How do you keep your chickens out of your garden?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by imthedude, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. imthedude

    imthedude Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a few birds that still manage to get into my garden no matter how hard I try to keep them out. Before long I'll have ripe strawberries and a little after that ripe tomatoes. I know those will be chicken magnets.

    My current setup is a 3.5' fence around the garden, and a 4.5' fence around the chicken pen. All wings are clipped, and three of the birds still manage to escape from the pen everyday and get into the garden at some point. Things I've thought of to try are running a wire along the top of each of the fences and electrifying said wire if it doesn't work unelectrified. Any advice at all is appreciated. I'm at my wits end for something to do aside from getting rid of the birds that continue to get into the garden.
     
  2. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    The electrified wire sounds good. I'd cover their run though. That will serve as well to protect them better from predators.
     
  3. Donner

    Donner Out Of The Brooder

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    I just have strawberries, and they are not ripe yet. But, my garden beds are surrounded by a 3ft fence. The chickens could get in if they wanted to, but have not made the attempt, yet. My best guess is there are more interesting things in the yard, than my garden beds.
     
  4. imthedude

    imthedude Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:you would think the same applies to our yard, as they have 3/4 of an acre to roam, but they can/will get into the garden. it's like the forbidden fruit that they just have to have.
     
  5. fiddleblue

    fiddleblue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you spent any time observing the birds, gotten any ideas how they get out of the coop? They might find a hole and crawl through, or stand on something and jump/fly out. In my opinion it's best to have, as I do, a totally enclosed coop, wire walls 6 ft high, wire roof, so that no predators can get in. I do let my chickens out into the "garden" to browse, but I put 3 ft fences around all vegetable beds and so far they have not jumped in. Chickens love to browse, and forage, and if they get a chance to do that in the yard generally they might be able to stay away from the veggies. If I were you I'd do a test: put one chicken or two out in the yard, outside the coop but not in the enclosed veggie part. Then observe how they get into the vegetable area and work to correct the problem.
     
  6. imthedude

    imthedude Chillin' With My Peeps

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    covering the run isn't a bad idea, but it's 25 x 75, so it would take a lot of netting or something else to cover it.
     
  7. My guess would be, if they are still flying with clipped wings a)can you clip some more feathers off? and b) electric wire or netting. I had one barred rock that got out of my 4 ft electric netting 3 times. I clipped the poor things wings closer each time -- avoiding the quick part of course, and by the end she could barely make it up on a roost -- but she quit flying over the fence. The fence has shocked all the chickens now, so they just stay away from it. I think if I had some of the more wild bantam breeds I might not have as much success either. You could try using VHS tape along the tops and bottoms of the fences -- I saw that on someones post -- if you stretch it tight it make a buzz in the wind that freaks the chickens out -- but I haven't tried that myself. Since you already have fences it might be helpful.

    Or, you could sell the 3 explorers . . .
     
  8. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm really surprised. I have a 4' chicken wire fence around mine and they never get in, even though they free-range my backyard all day long. I even have a compost bin sitting right next to the vegie garden (see pic). They frequently jump up onto the compost bin and could easily jump into the garden from there but never do.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Nonny

    Nonny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you can't put wire over the run, how about putting wire over your garden bed instead?

    So far I've been lucky and the chooks have yet to discover the "other half" of my yard around the front of the house where I put my vege garden, even when I've accidentally left the gate open. If they ever do figure it out though I'll be fencing my vege patch in quick smart, and putting a big net over the top of it. No one dares to eat my nice fresh sugarsnap peas before I do! LOL
     

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