Those @#$*!&*#$!!! chickens! How to protect flower gardens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ralleia, May 16, 2011.

  1. ralleia

    ralleia Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2011
    Omaha, NE
    I LOVE to let my chickens free-range and get much entertainment by watching them scratch.

    However, I'd like them to *NOT* scratch an area of a few hundred square feet around the front walks, as they throw mulch everywhere and expose/damage my newly-planted bedding flowers.

    Fencing off the front isn't really an attractive option--want the place to look inviting and all.

    The only thing I can think of is to lay chicken wire ON the planting beds themselves, but that's a lot of wire and a lot of work for annual beds.

    Does anyone have any other ideas?
  2. NYRIR

    NYRIR Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2010
    electric fencing maybe? I didn't love the fence idea myself...but I liked the alternative even we have a fence...
  3. Rte.66_chicks

    Rte.66_chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 22, 2008
    Kingman, AZ
    Can you fence them off farther back so the fence isn't so obvious from the front while still giving them room to free range? Fencing is really the only way to keep them out of where you don't want them.
  4. QH Girl

    QH Girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2010
    Baton Rouge
    I feel your pain [​IMG]

    Mine have been free ranging every day for 8 months...... until today. I planted tomatoes yesterday - went inside to take a break, came out to find 6 tomato plants uprooted, and compost everywhere. Mine are going to stay locked up for a while.
  5. columbiacritter

    columbiacritter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2008
    Scappoose Oregon
    I use the very fine deer netting they sell in most big rural garden supply areas. It's cheap plastic that cuts to size easily and from more than a few yards away is almost invisible. use it on flower beds until all the plants are big enough to survive chicken attacks or permanently around my veggies.
  6. ralleia

    ralleia Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2011
    Omaha, NE
    Ah, yes...the deer netting--that might be invisible enough to be used around the front on a semi-permanent basis. I couldn't really fence them in their area--it would have to be on the opposite side of the driveway, and with eleven acres it would be a lot of fence and a lot of obstacle to the humans. But deer netting just around the front might work--or a small electric fence.

    QH Girl--that happened to my 'maters last year. Now when I plant 'maters, the plants are immediately ringed with newspaper mulch, bark mulch on top of that, and a tomato tower ringed with chicken wire is planted over it all. That keeps 'em from digging!
  7. columbiacritter

    columbiacritter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2008
    Scappoose Oregon
    Quote:One defense I found for small tomatos is the "Walls of Water" the water filled towers that shield them from cold nights out here in the PNW. Even if they really aren't essential I find they keep the birds away. Any determined hen usually ends up drenched if she digs around the base of any of the water walls.
  8. bakerjw

    bakerjw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2010
    Johnson City, Tn
    Quote:I'm sorry but I had to laugh at that description. My free rangers were brutal to my DWs mulch last year. One day she was out cursing them as she tried to get mulch back in a bed around some plants and one of the roosters got a wild hair and bounded right through the bed where she was working. Yes, I got in trouble for laughing.

    As for the OP. The black deer netting might be your best bet. I ended up building a big run for the free rangers. They were tearing up way too many things.
  9. suburban

    suburban Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 13, 2010
    Perth, western Australia
    I've had this problem too. We put paving bricks around the base of plants and lightly covered them with mulch. They leave them alone now.
  10. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    I had this problem as well......two springs ago, I made the mistake of letting my chickens see me weeding my flower bed, and throwing them a few worms.....BAD IDEA! They decided that my hostas in the flower bed were DELICIOUS! YUMMY. I came outside one day to find all my hens lined up around the hostas, eating like it was a salad bar! LOL I just couldn't be mad at them. Next year I took out the hostas and planted other stuff (when the hens weren't watching), and all was well.

    I might plant some hostas along the edges of my woods since the ladies like them so much.....I do have to remember to do all my planting when the ladies aren't watching.....


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by