Chickens tore up backyard need a solution

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by scarletbaby, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. scarletbaby

    scarletbaby Out Of The Brooder

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    May 23, 2010
    I used to have a beautiful backyard full of flowers, vegetables and green foliage but once we added 6 chickens to the backyard we noticed that they were eating anything and everything. Well we fenced in the garden and the backyard is pretty bare due to the cold months and the chickens eating the backyard so they are getting pretty desperate. I went outside this morning a found my blackberry bush half eaten. They were eating the leaves with the thorns! So i need some suggestions for a winter chicken garden that wont mind part-shade/shade (we dont have too much extra space). Oh and how do i prevent them from overeating the plants? should i plant a lot of plants and just wait till they are full grown and allow them full access or should i do something else? I just dont want to end up spending a lot of time on a garden that is going to be eaten in a day but i do want them to have free access to greens (i guess the grass and treats are not enough?) Oh and my chickens wont eat lettuce from the store but they ate it when it was in the ground. what is up with that?
     
  2. mulewagon

    mulewagon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our yard is full of rings of dogwire (2" x 4" mesh, 6' tall) protecting the big plants. Chickens will eat most of what they can get to, and dig up the rest.

    If you want to slow down their consumption, you could put a wire ring around a thick growth of grass or other plants, so they could only eat what they could reach through the mesh. They adore hosta!
     
  3. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Are you feeding them?

    Along with an unlimited supply of layer (preferably IN the coop) you should probably be buying lettuce or other veggies to feed them.

    That or make them an enclosed run.
     
  4. churchx3

    churchx3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2010
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    My chickens are in a run until I am home in the evening...I used to have a fabulous flower garden as that was my "hobby" before chickens...needless to say between the chickens and goats out in the p.m., I no longer have flowers...I still have nice flower gardens out front but made the decision to allow the chickens / goats to have my back yard.
     
  5. D'Angelo N Va.

    D'Angelo N Va. Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2009
    I suggest putting them in a run and giving them greens to supplement their food..like that you can have your garden and they can have a nice secure place to run, scratch, play in the dirt and still get fresh greens....that's what I do. I in the summer time am always throwing my bush cuttings, and excess weeds into the house for them....but they can not destroy my gardens.
     
  6. bywaterdog

    bywaterdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 29, 2008
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    3 things to do: fencing, fencing, and more fencing. I have 18 hens that lust after my "winter greens garden" they can look but the greens are off limits- mine only.

    I give my girls an enormous amount of treats and goodies along with 24/7 layer pellets, but they think that if I am growing it- well, it must be better.

    Who is the master, who is the chicken?
     
  7. jomercer

    jomercer Chillin' With My Peeps

    I had a pesky patch of grass and clover in the dog yard until I got chickens--they took care of it in no time, along with the Virginia creeper (which I wanted) and any other sprig of anything they could reach through the chain link fence.

    You can ask your local grocer or restaurateur for fresh produce they're throwing out--wilty or trimmings, not rotten/fuzzy. We also have a wholesale produce shipping facility nearby where I can get bucketfuls of damaged greens and other veggies.

    Where are you located? If you're in a relatively mild area, even in winter, you could sow a new patch of ryegrass or oatseed (fencing out the chickens of course) every week and rotate the girls through them as the seedlings make an inch or two of green growth.
     
  8. patman75

    patman75 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have my fenced in garden next to my chicken run. I am expanding my garden where one half is chicken pasture and the other half will be the garden and then I will rotate between the two every year. Fertilzing the soil and keep the chickens out of the landscaping.
     

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