letting chickens in the garden

Bram

Chirping
11 Years
May 7, 2009
55
0
92
Southeastern Illinois
I've had my ladies for about two years now, adding a few new hens last year. We are thinking of building raised beds this spring, maybe with hoops! So......chickens in my garden? What are the drawbacks? I can guess the benefits, but after they demolished the grass run in about 2 wks (then we had 6 hens), what will they do to my garden? Hope I've selected the right category to post this in...I'd like to hear your comments!
 

Rusty's Ranch

Songster
10 Years
Mar 25, 2009
185
2
113
So Cal
Ditto ... they will eat your bugs and your plants. We keep our garden beds fenced off and only let the girls in after the harvest.

If the plants are full grown, and your birds are supervised, they may be able to visit the garden for short periods without too much damage.
 

ChickFarmer

In the Brooder
9 Years
May 22, 2010
95
2
39
If you are going to use hoops you could cover them with bird netting. The chickens could then patrol the paths for slugs and bugs.
 

FlickiChicki

In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 10, 2011
15
0
22
If they are IN the plants, buh bye plants. Which is sometimes nice when a plant takes over, runs crazy and needs to die and die NOW. Stupid cucumber vine.

However, we pin bird net over the plants and let the chooks take over the paths to deal with the bug population. Plus the chance to roll in the nice, unrolled in dirt. Since you know, the dirt in the path way is SO much better than in their runs.
 

Chick Charm

Songster
10 Years
No one can say that our beloved chickens are truly vegetarian but put them in your garden and you won't believe that they can eat EVERYTHING to the dirt. Its like their in treat heaven while in your garden. My girls eat my cucumbers, love my Bok Choi, and eat even my Jalepeno peppers. Just say no, if you want to garden.
 

ROCKIN R FARM

Songster
11 Years
Dec 4, 2008
428
11
123
Rhome, Texas
my chickens must not be normal then. Last year I had a nice small garden going in the ground and raised beds they not once toched the veggies in the garden but did go around the plants and eat bugs. I even had several tomato plants as well and the same thing never saw them near it. hmmm wonder why?

going to plant this year too as soon as I get the energy to get out there and plant. Lets see what this year does. LOL
 

pascopol

Songster
11 Years
Jan 6, 2009
1,472
30
204
Tampa Bay
Obviously chickens will not eat tomato plant foliage as it is poisonous to warm blooded species, and chickens know what is edible what is not.

But they will scratch and dig up all the plants and ruin any vegetable garden quick.

Personally I found my chickens very beneficial for my citrus and peach trees.

I have about 10 citrus trees, 5 of them grow in the bounds of chicken run, 5 of them grow beyond chicken reach,

The ones "blessed" by chickens are greener and bear more fruit than the other ones although I fertilize and water all of them as needed.

I guess chickens destroy all grass and weeds competing with trees, also by scratching they instantly cultivate the root area and obviously the roots get constant supply of chicks poo fertilizer.

I also quit spraying my trees, since my chicks make sure there is no single bug on them like white flies, aphids or else.

Trees are happy and pay back giving chicks shade and quick hide from hawks.

Another word perfect symbiosis.

So forget about chickens in your garden, but move them to your orchard!
 

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