my destroyed yard

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by California Girls, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. California Girls

    California Girls Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 20, 2009
    Southern California
    Hi everyone,
    I need some help here.
    I am 3 months new to chickens, I let them out every morning and let them loose in the yard, for 2 -4 hours, depending on the day , if I can be there to monitor or not. So, my problem is during that time of running loose in the yard, all my flower beds, and other various places have been destroyed. I call them the 'wrecking crew' now! haha . My question is : how do I keep them from doing further damage?
    Besides being the wrecking crew, we are enjoying their company.
  2. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    You can't.

    You will have to fence them out of anywhere you want to keep them out of, and they still might fly in!

    I consider my backyard more of a "pasture" than a yard, but really I don't do much to pretty up the non-chicken front yard either!
  3. zatsdeb

    zatsdeb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 2, 2007
    Lincoln, Illinois
    I only have 1 area in my yard that has flowers and it is fenced in so the chickens can't get at it. Guineas don't bother the mulch but chickens will destroy the flower beds!!!
  4. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I have a coop and two pens. They rotate and each group gets 1/2 hour outside to "free range" before sunset at night... otherwise, I wouldn't have a backyard. Once I plant my tender veggies in the garden, that will change too.
  5. California Girls

    California Girls Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 20, 2009
    Southern California
    Yes, I thought the 2' high fencing would deter them. ......not a chance, flew right over like it wasn't there! Those little brats!
    Don't even get me started on my herb garden.Hint, they loved it!
  6. BeardedLadyFarm

    BeardedLadyFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2009
    Cobleskill NY
    Mine destroyed a good portion of my garden this year as well. My approach for next year is to fence off some sections to grow my veggies, and then plant things they don't like elsewhere.

    They seem to not like things in the Solanum (Nightshade) family. This includes tomatoes, peppers, solanums, brugmansia and many others. It also includes eggplants, nicotiana, and potatoes, which they did ultimately destroy.

    They have left alone several Salvias. My cardoon, castor beans, plectranthus, bamboo, and roses are all still standing, though a bit pecked here and there.

    I am going to plant more of these next year, and make sure the cabbages, cucumbers, mellons, beans, and many more are out of harms reach.

    Mine do stay out all day in a small yard, so they definitely have priority, but I hope to make both work next year.
  7. nancysmith2

    nancysmith2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2009
    My porch is fenced, my garden is fenced and their wings are clipped. Nuff said.
  8. Shiningfeather

    Shiningfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2009
    hill country texas
    Quote:Just wanted to say that most of the plants mentioned in this post are poisonous if eaten by a chicken, and can make them very sick if not kill them. I would not recommend planting any of them where chickens range. I do have many of these plants since I work at a garden center and have them where my chickens can not get to them. Please be safe when planting in areas where your chickens will be. [​IMG]
  9. Plain Old Dee

    Plain Old Dee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 30, 2009
    Seminole, OK
    Quote:Did it make the eggs taste good? My hens ate my ornamental peppers (the OMG hot ones) one year. They ate the peppers and left the leaves alone.

    I felt a little sorry for them when they pooped - they jumped like someone had lit a fire under them! [​IMG] The eggs sure did taste good!
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2009
  10. Barry Natchitoches

    Barry Natchitoches Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2008
    I have a suburban backyard, half of which is taken up by a large organic garden.

    What I found with my birds is that I can only allow them one hour of free range time in the late afternoon, and they had to be denied even that hour during the two months (mid-March through mid-May) when I was planting the garden and the plants were still small.

    By late May (zone 7) the plants were large enough that I could allow the chickens back out for supervised free range. I had tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers, squash, zucchini, pole lima beans, corn, and bush southern peas growing by that time, but they were all large enough by then that the chickens didn't do any damage to them.

    One area of the garden, however -- the area where I had lettuce, cabbage and spinach growing -- had to be covered with row cover clear until harvest, least the chickens either peck at the plants or drop their feces on them.

    My chickens are "mixed breed" types (combination meat/egg birds), and these tend to be heavier breeds. Because they get very little outdoor play time, they don't have much opportunity to develop their flying skills, and they soon get too heavy to be very good at flying. Oh, they get a few feet off the ground for short distances, but none of them seem to develop good enough flying skills to fly over our six foot fence. Of course, if they had more outdoor play time, they might gradually develop their flying skills well enough to escape -- another reason why I only allow them one hour of outdoor play per day.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2009

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by