 Years
Apr 22, 2008
Central Illinois
Maybe I'm the only one who likes both free-roaming chickens for the health benefits AND a well groomed flower bed, but I'd really like to have both. I think I'm going to have to fence in the vegetable garden this year, but was hoping to keep the flower beds intact. Why is it so many folks go on about the benefits of having chickens in your garden when they can be so destructive too?

Ideas? Solutions?
The benefit of having chickens roam around a garden is that they constantly fertilize the ground around them for free. Chickens are great of fertilizing because of the extremely organic vegetation that they consume. Most chickens will try to peck about flowers though but vege gardens make the perfect spot.
Well, mine poked holes in my tomatoes, cleaned off my kale plants, and poked holes in most of my peppers. I've decided they're after the seeds. They have often left the squash alone, but I hardly trust them.
Bringing this topic back up because I'm curious to know if anyone has a solution. When we first spread new mulch, the chickens weren't at all interested in it-- I think the smell put them off. Now that it's aged a bit though, they're digging. Is there anything I can occasionally soak it in that'll put them off of it? I've been trying to find out what the source of that "new mulch" smell is, since that's what they weren't into, but it doesn't seem to be anything specific.
I don't think it's as much 'new mulch smell' as it is the mulch simply being unappealing to the birds when it's new. Over time however, the mulch breaks down and also holds moisture that invites insects, slugs, etc that the birds do find appealing...

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