Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Masonz75, Feb 12, 2015.
Can you have chickens free roaming in a garden?
Chickens will eat every green and not green living thing in a garden if given enough time. They will turn it into a moonscape. However, if you turn them into the garden at the end of the season to clean up and fertilize, they make perfect gardening companions!
Now there are chickens that are given a bit of garden time and do limited damage - hence the reports of "my chickens don't eat my tomatoes." But my chickens do eat my tomatoes and thus are kept out until I am finished. They even ate my tomato vines.
The more chickens being turned into a space, the more the damage. You can put some chicken wire up to keep them out of certain areas if desired, but if you have some fliers in the group they will fly over the fence if it is too short.
With your nice heavy brown egglayers (your avatar) you can definitely keep them out with a 5 foot high fence from my experience. So you can garden in a small area and let them roam the rest, for example.
There is what is called the Balfour method where you have the henhouse in the middle between two gardens. After you finish gardening for the year you turn them into that pen. The other pen is used the next spring as your garden spot. Then turn them into that pen when finished. So that way you always have little to no weeds to deal with ideally when planting, and they get the fresh new soil every year which is good for their health. This requires a door on each side of the henhouse, or a movable fencing tunnel or some way to get them to switch pens (rotational grazing essentially but done by the year).
Then there are people who do rotational grazing like with horses, switching them to a new pen frequently. (Since I mentioned rotation.)
Some people build a chicken tunnel around the garden so as to prevent pests such as worms that infest plants and bugs passing through to the garden.
I agree with this 100% !
When I first got my chickens nearly a year ago, I was worried for them because the grass in their run was so thick and so high I thought they would get lost.
Now, nearly a year later, it is barren. I kid you not, there is not a single blade of grass in there!
They get to free range outside their run each evening now. We have 5 acres, and without fail they will go to their favourite spots every day:
* The compost heap - which is now not so much a 'heap' but more of a compost carpet because it is spread so far.
* The front and back garden beds - carefully covered in hay by me during the day, and then scratched out each evening by the chooks.
* The vegie patch - well, they check the gate and stare at the vegetables they can't get to.
* The front porch - where they let loose on all the poop they have saved up during the day.
* The garden shed - where I used to have a bale of hay, but now have a messy haystack.
BEWARE THE CHICKENS!
If you want it churned up or spread out they are great, but if you want a nice manicured garden, fence them out of it!
I had to lol at Krista74 comment she is 100percent correct. Beware of the chickens.lol they will over take your yard.lol
It would be interesting to read a landscaping book written by chickens, wouldn't it?
Oh it sure would be some good readinglol
It would probably say something like...
"Chapter 1: Our first job is to decimate everything in site. Work on this as weather permits."
And then the next part would be....
"Chapter 2: So, you've completed the decimation process. You know what? I kind of like it how it is. Let's maintain this state of disfunction going forwards."
"Chapter 3: Be vigilant! New plants will attempt to grow. Keep an eye out for seedlings, bugs, fresh strawberries and new herbs popping up in the herb pots. Eat accordingly...."
It's also well noted what veggies and fruits chickens DON'T eat. For example this year I'm going to have my "gated" garden to keep them safe from my chickens but will give my chickens access for when I want bug control. then for the things that chickens don't like, like peppers, will be open! Free for my chickens to groom the bugs off of whenever they want. Happy chickens and a happy me with my spicy burritos >:] mwahaha