OMG!! ... How do I get them to dustbath somewhere else?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Chick_In_The_Burbs, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. Chick_In_The_Burbs

    Chick_In_The_Burbs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2010
    Western Washington
    Well, DH yelled up the stairs 'You GOTTA see this'! I went running down and what do I see? DH cracking up and my three EEs in this little foot wide span of garden that runs in front of our patio. All three are right next to eachother and have DUG DOWN A GOOD 8 INCHES!! My Irises!!! [​IMG] They were just starting to come up! Meanwhile my DH is cracking up and the ladies are just sitting there having a communal sun/dust bath!

    I'm a black thumb to begin with. These were planted by the prior owner and have survived my attention (and lack there of depending) so far. I love flowers and these were the plant in the back yard that were guaranteed to have survived the winter! Oh, please let them still spring up! [​IMG]

    Anyone have advice to keep the ladies from doing this again? I wouldn't have minded this in the other garden areas (lots bigger, no bulbs, some shrubs they're either not going to hurt or that are already dead -I can't tell yet) but right there!! They have a sand bath in their run and there's plenty of loose dirt/mulch behind their coop and around. How do I make sure they go somewhere else next time?
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2011
  2. goldeneggtees

    goldeneggtees Fluffy Butt Nut

    Mar 11, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    chickens are very hard on plants, they pretty much decimate any shrubbery/flowers/grass. I used to have peonies and tall phlox growing so nicely in our yard, now - nothing. I am going to be working on some nice looking fencing this spring to keep them out if areas they are not allowed into. that and some wing clipping![​IMG]

    I feel your pain!
  3. Big Red's Mom

    Big Red's Mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    Terry, Mississippi
    Oh my....I am not sure but when you find out please let me know. Mine come to the house and try to un-mulch all my flower beds. This really upsets my DH [​IMG] and just adds more work to the already too short weekends. Maybe they are scratching for bugs in that particular area since the flowers are doing so well. Then they found the wonderful dirt as a bonus. [​IMG]

    Good luck.
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

  5. Horsefly

    Horsefly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2010
    Haven't tried this yet but I have read to keep the dogs from digging up the garden you can put chicken wire down under a thin layer of soil or mulch. I assume this would work good for chicken scratching too and will protect the roots of you plants.
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    I would put wire down, to prevent the digging and dust bathing. I would try something with a little bit larger holes than chicken wire, if you plan to leave the wire there. Just so the iris doesn't get restricted too much by the wire as it grows up. They can be kind of wide at the base, especially when established. If you do use chicken wire, you could watch as the iris grows and snip where you need to, to provide a larger hole for growing.

    If you think the chickens will leave it alone once the iris is up, you could possibly take the wire up, once the iris starts to peek through the earth.

    My chickens sometimes like the peat moss in big flower pots to dust bathe in. They also love any area with fresh sand. Maybe lure them back to a different dust bath with some new additions to it. That always starts a flurry of activity in the dust baths here.

    The other thing you could try is driving some sticks or stakes into the area, that are in their way when they go in there. To prevent hurting the iris, You could also try only driving things into the edge of the planting area and run some straight wire between them. This would also get in the way. You may be able to tell that I have had to defend my garden areas in a multitude of different ways. [​IMG]
  7. Chick_In_The_Burbs

    Chick_In_The_Burbs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2010
    Western Washington
    Thanks Everyone! I'll try the wire and improving their regular dust bath area first! Here's hoping... [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by