Keeping my 4 year old chickens out of my new garden

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by BLXchickens, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. BLXchickens

    BLXchickens New Egg

    Sep 11, 2012
    Hi everyone,

    I am totally new to all of this, I adopted 3 chickens from some friends a few months ago and am learning as I go, with a lot of help from this forum.

    I have seen other posts on this topic but I was hoping for some advice specific to my chickens. I need to put up a fence of some sort to keep the girls out of the garden I just planted - how high does it need to be? I have 2 Americana's and 1 whose breed I don't know, they are about 4 years old.

    They have never shown any interest in the garden before - I had melons, tomatoes, and basil planted and they ignored them completely. They have a huge yard to roam around in, a giant compost pile they love with every ounce of their being, fig and pomegrante trees to glean from...the garden is nothing compared to their other options, I figured. But when I planted the garden, one of the chickens immediately ripped up all my kale and broccoli seedlings. I've never seen them fly, I don't know if their wings were clipped, I've seen them jump up to a stoop maybe about a foot and a half off the ground.

    I don't really think they care that much about the garden so I'm inclined to just put up a 2 foot fence around the perimeter, but I also don't want to waste my energy/time/money if they are just going to hop over it. What do you guys think?

    Also, how much longer are these girls going to live? One of their same-age compaƱeras is already in chicken heaven, i'm told.

  2. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2008
    Oh, just wait until they figure out that there is good stuff in that garden. Mine would wantonly destroy everything in sight if I didn't have them behind a pasture fence. They particularly love to peck holes in all my long-season heirloom tomatoes that I've waited all summer for, and to destroy my watermelons.

    You could certainly try a two foot fence for now--however, if they decide they like the garden, a two foot fence won't deter them. You'll need something like a 4' fence AND to clip their wings. I've had unclipped birds roost 10' up in my loft, and they fly right over my 4' fence if I don't clip their wings.

    Wing clipping is easy. You hold the wing out straight and use a pair of scissors to cut off the primary flight feathers just below the primary coverts. Won't hurt them, no blood, and you'll have to do it again once they moult.

    Hens can live to be fairly old--8-10 years or so.
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    We also have deer. The deer were the primary reason we fence our gardens. The light weight, easy to put up- take down, deer netting also keeps the chicken out, handily.

    Last edited: Sep 11, 2012
  4. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2008

    Ooooh, nice! Does it deter rabbits and raccoon? I've fenced the hens into a pasture, but am still unable to grow beets, edamame, or chard because of the darned rabbits. The coons just eat the tomatoes.

    (wait, what am I thinking? Nothing deters raccoons.)
  5. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    That is a great fence. Don't waste your time with anything less than 6 feet. Mine is only 4 feet but I have fat lazy orpingtons that can't be bothered to fly that. When I have younger ones though, they do.

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