there eating my plants..

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by andy, May 7, 2007.

  1. andy

    andy Songster

    May 7, 2007
    hi every one. just t let you know im a new chicken keeper.. and ive just bought 2 point of lay, rhode island reds.i let them roam freely in my paved back yard.. ive had them for 2 days now and they have allready striped clean my lillies and other plants and shrubs .i dont want to have to put mesh around my flowers. does any body know of any othr solution.?and should i put a small sand pit out for them.any advice woul be much appreciated..thanks andy
  2. MarkR

    MarkR Songster

    Mar 11, 2007
    Ivy, Virginia
    Without being provided with other plants to pick at, or containing them, they are going to eat your plants, even if you net them. How do you keep them in a paved yard? What do you want them to eat?

  3. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    YOu could try spraying the plants that you don't want them to eat with Better Bitters, Phooey or Bitter Apple if you don't want to fence off the area.
  4. andy

    andy Songster

    May 7, 2007
    obviously not my plants.. they seem very happy in my yard theve got plenty of space.there out all day and get locked up at night.unfortanatly i have no grass..plenty of not looking for critasisam.just advice..i can give them fresh greens +pellets for a good diet..i want them to be as happy as any advice on the best way i can look after these chickens would be much appreciated..thanks
  5. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Songster

    Mar 29, 2007
    You should provide them a bathing area- a kiddie pool with play sand would work well, or what I use is a deep rubbermaid tote lid. I put play sand, DE, and garden soil in it.

    Provide the girls with a good quality laying pellet, grit, and oyster shell-all free choice. And, of course, water. You can give them treats such as yogurt with active cultures, hard boiled egg with shells (ground up all together), lettuces, steamed white rice, etc.

    Also, make sure they have a shady spot to retreat to when your paved backyard gets too hot for their feet.

    Chickens spend their days scratching around on the ground, looking for tasty bugs, grass/weeds, and grit to eat. This is all they do. Please consider providing something or somewhere that will allow them to do this.
    Last edited: May 7, 2007
  6. chickbea

    chickbea Songster

    Jan 18, 2007
    A place to take a dust bath would be very exciting for them!
    You need to be careful in your situation - a free ranging chicken will not normally eat a plant that is poisonous, but if they are in a place where they don't have access to a lot of variety, they may nibble at things that are bad for them. You may want to take an inventory of what you have growing and protect your girls from any poison plants.
    Something that has worked for me when I've had limited range space is that I dig up clods of dirt and greenery out of a field and put those in the run with them. It's great fun because they can also scratch the dirt clods apart and eat the bugs!
    There is no magic solution to this, sadly. My chickens have the whole yard to free-range in, but they insist on making a mess out of some plants. Forget about trying to mulch anything - as soon as I get it spread out they book over and start flinging it far and wide! Beasties!
  7. Gracefulspice

    Gracefulspice Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    Mabey you could plant different things they like to eat in a window box. I guess ya'd have to wait for it to grow, but it may be a future idea. My hens love to eat grass. They especially love the long grass I missed with my mower. Mabey you can get a few handfulls of long grass from friends or family ever so often? I totally agree with the dust bath thing. They do love scratching and it would make a great spot for them to do that. Maybe you can even get a large kiddie pool and hide food for them just under the surface.

    Good Luck.[​IMG]
  8. SandraChick

    SandraChick Songster

    wheat grass flats are a great way to give your girls some good grass to much on.

    It won't keep them from eating your other plants, but it is good for them and maybe they won't eat as much of your plants!

    Here's what you do....
    1.Get wheat grass seeds (I just buy a bag at the feedstore and then give it to them as treats as well, just like scratch).
    2.Get one of those flats that nurseries use to hold a bunch of the six pack plants
    3. Fill flat with dirt
    4. put a thick layer of seed on top --do not bury or cover with soil
    5. water and put in a sunny location where ANY birds can get to it.

    In less than a week you'll have a "mini lawn" and you just set it out for them on the ground. At this point I start a second one and then trade them in and out as they mow one over. Once they mow one over---take it away and let it grow out again. You can use the same flat 2-3 times before you have to start anew.

    They're gonna luv you for it!

    around here- farmers market eggs tout that they have "wheat grass fed chickens"!


    edited for typo
    Last edited: May 8, 2007
  9. andy

    andy Songster

    May 7, 2007
    thank you all very much for your tips ..there all great on with it straight away..thanks

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