Free ranging....in my FLOWERBEDS!!!

Yard full o' rocks

Songster
10 Years
Mar 24, 2009
2,985
188
233
Cartersville, Georgia
Help....we live on about 20 acres and I love to let my BO flock free range during the day. They have a field (clover, wheat, rye, etc) and about 15+ acres of woods to roam in, that excludes our yard. However, they seem to always wind up in my flowerbeds.
I am a pretty avid gardener and the flowerbeds always look nice this time of year. My DW was ready to put them all in the stewpot yesterday when she found them all digging in her bed of petunias. Does anyone have any deterents that work for keeping your chickens out of a certain area? I hate to leave them "locked up" in their run all the time when we have the land (and NO neighbors) to let them roam ....just gotta find a way to get them scratching and digging somewhere else. Help.....
 

Chicks_N_Horses

Songster
10 Years
Mar 30, 2009
2,722
9
191
South Alabama
Chickens + Flower beds/Gardens = Dead Flowers/Gardens


Fence around your planted areas. My birds have a 4 acre free range area that they free range in due to them messing up flower beds. Electric fencing works....
 

Schultz

CluckN'Crow Farm
11 Years
Aug 5, 2008
3,837
27
221
Indianapolis
Our girls do the same thing and nothing has really worked until this year. We have wild strawberries that grow like crazy in one part of the flowerbed so DH just let them grow this year and the girls seem to focus mostly on that part of the bed, they still scratch around elsewhere but really go for the berries for the most part! Hope that helps!
 

Renee'

Songster
10 Years
Feb 8, 2009
337
2
131
Yucaipa, CA
I have a 5' chain link fence separating "my" back yard from the "farm" backyard and yesterday I looked out the kitchen window and saw Ginger (EE) waltzing across the top of the fence! Don't plan on keeping them out of the flower beds with a fence.
 
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CMV

Flock Mistress
10 Years
Apr 15, 2009
6,770
171
281
I keep my birds occupied for hours by having an area where I dump all my fall leaves, yard waste and flower garden debris. This area- not really compost- is their favorite spot. Oh, I still need to occasionally shoo them out of my garden, but not nearly as much as you would guess. They just scratch and scratch and scratch in those old leaves most of the time they are free ranging.
 

Brindlebtch

Songster
10 Years
Apr 15, 2009
5,539
11
248
Texas
Fencing. I had to fence mine off with plastic covered green 2x4 and 36" high welded wire. Because looking in to the garden is so green you can't really see the wire.

Oh, I also clipped one wing on each hen to make sure they couldn't make it over the wire fence. If they could, they would, the stinkers.
 
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GoldenSilverLaced

Songster
10 Years
May 1, 2009
161
3
119
East Central IL
Mine love the garden, but we manage to get them to leave it alone by offering an alternative: the mulch beds. I think giving them specifically a space to scratch without grass. just dirt or compost or leaves, etc. may help.
 

citrusdreams

Songster
10 Years
May 4, 2009
586
7
129
Instead of wood mulch or pea gravel, we top-bedded with rock. They're jagged edges, like big gravel, and the chickens haven't bothered the garden since.

I've seen all kinds of different landscaping rocks/stones. You want something that's not that small that they can scratch and dust in it. But big enough that it would be uncomfortable for them to do so.

Also, not too long ago, someone started a thread that listed flowers and plants that the chickens never bothered. Maybe you could replace some of what you have with a type of plant or flower than the chickens won't find appetizing. For example, they don't bother my roses, or my lilacs, or my jasmine, or butterfly bushes.
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
12 Years
Nov 18, 2007
22,824
13,409
641
Florida
My Coop
I fenced in my birds because they were getting in my gardens and scratching up and eating my newly planted plants and tearing up and spreading out my mulch piles. It was either fence in the gardens or the chickens. The chickens lost. They have a nice big yard.
 

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