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gardening with chickens...help!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by clucky2, Sep 6, 2009.

  1. clucky2

    clucky2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 29, 2008
    NORCAL
    I'm a true BACKYARD chicken keeper, and love to garden. Of course this presents some challenges, but I'm determined to create some kind of balance. My chickens are let out in the yard for about 4 hrs. every day. This seems fair. I have NO snails or dandelions, YEA! I can put the veggie garden behind fencing, so that will work, but my flower beds are taking some abuse. Some plants are more chicken resistant than others, and I'm wondering if there isn't a list of plants that work better for chicken yards! I'm thinking of using rocks and mesh around sensitive areas.
    Ideas anyone?!
    Thanks , Cathy
     
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Shrubs, trees and fence

    My hens don't really mess with the plants. But I have wire fencing around the smaller plants, mostly to keep them from scratching the plants up.

    They haven't touched the unprotected Asian lilies, Iris, pond plants and rarely peck at the shrubs.

    Imp
     
  3. codybird

    codybird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2009
    Near Myrtle Beach
    You can only garden FOR chickens, unless you have a fence.
     
  4. Anny

    Anny Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2008
    Detroit Michigan
    When my chickens are out, I watch them carefully and if they get to close to the flowers I push to back to the grass. It works out nicely.
     
  5. BeardedLadyFarm

    BeardedLadyFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2009
    Cobleskill NY
    I would be interested in a list as well. They certainly seem to have their preferences.

    I started my garden, and my chickens this spring. They have taken out a good number of my plants, but not all... I've started fencing off sections of the garden so they don't eat the fall crops as well.

    My flowers and veggies are mixed. Here's my list of what's left standing

    Tomatoes
    Peppers (all varieties)
    Eggplant
    Brugmansia (angel trumpets)
    Datura
    Salvia (4 different species)
    Artichoke
    Cardoon
    Roses
    Plectranthus
    Hellebores
    Passionflower
    Bamboo
    Castor bean

    They devoured much more. Especially anything in the cabbage family, corn, squash, hostas, sedums, begonias, pansies.

    I will say that their compost is a nice addition. As I learn what they will leave alone, I aspire to have a real garden instead of a giant chicken run! Obviously, they take priority over the plant life.
     
  6. Hollywood Chickens

    Hollywood Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    Florida
    thing that have lived in my garden
    mulberry
    pomegranate (a few nips but nothing big)
    ROSES!! they never touch the roses
    rosemary
    marigolds
    summer squash
    citrus
    collards (on less they are hungry)
    watermelon
    Jasmine

    and things that they will eat to death
    okra
    peppers
    zucchini
    blueberries
    blackberries
    eggplant leaves
    cucumbers
    dollar weed!
    any sprouts and seedlings
     
  7. bluie

    bluie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 18, 2007
    I have just about given up. I put up plastic fencing to protect my little raised bed garden and they just go over or under it. One hen has decided she likes to lay her egg in my herb garden. Between the chickens and the raccoons, my little garden is not doing well. I have done well with green beans, beets, daikon, and cukes. As far as herbs go, the mints, of course, have done well. Tomatoes are shot, rosemary trampled, as are basils, dill, cilantro, can't get carrots big enough to withstand the critters. Oh, well, I knew that this year would be kind of a learning experience. Experience tells me that I need to completely enclose the garden area, top and sides.
     
  8. Hollywood Chickens

    Hollywood Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    Florida
    Quote:I know what you mean I put up a 6 foot fence around my veg. garden and they still got over it!
     
  9. GardeNerd

    GardeNerd Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am a crazy gardener and I still love my chickens. After 9 months, the chickens and I have learned to coexist together. I built my veggie garden fence a little tighter between the pickets so they couldn't squeeze in there whenever they wanted to anymore. I use small pieces of chicken wire, with a hole for a plant, on the ground with new transplants. And as I replace things, the new plants I put in are deer resistant and drought tolerant plants.

    If I want to keep things tidy, sometimes I use 1 to 4 portable dog exercise pens and bird netting to confine them. I also use the pens connected like fencing to keep them off the patio. The chickens do make sure I get my cardio work out--- the chickens daily scratch out the mulch from the beds and every evening I rake it back in.

    My chickens have not eaten these in my backyard:
    Heliotrope
    Agapanthus
    Lavendar
    Salivias
    Iris
    Nandina Domestica (heavenly bamboo)
    Camillias
    Pittosporum
    Clivia
    Purple Heuchera (coral bells, but they ate my green leafed coral bells)
    Lambs Ears
    Sedum "Autumn Joy"
    Leather leaf ferns
    Osteospemum
    Calla lilies
    Asperagas fern
    Japanese Anenome
    Amarillys Belladona (naked ladies)
    Lantana
    Citrus
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009
  10. SimplyForties

    SimplyForties Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2009
    Carroll County, Va
    I built a hoop house for the garden and covered it in row cover. Keeps the chickens AND the bugs out!
     

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