Destructive Chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by CJD, Nov 17, 2007.

  1. CJD

    CJD In the Brooder

    Mar 30, 2007
    I have 24 chickens that I let free-range. I have 26 acres, so I figured it wouldn't be a problem. But recently, they 've been going to my sister-in-law's house next door and digging up her flower beds and throwing wood chips all over. I never thought they would range so far away, but they make a beeline for her house the minute I let them out. Needless to say, she's irate (and rightly so).

    So, is there any way to keep the chickens in my yard, short of building a run? The area where their coop is is all concrete, so it's not easy to fence in. Any ideas? I'm at my wits end...

  2. picklespickles

    picklespickles Songster

    Oct 27, 2007
    is there a fence at the property line itself? they fly over it? or not an area with fencing at line?

    they are probably going over there because either it's more interesting or better food.

    so maybe for like a week you could have twenty four hour a day goodies out there to make them realize this is your home. if that doesn't work, the only thing i know of is a pen.

    can you get the cheapest grain and just keep it out there ALL THE TIME for a week. here, cracked corn is cheap, $5 for fifty.
  3. CJD

    CJD In the Brooder

    Mar 30, 2007
    There's no fence between the properties. I actually own her house, and she rents from me, but she spent a lot of money on her flowerbeds and she really let me have it this morning (come over and see what your stupid chickens did). I have to go over there after work today and fix it all for her.

    I put a whole bunch of scratch out for them when I let them out yesterday. They pecked at it for a while, they off they went next door. Must be better bugs over there or something.....

  4. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator

    Jan 11, 2007
    NE Washington State
    I feel your pain. Chickens seem to go to the most expensive, hardest worked area of your yard (or someone else's) to play.

    Maybe you can put down a load of wood chips near their coop for them to kick around.

    Or maybe they just like your sis in law. [​IMG]
  5. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    That's why mine are usually penned...I got tired of them trashing my flowerbeds and gardens.
  6. CJD

    CJD In the Brooder

    Mar 30, 2007
    That's not a bad idea. Maybe a load of woodchips would keep them occupied, especailly if I put a bunch of scratch underneath it.

    Seems like they go in cycles. For a few weeks, they're digging around the trees in the yard, then they're in the horse corral looking for goodies, then they're digging up flower beds. Can't wait to see what they move onto next...

    I have to say, though, that I love being "mother hen". They follow me wherever I go, looking for goodies. It's so much fun to walk down the driveway, turn around and find 24 hens looking at me.

    Last edited: Nov 17, 2007
  7. Illinois_ Kelly

    Illinois_ Kelly Songster

    Sep 13, 2007
    Marion, Illinois
    I had to laugh when I read your post because it was so familiar. They absolutely love bugs and worms, so the fact that they head towards the mulch is no surprise to me. We let ours free-range as well but had to fence in the garden for fear they'd help themselves to the tomatoes on a regular basis. I can't tell you how many times they'd go barreling out towards that area and run face first into the wire. We just moved a little less than a year ago and pulled all the old landscaping out, so we haven't had to deal with that issue at this house yet. Hopefully by the time we relandscape this spring, I'll have their 100 x 150 foot fenced free-range area completed.

    Other than fencing in a run, I don't know. Is it possible for you to put a fence between your property and your sisters? Maybe that would be easier. If I think of anything, I'll definitely let you know.

    Best of luck!
  8. okiechick57

    okiechick57 Songster

    [​IMG] aw sorry. I have the same problem , I finally quit using mulch...switched to small rock. they still try it though.......... it was worth it for me to let mine free range.
    I think the idea of you making a wood chip pile is certainly worth a try......... but once they like a spot , I found there was nothing I could do, luckily for me my neighbors yard is all stone! Good luck with sis....... neighbor AND family member makes it pretty tough !
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2007
  9. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Songster

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    I think it has to do with freshly tilled soil. The bugs and stuff are a lot easier to get to, and they are usually right under the wood chips. Mine go for the trees with the mulch or the compost pile. Just love it.
  10. Poison Ivy

    Poison Ivy Songster

    May 2, 2007
    Naples, Florida
    Mine do that to and I think it's to do with the bugs & worms they find under the mulch. I got tired of sweeping it ll back in the beds so I keep them penned now.

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