Do you let your chickens into your garden?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by AccidentalFarm, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Songster

    Mar 29, 2007
    I'm curious whether they will destroy the vegetable garden, or just go for the bugs and worms? I was in my garden today and saw aphids on my peas and thought, "I sure wish my chickens could come eat all these pests..and maybe take care of some of this weeding..."

    Would it be a disaster? Do you let your chickens into the garden?
  2. Picco

    Picco Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    A few small banties can be aloud to enter the garden as long as the crops are established. It is not really the eating of the vegetables, its really the damage caused by the scratching that harms the plants. Standard sized birds in the garden would spell disaster as they will scracth up the ground knocking plants over and ultimately distroying your garden. I let a few small banties in my garden once in a while because they have smaller feet and do less harm. They eat the bugs so it works out nicely. Aphids are a little too small for the chickens to get at but they will eat catapillers and other pests.
  3. wynedot55

    wynedot55 Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    letting them run in your garden isnt a good idea.because when your maters start turning red they will peck at well as peck an pick at the other veggies your growing.
  4. Chickenmom

    Chickenmom In the Brooder

    Mar 17, 2007
    We only let our girls in the veggie garden when we have harvested what we want. We have Buff Orps and they love anything red. We enjoy the way they do our fall tidy up. Our girls will eat all plants, stalks, you name it. We grow marigolds in the summer for treats for them. The big buffet starts for them in the fall though![​IMG]
  5. Varisha

    Varisha Songster

    Mar 22, 2007
    I saw in a book where they made a pen that went between the rows of the garden. A few chickens would be put in the pen during the day to weed the path, eat any bugs that came into the pen, fertilize and stir up the dirt.
  6. Rooster01

    Rooster01 Songster

    Feb 25, 2007
    Southern WV
    Letting them run free in a garden isn't a good idea. They will scratch seeds up and will eat every tomatoe they can find.
  7. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Songster

    Mar 29, 2007
    Quote:This is what I ultimately had in mind, but I wasn't sure about just letting them roam the whole thing at will.
    Would be easier to just give them free range in there, but not at the expense of all my veggies.
  8. girlsnboys

    girlsnboys In the Brooder

    Mar 30, 2007
    Whidbey Island, WA
    My girls just hop over the fence into the garden whenever they please. I just put up temp chicken wire "fences" where i don't want them and they work around the rest of the areas. I always keep some chard and kale growing since they love them and will eat those plants and just eat the insects elsewhere. It takes a little planning, but we get along great in the garden. They hover next to me when I am working in there hoping to spot a worm or something good in the dirt. I talk to them and they talk back and I am never lonely working in the garden.
    1 person likes this.
  9. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Songster

    Mar 29, 2007
    Quote:What more could you ask for? I hear things like that and it makes me so anxious for my little ones to grow up and 'graduate' to their coop. Right now I only have one that is fond of me and I really enjoy spending time with her. I'm hoping that as soon as they are all together in the coop, the rest will follow her lead. She really is a sweetheart.
  10. Mac14

    Mac14 Songster

    Jul 21, 2012
    Northern California
    We have a very large garden and we have tomato's and raspberry's that grow like weeds. They don't eat or scratch them at all. So fun to watch them come out when you open their gate, they fly and jump around and try to show each other witch's one is boss. :)

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: