How do I keep the chickens out of the flowerbeds?

daproper

In the Brooder
Apr 13, 2010
70
0
39
Michigan
My chickens seem to be wandering a bit this year and have taken to the neighbor's flower beds. Is there anyway we can safely keep them from digging in her flowers?

Thanks
 

Birdybooo

In the Brooder
Apr 6, 2013
51
4
33
Vic, Aust
My chickens used to free range but they ate everything in the vegie patch (especially the tomatoes) ad dug up everything else. Nothing grew. In the end we had to build them a run that goes around the vegie patch. Worked a treat.
 

appps

Crowing
6 Years
Aug 29, 2012
4,773
619
301
Australia
I've got bantams but mine seem to need very little in the way of fencing to keep them in or out. I have some cheap plastic mesh stuff about 600mm high (I can step over it) and I've just used bamboo stakes to hold it up and I've used that to make a little run around the garden I don't want them in.

Don't ask me why but they don't try and jump over it. They just wander elsewhere.

I'm shortly going to be adding some larger breed faverolles to the flock so will be interesting to see if they are just as silly. So could depend on size of your birds but its not a real expensive thing to try
 
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Spikes Chooks

Songster
Sep 10, 2012
362
19
103
Sydney, Australia
As it's your neighbours beds they get into, IMO definitely fence it. They can make such a devestating mess over time, it is not good for friendly human relationships. After the flowers are gone, they can dig their way to.... the middle of the earth.

We have fences with neighbours and in our own garden a combination of:

Full metal wire cage structure over the vegie patch, which we did to keep local wildlife out pre-chickens. Thank goodness

Around new or low shrubs etc, I place cobbles or bricks around the stem, to stop them digging at the root ball.

We have mulched soil paths next to concrete paths and decks. Their digging throws the mulch and soil over the paths and decks. I put down a 1 meter wide strip of hard plastis bird netting and peg it down with cheap tent pegs. Keeps them far enough away to not make a mess where people walk.

I use the same stuff in a cylinder shape to protect plants in pots, or low plants that they want to devour. I also put it over groundcover but need to raise it onto a frame, or they use their bodyweight to pin the netting down and eat the groundcover through it.

You'll soon find out what their favourites are - and what the best option is to protect it. We have a large suburban backyard and a few months of observing them and trying different tactics for different areas has left us with a fairly good compromise. They can be chickens, but the most precious plants and human activity areas are protected from the worst of their feeding and excavation skills.

Sort it out early before it gets worse, is my personal advice. I started out completely chilled, then realised I needed to exert some fair, non-harmful controls, or they would completely ruin the whole garden!

Good luck
 
Apr 8, 2008
4,210
500
328
Ohio
As it's your neighbours beds they get into, IMO definitely fence it. They can make such a devestating mess over time, it is not good for friendly human relationships. After the flowers are gone, they can dig their way to.... the middle of the earth.

We have fences with neighbours and in our own garden a combination of:

Full metal wire cage structure over the vegie patch, which we did to keep local wildlife out pre-chickens. Thank goodness

Around new or low shrubs etc, I place cobbles or bricks around the stem, to stop them digging at the root ball.

We have mulched soil paths next to concrete paths and decks. Their digging throws the mulch and soil over the paths and decks. I put down a 1 meter wide strip of hard plastis bird netting and peg it down with cheap tent pegs. Keeps them far enough away to not make a mess where people walk.

I use the same stuff in a cylinder shape to protect plants in pots, or low plants that they want to devour. I also put it over groundcover but need to raise it onto a frame, or they use their bodyweight to pin the netting down and eat the groundcover through it.

You'll soon find out what their favourites are - and what the best option is to protect it. We have a large suburban backyard and a few months of observing them and trying different tactics for different areas has left us with a fairly good compromise. They can be chickens, but the most precious plants and human activity areas are protected from the worst of their feeding and excavation skills.

Sort it out early before it gets worse, is my personal advice. I started out completely chilled, then realised I needed to exert some fair, non-harmful controls, or they would completely ruin the whole garden!

Good luck
IMO, this is way too much work-- Far better to make a chicken run than have to armor your entire property! We have a pasture--four feet high, 4" hole woven goat fence will keep them where they belong if you clip wings. If you have a small area, you can make a run that's entirely enclosed with mesh and then they aren't going anywhere, but our chicken pasture is 75' x 125'. If you want it to look really nice, you can do a nicer looking wooden fence and then put chicken wire on the inside of it so it's hidden.
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium member
8 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
3,877
581
Southern Oregon
I agree, please be a good chicken neighbor and fence your birds in. While you may love the idea of your birds roaming freely, I'm sure your neighbor does not. You may start coming up short birds before long, you sure would if they came onto my place.
 
Apr 8, 2008
4,210
500
328
Ohio
I agree, please be a good chicken neighbor and fence your birds in. While you may love the idea of your birds roaming freely, I'm sure your neighbor does not. You may start coming up short birds before long, you sure would if they came onto my place.
LOL, yes, your birds would "disappear" if they came to my house and dug up my garden, too.

Also keep in mind that if your birds bother the neighbors, this is how anti-chicken ordinances are made. Roaming, destructive chickens from one family can ruin chicken-keeping for a whole neighborhood. No amount of free eggs in the world can make up for a neighbor's chickens in your vegetable garden or in your carefully mulched flower beds. Heck, when MY chickens got out and went into MY OWN garden, I walked around grumbling and thinking about huge stock pots full of chicken soup all day. Stupid chickens scratched up my lovely garlic, grumble grumble grumble.
 
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