garden chickens

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9 Years
Feb 23, 2010
Central Washington
I just bought the book 'city chicks' by Patricia Foreman and have been reading about using chickens to aid in gardening (pest control, fertilizer, etc..) Sounds awesome! I have a fenced off garden (about 28x28) area that would LOVE some chicken help BUT the fence is only about 4 feet high. I'm thinking that a full grown chicken could easily flap over that. Am I right? Maybe I'll be able to free range my younger chicks in there (closely supervised) before they can flap that high? (I'm thinking that I want them picking out weed seeds, scratching around and pooing all they can before I plant)

I'm thinking that I could make a moveable a frame with hardware cloth or chicken wire to keep a chicken or two under periodically after the garden's planted (so they would still have the regular coop and run to live in, but get a little 'garden vacation' occasionally) so they don't destroy my plants, do you think that would work? How big do you think it would need to be for 1-2 chickens? (And like I said, I'm just planning on them having a little outing there, and not leaving them there 12 hours a day or anything).

Any thoughts and experiences would be greatly appreciated!

Oh, BTW: I live in the middle of the city (it's a small city, so don't think NYC or anything...don't even think suburb. VERY small, one gas station, little mom and pop grocery store, etc..) so I need to make sure that I don't have any escapee's so no matter what I do there will definately be a lot of supervision during the testing phases.


ETA: sorry about that guys. I meant to post this in flock management....I'll repost there. Just ignore me.
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What will you do with the chickens when you have your garden planted? They won't be able to be in the garden because they will eat EVERYTHING.

I've seen some designs where you have a coop and a run on each side of the coop. You rotate your garden planting every year to the other run, and the chickens get the empty one. Then switch and the chickens get the other one, and you have fertile dirt for planting.

That was my thought also. Until my girls found a small opening in my garden fence when I wasnt looking and they ate almost all my tomatoes. I even had a 4 1/2 ft plastic fence to keep them in my yard. Well my Faverolles are really smart escape artist, they used their little beaks to chip away a oval size hole through the bottom of the fence. At first I thought no way so I covered it and when I got home from work next day, There they were in neighbors garden eating her tomatoes (this is what I look like)
when I saw another perfect oval hole and all the Favs running back through the new hole . My neighbor not so happy, just said, "Oh well at least they ate the ones I was going to give you"
To answer your question no they are not good in garden only in beginning before you plant and especailly in fall for clean up duty.
They destroyed my garden! I had them free range and they ate everything. It was horrible and i made them a pen! I just scoop their litter/poo and put it in the compost pile. then add to my garden as needed.
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