Keeping chickens out of mulched beds

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by EggyErin, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. EggyErin

    EggyErin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2011
    N. Ga mountains
    I know, I know, silly even to think about it. However, my birds scratch up every bit of mulch around our trees and they're getting into the roots on some. I'm thinking of mulching then putting wire or something on top. I want something that will keep them from being able to scratch but that won't cause a hurt leg or foot when they try to scratch. Any suggestions or ideas?
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Chickens are tough on landscaping. One almost has to fence them off and keep them contained, away from flower beds, mulch, etc.
  3. hickchick55

    hickchick55 Chillin' With My Peeps

    After my chickens totally destroyed my hosta beds, I mulched and laid chicken wire down. It has saved the roots, but in the spring I will have to take it up and install chicken wire upright so they can't get to them at all. I have mulched young trees that I had to do the same thing to. Free range chickens and a beautiful landscaped yard have a hard time co-existing in my experience. I have even put off the pond that I had been coveting BC (before chickens).
  4. Pinky

    Pinky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    South GA
    I had to put a fence of bird netting up around my palm trees to keep my chickens from scattering the mulch.
  5. EggyErin

    EggyErin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2011
    N. Ga mountains
    This doesn't sound very promising.... So does chicken wire sound safe enough for covering the mulch (in terms of not injuring feet)?
  6. ralleia

    ralleia Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2011
    Omaha, NE
    The chicken wire should be perfectly safe to the chickens, and not injure their feet or anything else. When they figure out it's hard to scratch there, they'll go somewhere else. Assuming the mesh is small enough to discourage them.

    I tried covering my planting beds with a fine mesh netting, which worked to stop the chickens, but then I couldn't weed, or plant there, and as the plants grew up they got entangled in the netting.

    This year I'll try either electric fence or keeping the chickens penned.
  7. CluckyJay

    CluckyJay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 23, 2011
    Crossville, Tennessee
    I put rocks around the mulched areas and it kept them out. You gotta really add a lot of rocks though. Chickens are evil. :(
  8. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Chickens and mulched beds are the same as cats and a sandbox - irresistible attractions.

    Deer netting, a tough plastic alternative to chicken wire can be laid down over mulch. As the plants grow, you will need to rig the netting or wire into a vertical fence. It needn't be high, two or three feet is adequate. Chickens won't try to fly over something unless there's a solid place to land on top to enable them to jump down from.

    However, as I watched one lazy afternoon, content in the knowledge I had protected my planting beds with a chicken-proof barrier, a small but determined hen proceeded to dig a hole on the outside of the fencing, and in just a minute an a half, she was under the fence and inside, triumphantly tossing mulch and newly rooted plants every-which-way.

    My hens don't free-range now during growing season.

    By the way, I use electric wire to keep out bears from my gardens, but the hot wire doesn't seem to phase the chickens at all when they brush up against it.
  9. Slinglings

    Slinglings Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2012
    Seattle 98125
    I am using large rocks to border paths and gardens to keep mulch in, and at the base of some plants to protect roots. It isn't perfect, but it's helping a lot.
  10. TessaBritian

    TessaBritian New Egg

    Apr 1, 2013
    I have had some success with putting down mulch then putting the plastic "chicken wire" over the top and putting bricks / rocks on the corners. I was hoping to find some other ideas, but I didn't see any. It is a bit of work to pull weeds once this is installed. However, it is supposed to be a hot dry summer.

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