Protect tomoto plants and peppers from chickens. Possible?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 777funk, May 9, 2016.

  1. 777funk

    777funk Out Of The Brooder

    May 28, 2015
    I had no luck last year. We had 100 heritage breed meat birds free ranging and they absolutely decimated the garden. We put up a 3' chicken wire barrier around it and they pretty much laughed at it as they flew over top or got close then climbed the rest of the height. They liked the peppers and tomatoes most but I'd say it was all fair game. We got VERY little from that garden.

    Any clues on how to stop this?

    I've considered just wrapping each individual plant in chicken wire supported by a tomato cage this year. Maybe that would do it.
  2. OrganicFarmWife

    OrganicFarmWife Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 21, 2015
    No where Nebraska
    I would love to hear how the chicken wire chicken cages work for you. I had similar problems last year so we put up a four foot fence, so far it has kept my layers out. But if it fails I was thinking about putting up something like that myself.
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs I Wanna Be A Cowboy Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I have a two foot tall green wire fence around my gardens and no one hops over. You must have some adventurous birds.
  4. 777funk

    777funk Out Of The Brooder

    May 28, 2015
    They (the cackle frypan special heritage breed cockerels) free ranged 1/2 of our 10 acres and would go even further some days. Also we had 100 of them. Big groups of birds become a lot more vigorous I've found. They'd litterally just fly right over and the ones that couldn't make the fence, would climb the rest of the way. Chicken wire is easy as a ladder if they can fly up most of the way first.

    On the flip side, this year we're free ranging our remaining 30 (of 100) cornish cross and they do not venture much.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Taller fence (6 to 8') with floppy top extension angled out.
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I don’t know how big your garden is or how many plants you are considering wrapping, but you have to be able to harvest. Indeterminate tomatoes especially would climb and grow through that wire. I’ve had tomatoes try to grow in wire openings and literally cut themselves in two simply by growing. Of you mulch well you should be able to at least not have to get in there to weed. But wrapping just seems like a lot of work plus it will probably be inconvenient for you to work around them.

    I think what happened is that your fry pan special knew where the good stuff was before you put up your fence so they just kept going back. If the fence is already in place there is a much better chance they won’t try to cross it.

    I’m surprised to hear some of them had a problem just flying over the fence. I’ve had full-sized adult dual purpose hens easily clear a four foot fence. I’ve seen hens walk up a fence like you describe, but I have seven fry pan specials this year, I think 4 production reds and 3 Buff Orps. That’s all the feed store had left when I got some to go with chicks I hatched. I just can’t see any of them having any trouble clearing that fence if they want to. The secret is to not give them motivation, such as knowing good things are there.

    With your Cornish Cross the odds are pretty good that with that 3’ fence in place to start with you’ll be OK. A higher fence would help but I would not expect it to be necessary with them.

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