My Chickens & My Garden

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MollyBlane1, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. MollyBlane1

    MollyBlane1 In the Brooder

    Feb 7, 2012
    I know you might read this and think I am stupid to even ask...I know I probably should not have my garden near my chickens....but....

    I let my chickens out to free range in the afternoons & evenings. They, of course, go after my bed of greens. :( I have heard that planting marigolds can keep out some hungry wildlife, but will this work to keep chickens out? I was going to invest in marigolds anyway, but if they will help to keep the chickens out, I will get tons!

    Any gardening advice would be great - even what is dangerous to have in the garden...
  2. ChicKat

    ChicKat Crowing Premium Member

    If you could fence your garden, or at least the things that can be destroyed by chickens.... Or pen your chickens in a portable pen so that they can still scratch around...but not go where you don't want them to???

    I have a netting fence designed for chickens...and surprisingly --- they seem totally content to be inside it. Some of them could fly out if they chose. (I also have a 2-foot high fence around the garden plot---mostly to keep the dogs from chasing the gophers and digging up my garden). Netting with a movable fence...saves me having to clean poo off the porch steps and the deck and the porch and the pathways etc.

    Just my 2-cents worth.
  3. It may slow them down, as they will stop to eat on your marigolds before working on the rest of your crops . . . No, really, the flowers won't do a darn thing. You need a fence. I freerange mine too and tilled and planted, and . . .forgot to put my fence back up. I came home from work and the whole flock was in my newly planted beds dustbathing and digging for worms. I no longer have rows of vegetables, it's more like chaos theory in the garden. oh well, I will just weed out the lettuce into rows and cross my fingers for the rest. I can already tell that here are radish seedlings in with my peas. I guess I should count my blessings and just be happy that they didn't eat the seeds.

    Now, depending on how lazy your chickens are, you may not need a tall fence. mine is just shy of 3 ft tall and they haven't figured out they can fly over it. Of course, it is still very early in the season and this is the first year I have had grown birds in the spring. And I'm sure some birds are much smarter than others. so YMMV.

    Good luck! And no question is a stupid question.
  4. MollyBlane1

    MollyBlane1 In the Brooder

    Feb 7, 2012
    Thank you all very much!

    I think a little fence of some kind will be the best I need to get my husband to build one :)
  5. six_eclectic_chickens

    six_eclectic_chickens Chirping

    Oct 2, 2011
    We have 5 chickens... they figured out last year that young lettuce plants were excellent for eating! Despite our efforts, they cleaned out every single plant. We have a border of edging fence surrounding it now that keeps them out at the moment... but who knows? They do an excellent job of keeping the garden free of weeds (big bonus!). Not so good is that their favorite place to dust bathe is on the roots of my mom's peony. She is planning to move whats left of it. They have figured out what shovels are, and what they mean. When we so much as walk towards one, they all come running in hopes that we will dig! They all join in digging right next to us picking off all the worms and bugs they run across. As for your question, planting other flowers probably wont even slow them down. Keep in mind chickens may eat things that are poisonous to us such as black widow spiders and rhubarb leaves.
  6. jandrusrn

    jandrusrn Songster

    Jan 10, 2012
    I found out the hard way that they adore beet greens too. As previously mentioned, I forgot to replace my fencing around my garden box one day and oooooohhh yes...... all gone. But plenty of yummmmy chicken poo to nourish my plants that remain. GGGGRRRRRR.

  7. There is a thread under managing your flock that has started about "gardening with chickens and other poultry". One of the posters has a couple authors reccommended that looks like they try to incorporate the puoltrykeeping into your gardening and puts the little boogers to work. Haven't tried it myself, but it sounds good since they are pretty good at digging ( they dug up all my daffodils last fall) maybe you can put them to work tilling :) I'm new to the idea but I may order one of the books or check it out at the library- not a bad idea.

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