gardening with chickens


Free Ranging
6 Years
Mar 5, 2017
hi i make a garden every year and this year im going to make it in the yard with my chickens will they eat the plants i like to plant peppers and tomatos will they eat them do you have any tips for gardening with chickens
My main tip is to fence the chickens out. Either fence the chickens in a run or fence them out of the garden. If you mulch (and I highly recommend you do) the chickens will scratch that all over the place looking for treats. They might eat very young tomatoes and pepper plants, they might not. Once they get older those plants will have a bitter taste that discourages them eating the plants. That's nature's way of telling them not to eat those plants because they are somewhat poisonous if they eat much of them, but one bite won't harm the chickens. But they will highly likely take a few bites out of any tomato that starts to get ripe and mine also love ripe peppers.

They love to scratch in dirt and take dust baths. They are likely to eat anything you plant as it sprouts and will peck at a lot of other plants. Yep, a fence is probably in your future.
Yes, chickens will eat everything you plant that's food. And they will eat it fast. Once I had a window lettuce garden, a rectangular pot about ten inch by two feet long. I decided to give it to the chickens and I timed how long it took them to eat every lettuce plant down to soil level. Five minutes. Locusts have nothing on chickens for mowing down plants.
However, you can garden with chickens, they can enter the garden after the harvest is over, or early in the spring. I also use chicken bedding as mulch in my garden with the theory that the chickens have removed all the weed seed from it (kind of). However, as stated, in less than 20 minutes, they will demolish a freshly planted garden.

However, I have raised baby chicks in an established garden, they ate grasshoppers and slept under bean plants. They could not scratch hard enough to cause damage to established pets. I would put a cardboard box out there, with them in it, let them out. At dark, they would all return to the box.

Mrs K

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