Help!Chickens ruining flower bed!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by imriu1969, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. imriu1969

    imriu1969 Out Of The Brooder

    33
    0
    32
    Mar 31, 2009
    SE Ohio
    I have a few lovely flower beds that our chickens love to dig and do dust baths in. We tried putting a deep layer of mulch on them and they still do it. So.....we gave them their OWN big area of mulch, near their coup, and they still choose my flower beds. I learnt last year that they will ruin my vegetable garden, so this year we have electric fence around it. But...I don't want to "electrify" my flower beds since I sit on the porch and view my lovely flowers bloom. The idea of looking through electric fencing is not what I had in mind. Is their something I can put in the mulch that will "deter" them from my flower beds? Or is their something that we can put in THEIR mulch pile that will "attract" them to it instead??? Chicken pheremones????? HA HA. [​IMG] Any advice would be appreciated....Help me save my favorite Lillies.[​IMG]
     
  2. zatsdeb

    zatsdeb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 2, 2007
    Lincoln, Illinois
    my flower gardens are fenced in for that reason, plus to keep my goats and deer out of them, the vegie garden is fenced in also. welded wire, no hot wire. guineas won't tear up the gardens like chickens.
    I put new mulch on my front garden last year, and it was fenced, well the chickens got in by the gate, was a space big enough for them, they scattered mulch all over the sidewalk, like a tornado hit!!!
    we put a board on that space so now they can't get in.
     
  3. tazcat70

    tazcat70 I must be crazy!

    I don't know of any pheromones but if you had a small fence around them they would stay out. I put a 2 foot fence around my tomatoes and they stay out. If you have a heavy breed I bet a 1 ft fence would even keep em out.

    Good luck
     
  4. TexasVet

    TexasVet Chillin' With My Peeps

    905
    2
    148
    Nov 12, 2008
    Willis TX
    I use the umbrella method... sneak up on them while they're in the flower bed and quickly pop an umbrella open and closed a few times. A black one works best. They think it's a large predator bird coming after them and will quickly fly, flap, squawk out of there. Even had one fly over the roof of the house it was so scared.

    This generally keeps them away from the area for a day or two. When they come back, do it again. Over time, they learn that it's a danger zone.

    Good luck!

    Kathy, Bellville TX
    www.CountryChickens.com
     
  5. imriu1969

    imriu1969 Out Of The Brooder

    33
    0
    32
    Mar 31, 2009
    SE Ohio
    Thanks for the quick responses!! Last year I did try spraying them with the water hose when they tried to get in the flower beds. That only worked for a few hours. I think I am going to try the umbrella idea!! I love this forum!!![​IMG]
     
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    5,719
    42
    283
    May 8, 2007
    Wisconsin
    I find that mature perennials hold up better than annuals. More densely planted beds work better for me, also. Tiny annuals without much for roots and a lot of open space between them never do well if the chickens take an interest.

    You could also try protecting the plants a little more in the early part of spring, until they get more established, if other methods don't work. Putting something like branches into the ground, in between the plants might work. Anything you could poke into the ground or set on the ground, that would keep them from having so much open space to dust bathe in. Maybe even some decorative rocks. Not huge, just large enough to get in the way of a good fluffy bath.

    I think sometimes the chickens are attracted to the peat moss, as well as any lighter, fluffier amended soil. I used a peatier soil-less mix in one of my pots last year and the girls took it over. Then I remembered one of the people on the forum saying they gave their chickens peat moss to dust bathe in. I'm a believer in that one now!

    Good luck with your flower beds!
     
  7. fowl weathered friend

    fowl weathered friend Out Of The Brooder

    91
    0
    39
    Oct 1, 2008
    Tucson, AZ
    I highly recommend bird/poultry netting from Lowes or Home Depot. It's pretty cheap, and we put stakes around our garden, leaving a little space between the potential plant growth and the perimeter. Then you simply drape your netting around the stakes. Our stakes are about 4ft high (harder for chickens to perch on, etc) and our makeshift fence is staple-gunned into these posts/stakes.
    We also bought these super cheap from a hardware store in the lumber section--they can cut it to your specifications.
    We can still water the plants through the sides and over the top, and for thinning/pruning access:
    Hammer a few, small nails into ONE post at regular intervals. You don't need many. When you drape your netting, cut to the appropriate size and hook the last edge to the pole using these nails. When you want to thin, weed, etc, you just unhook from this one section. The rest stays staple-gunned in place.

    If you have a small flower bed you can use smaller stakes, and then use the poultry netting to cover the sides as well as the top.
    Another option a friend told me aobut for smaller flower beds/areas is to create a wood frame that fits the are of your flower bed, and then cover all but the bottom in poultry netting. Now you have an easily removable, chicken proof box with which to cover your plants!

    Poutry netting comes in vinyl or steel, but the vinyl seems easier to work with.
    Hope that helps!
     
  8. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    5,719
    42
    283
    May 8, 2007
    Wisconsin
    Edited to delete duplicate post. I had some kind of error. Sorry!
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2009
  9. KiminVA

    KiminVA Out Of The Brooder

    22
    0
    22
    Apr 8, 2009
    Bedford County
    Kinda makes you wonder about what free range means doesn't it. I told someone from here today that for my chickens it means running to the front porch to hang out. I mean they have nearly 20 acres for pete's sake. I do the umbrella thing too but it would only scare one of my chickens, and we don't have her anymore. The rest, especially oldest roo, just look at me like I'm nuts. Not all my chickens are old enough for free ranging and some are confined to a hugh field with welded wire. Only about 10 right now get to porch sit---I mean free range.[​IMG]
     
  10. KiminVA

    KiminVA Out Of The Brooder

    22
    0
    22
    Apr 8, 2009
    Bedford County
    2nd attempt to get duplicate to delete. Sorry folks.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2009

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by