Do chickens destroy gardens?


11 Years
Sep 17, 2008
SF Bay Area
Do chickens destroy gardens? I really need to know. Thanks.
Yes! They dig holes in the flower garden and pull up my drip irrigation lines. In the veggie garden they pull up seedlings and they are voracious tomato-a-holics. Though they seem to peck a hole in each one before moving on. BUGGERS!
Mine go after the ripe tomatoes and the Beagle goes after the green ones. Needless to say, my tomato plants are toast.

My chickens like to get into the garden and do their thing. I made a chicken wire "tent" to cover my strawberry plants.

For my tomatoes, I bought those extra sturdy tomato cages and wrapped chicken wire around the bottom half.

Honestly, I think my Beagle did more damage than the girls.

Chickens will lazily stroll through the tomato plants, taking a selective peck out of any of them that catch their eye. Then, they move on to another tomato. You end up with a garden fill of ripe tomatoes, each with maybe one or two peck marks in them that just invite the flies and other vermin to gather.

I grew up on a farm and I can vividly recall my mother blazin red chasin chickens after they destroyed her petunias:) We always had barred rocks (biggest garden destroyers ever)

Now that I have my own chickens, we have bantams and I must say what a difference size makes!!! The littler the feet, the littler the damage. They still scratch around but won't destroy like their larger counterparts.

Get some Seramas or Rose Combs, something small and beautiful that looks like they were meant for your flowers themselves. As for vegetables, they like to peck a little hole in just about every fruit they can reach but with those tiny little beaks, most of the damage is minimal and the veggies kinda heal over. hope this helps.

A picket fence is the way the old-fashioned took care of chickens in the garden. Seams they don't like the pointy pickets. Mine never go over it and it's about 3 ft. tall.
Yep but it's occasionally useful. I let mine clear my perennial patches for me. Short legged japanese bantams are often suggested for gardens because they are very small and having extra short legs can't do as much damage.

Here's my little japs doing some gardening:

I even notice a difference between my japs as chicks and the standard EEs which are younger but the same size. The EEs have been tearing up the pine shavings, throwing them everywhere, rolling in it, and just making a mess. The japs just scratch a little when they find some spilled feed.
Last edited:

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom