Keeping chickens from eating house? How to discourage chickens from certain areas

Judy Todd

Chirping
Dec 27, 2017
157
236
98
Yacolt Wa.
She's teaching my two new BOs her styrofoam pecking ways, unfortunately! They have a whole acre of things to peck, but clearly eating the house is more fun. At least it's just insulation foam and not structural or anything, I guess. :idunno

I thought about this, but would even hardware cloth be small enough mesh to keep them from just reaching through the holes and eating it anyway?
I had a problem with my chickens getinginto the narrow flower beds around the foundation, so I put out a row of one foot chicken wire about 6 inches from the foundation, lean in toward the house, worked like a charm,not pretty but will do the trick. You can stake it every 10 feet or so if necessare with sticks from your small trees.
 

Playfulroost

In the Brooder
Aug 16, 2020
9
13
18
Southeast Colorado
I am wondering, as I see the damage is up under the shingles, iif the chickens are eating bugs, not styrofoam. I am noticing that much of the damage is in the top area. The styrofoam is soft, so it gets damaged in the process. We used to spray red iodine on chickens backs if they got pecked badly. When a chicken went to peck them, they would get a taste of iodine, and it quickly broke them of the habit. There might be something like that you can spray on the house to teach your chickens not to peck at that area. Chickens have great memories, once they learn it tastes terrible they should stop.
 

rosemarythyme

Crossing the Road
Jul 3, 2016
12,608
23,447
792
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
I am wondering, as I see the damage is up under the shingles, iif the chickens are eating bugs, not styrofoam. I am noticing that much of the damage is in the top area. The styrofoam is soft, so it gets damaged in the process.
Chickens are known for loving styrofoam, so even if it started with them chasing bugs, they're probably also loving the styrofoam itself.
 

lysmandor

Songster
Mar 26, 2020
146
228
111
Lansing, NY
Chickens are known for loving styrofoam, so even if it started with them chasing bugs, they're probably also loving the styrofoam itself.
Honestly, I think that they're picking at the area under the shingles because the concrete 'paint' coating doesn't extend perfectly all the way up - since it was painted by a person there's some imperfections up under the edge of the shingles (at chicken eye level) and there's exposed styrofoam.
 

lysmandor

Songster
Mar 26, 2020
146
228
111
Lansing, NY
Thank you everyone for your ideas! I'm going to try out fixing the existing holes with mortar and then using a clear outdoor glue to stick a small gauge screening over the top of it - it's marketed for keeping squirrels and things out of vent holes so hopefully will hold up enough to chickens. I suspect that once they pick at it and fun styrofoam doesn't come off easily, they'll give up (I hope?!?!).

I'll let you all know how it works! I'm hoping to start with something cheap/easy (the above should only cost about $20) and not have to escalate to anything too ugly or drastic.
 

lysmandor

Songster
Mar 26, 2020
146
228
111
Lansing, NY
Just wanted to update if anyone else was having a similar problem - seems to be working great! We actually ended up using staples to hold the window screen against the foam. It's practically invisible - fingers crossed it holds up.

We're about a week in and it's all looking good, with the exception of one spot right in front of the front door that I think I didn't do a good job securing the screen, and it peeled off.
PXL_20201012_211057341.jpg
 

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