How to keep hens out of vegetable garden?

TeriS

In the Brooder
9 Years
Jan 28, 2010
87
2
39
Fort Wayne, Indiana
My hens free range and I just planted my garden a week ago, and they won't stay out of it. Has anyone found a good method for keeping them out? My husband doesn't want to fence the gardens and I don't want to keep them in their coop and run until the garden is mature enough to withstand their snacking. Suggestions??
 

justmeandtheflock

Overrun with ducklings :)
10 Years
May 27, 2009
3,194
5
189
NW NJ
Trust me, the garden will never be mature enough to withstand their snacking. You need to fence it in or keep the birds in. Last year the deer got to mine and destroyed it right before the tomatoes were ripe. As soon as the chickens saw what was left start to turn red they pecked holes in all of them. This year we have a fence.
 

Agnes the Wonder Chicken

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jun 2, 2011
23
1
22
Mims, Florida
The only thing that has worked for me is fencing unfortunately. It sure is ugly because I use the orange construction fence so it is easy to zip tie to stakes in the ground, not permanent. However, a vegetable garden is a lot of time, money and is truly a labor of love and I know I would hate it if it got torn up by the chickens. It is a 4 foot fence and they still get in every once in a while. I would love to know an alternate method as well.
 

coldupnorth

Songster
8 Years
May 11, 2011
2,261
74
211
N. MN
The garden will need a fence or the chickees will need to stay in. This is the surest way - even then they can be amazingly willful about getting those yummy garden treats.
 

featherz

Veggie Chick
10 Years
Mar 22, 2010
5,372
492
346
Saratoga County, NY
I think you have to fence it. No choice. And it better be a GOOD fence! LOL, learn from my mistake - I put up a 'lazy' fence this year with just four fence stakes and some chicken wire.. Big chickens have not managed to get in, so all is well, right? Nope, PLENTY of room for my little chicks to get under it and they can dig up stuff almost as good as mama.
 

Moxiechick

Songster
10 Years
Jan 15, 2010
802
20
131
Maine
We have our veggie garden fenced in with 2x4 welded wire fencing. It was pretty easy to put in. We got the green coated kind so it looks pretty good and will last longer as well. I've been letting the chickens free range in the evenings and I have to be vigilant about guarding my flower beds. Most of the time they scrounge around in the yard, but then they will suddenly do a sneak attack on a garden bed. The only thing that works to keep them out is me following them around going "whoa whoa whoa whoa!", "bup bup bup!", "scoot scoot!" and "hey!"
 

greenfamilyfarms

Big Pippin'
11 Years
Feb 27, 2008
8,650
91
303
Elizabethtown, NC
Keep the chickens in a run during the time veggies are coming off (especially tomatoes, unless you like peck marks in them). Or put up netting or fencing around the garden.
 

bywaterdog

Songster
11 Years
Dec 29, 2008
250
5
121
N.O.L.A.
Choices:

Fence the chickens in.

Fence in the garden.

The only way that I have found for chickens and veggies to coexist peacefully is to put them together in a pot and make gumbo...............
 

TeriS

In the Brooder
9 Years
Jan 28, 2010
87
2
39
Fort Wayne, Indiana
OK, Ok.....looks like fencing has to be done to save whatever is left of the garden.......Thanks so much!! I just can't keep the girls kept in through the summer in their coop!
 

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