Purposely put chickens in vegetable garden?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ChickenJesus, Jun 29, 2016.

  1. ChickenJesus

    ChickenJesus Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 30, 2015
    Conowingo MD
    I see this going either way. Birds will eat the bugs I want to spray for but might also eat the veggies and/or kill the plants trying to grow. Has anybody had any experience? Good idea, or disaster waiting to happen?
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    They'll eat both bugs and plants. Chickens LOVE tender little garden plants!
  3. ChickenJesus

    ChickenJesus Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 30, 2015
    Conowingo MD
    Boo.... that's what I thought would happen. Too bad. Thanks!
  4. Gray Farms

    Gray Farms Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2016
    NW Missouri
    They love to eat tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and melons too. If they get a hole started... goodbye veggies lol
  5. Rock Home Isle

    Rock Home Isle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Disaster waiting to happen. They'll eat bugs, they'll dig for grubs, and they'll chow down on all your plants, but mostly they'll eat your plants.

    I had a pair of ducks several years ago...I put them in the garden couple times a week for an hour or two, if it was early in the summer. They did well. Mostly they ate bugs and dig for grubs. Later in the summer I discovered that after about an hour or so, they'd start into the plants. So then I'd set a timer for 45 minutes and pull them out after the timer went off. That system worked till about harvest time in the fall.

    So if you want weed eaters and bug eaters for the garden, I would suggest ducks....or even better, yet a trio of Chinese Geese...the white ones with the knob on their head. Those geese are also known as Weeder Geese. We had a trio of them, wow.....
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    One year, before I had broody hens, I had chicks in the brooder. Within a week I would put the chicks in a cardboard box, and carry them to my chicken wire fenced garden. They were too little to cause damage by scratching, they ate bugs and slept in the shade of the beans. Then when it got dark, they would all pile into the cardboard box, and I would carry it in. They were very healthy and clean.

    You can put your chickens in a garden before or after the garden, however, chicken will love this spot, and return to it DURING the garden, and destroy it unless carefully fenced.

    Mrs K
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2016
  7. ChickenJesus

    ChickenJesus Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 30, 2015
    Conowingo MD
    I kind of assumed they would destroy stuff but I was hoping I was wrong.

    Ms. K, that is a great idea! I have a couple dozen chicks coming out of the brooder this weekend, and a dozen turkeys too. I might give your idea a try!
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    Mrs K: Last year, I trained 2 broods of chicks to a cat carrier. The first brood was from my incubator, and the second brood was with a broody hen. It worked very well. I'd set the cat carrier into the broody pen, and shoo the babies into it. (after removing the broody hen). Then I'd carry them to the tractor, where I'd already placed the hen. Left the cat carrier in the tractor. In the evening, they'd all retire to the cat carrier, and I'd transport them back to the safety of the broody pen in the coop. After a couple of weeks of this, I was able to just open the tractor, and let Mama and babies out. They'd make a bee line to the big coop and settle in their broody pen. Shortly there after, I could put their feed in the tractor in the morning and they'd all run to the tractor for breakfast.

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