Keeping chickens out of my garden.

razorbackmom

In the Brooder
May 5, 2015
18
1
26
Arkansas
I need some tips or tricks on keeping my chickens out of my garden! We purchased and electric fence only to find out it apparently does not work on chickens, sheesh!
barnie.gif
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,622
15,042
821
Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
I need some tips or tricks on keeping my chickens out of my garden! We purchased and electric fence only to find out it apparently does not work on chickens, sheesh!
barnie.gif

What sort of "electric fence" are you trying to use? Regular livestock type electric fencing is rather impractical for poultry applications, as you have discovered.
What size, age and breeds of birds are you trying to keep out? This will play into the type/size of wire that would be best suited as smaller breeds or young chicks can go through openings that would keep larger/adult birds contained. Your best, and least expensive, option for keeping birds in or out of a particular area is going to be old fashioned poultry netting (chicken wire). It tends to have the smallest openings of the lighter weight materials and would keep all but the smallest of chicks safely out. However, the downside is it is not that hardy so if you don't want to need to replace it every couple of years (depending on your tolerance for a less than new sort of appearance aesthetically) you may want to consider something a little heavier duty such as 2x4 weld wire/field fencing - or smaller "rabbit wire" fencing - the cost does go up, though, and the 2x4 wire would allow birds bigger than tiny chicks to get through, ie young pullets/cockerels, but birds of a few months or more in age should be fairly contained.
 

SwoopKing

In the Brooder
Mar 15, 2015
27
5
44
New Hampshire
Your best bet is probably just a standard fence around it. That will help keep other animals out too. It needs posts that the chickens won't be able to slip through and tall enough they won't realize they can jump over it. I can imagine an electric fence is wide enough a chicken could slip under. You may find embedding chicken wire with the fence (non electric) would do the trick if the fence posts are too wide. You can get some ideas from googling "chicken proof garden fence" :)
 

razorbackmom

In the Brooder
May 5, 2015
18
1
26
Arkansas
We have full grown production reds, barred rocks and buff orpington chickens. 14 hens and 1 rooster. They just shimmy in between the strands of electric fence we put up. Chicken wire is good in theory but I am wondering if it would have to be super tall to keep them from hopping over it and then we are going to have to "jump the fence" when we want in and out of the garden. A fence will probably be the only option but I was just hoping someone would have some random old wives tale that I hadn't thought of yet. :)
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
27,005
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
You either need electric poultry netting, or standard fencing. I keep mine out of the garden with deer fencing. It comes in a 7' high roll, can easily be cut with a pair of scissors, so you end up with 2 lengths of 3.5' x 100. Easy to put up with light weight fiberglass posts, use clothes pins to clip it at the top, and 4" wire staples to hold it down at the bottom. The chickens don't see it, so they bounce off it a few times, then learn to avoid it.
 

gardenguard

Hatching
Mar 7, 2017
3
0
6
I have an issue as well only I think mine is red squirres well tree rats in general. Last yr by 4th of July my corn was chest hight,start to tossel getting excited for some good home grown corn,go out one morning to find it all laying on the ground stalks chewed threw about 6-8" off the ground I searched for tracks thinking coons no tracks, pulled it all replanted put 2x4 welded wire around just my corn and same thing happened. Thinking it's gotta be squirrels. If I could I'd put enough juice to cook whatever touched it but I no it don't work that way. Any thoughts or suggestions my growing season starts in about a month. Thank you in advance
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
27,005
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
I have an issue as well only I think mine is red squirres well tree rats in general. Last yr by 4th of July my corn was chest hight,start to tossel getting excited for some good home grown corn,go out one morning to find it all laying on the ground stalks chewed threw about 6-8" off the ground I searched for tracks thinking coons no tracks, pulled it all replanted put 2x4 welded wire around just my corn and same thing happened. Thinking it's gotta be squirrels. If I could I'd put enough juice to cook whatever touched it but I no it don't work that way. Any thoughts or suggestions my growing season starts in about a month. Thank you in advance
I don't believe that was squirrel damage. More likely ground hog. But, I would expect them to go after your beans (if you planted any) first.
 

gardenguard

Hatching
Mar 7, 2017
3
0
6
Ground hogs would have left tracks to some degree and yes had beans squash cukes,all kinds of stuff plus woodchucks aren't much for scaling 4 foot fencing idk corn is my favorite garden food and I've never gotten a good crop
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
27,005
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
INteresting. I've had ground hog get in my garden, never saw tracks. And yes, they can climb fences, though their most common MO is to dig under. Perhaps you have trolls. Was your corn merely tasseling, or was it silking?
 

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