Will a few chickens (2 or 3) destroy my yard?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by katiehumes, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. katiehumes

    katiehumes Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2014
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    I've never had chickens/roosters before and I am about to begin my first hatch. My eggs should arrive no later than Tuesday. I am also trying to not "count my chickens before they hatch" but am very excited to start the process from the very beginning :) I only ordered 6 eggs as I read 50% may hatch if I'm lucky. So I'm hoping for three chicks as my out come. My main question is if I'm lucky and my little ones make it will they wreak havoc on my backyard? We are renting from my grandma and I need to keep her place nice she has established grass and roses and I originally thought a few chickens would improve her place because of pesky grass worm things. But now I'm having second thoughts because of things I've read how they scratch and dig up everything.

    We ordered a pre built chicken coop suitable for four to five hens. And I planned to have them free range because the yard is a fenced in one with a nice brick fence. So I hadn't planned on doing a chicken run. My eggs will be barred Plymouth rocks as I researched and thought they would be a good fit for our family and a good starter bird. Any advice is welcome and I am completely new to all of this. Any thoughts on type of bird/and if they will ruin her yard. . .

    Oh forgot to mention if I do get roosters I do plan on keeping one.
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    They do like to make holes in the dirt for dust baths and will definitely mess up a yard (scratch the mulch, eat what you don't want them to eat, etc.).

    However, if you make them a run (or even use a dog kennel or fenced area) it is very wise, because you can then just let them out for a little bit of time in the afternoons right before they need to go to the coop for the night (they will go in the coop by themselves). This way they are not tearing up the yard all day.

    Also if you go on vacation you will want them to stay in their run for their safety and for the ease in caretaking if you get a pet sitter.

    So you can free range them in your yard successfully if you severely limit their time out of the run (a LOT of people do this) and it gives them a place of safety for the times when you aren't home to watch them.

    If they start to mess up the yard too much for your liking you can simply give them all the grass clippings from the lawnmower. They LOVE that and will eat them all up!!! :)
     
  3. chicksurreal

    chicksurreal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have a huge area for our chickens to free range in, many acres, but considering what they have done to the areas that they consider their favorite places, if I only had a small yard I would want to be able to confine them when necessary. They can be destructive in a small space. I don't think a rooster does any more damage than a hen. They all behave pretty much the same in that respect.
     
  4. katiehumes

    katiehumes Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2014
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    Thank you!
     
  5. katiehumes

    katiehumes Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2014
    Arizona
    Someday we want more land thats our dream :)
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    How tall is your fence around the yard? a determined chicken will fly over a 6' fence, and a determined dog/coon/cat or any other kind of predator will get over the fence as well. Cities are not predator free. In your grand mother's well manicured yard, plan on the chickens choosing the most inconvenient place for their dust bath. They will also deposit their little fertilizer bombs any where they choose. You can also plan on them re-arranging the landscaping to meet their specifications of what a yard should look like. Flower beds should be dust baths, mulch belongs on the lawn, preferably flung far and wide so it can't be raked back into the flower bed. Those flowers that aren't tasty enough to be snacks, surely must have some nice bugs just underneath the roots, thus, must be removed to find such delicacies. You might want to talk to your grandmother. It could be that she has fond memories of chickens in her childhood, and wouldn't mind any temporary landscaping that the chickens might do in her yard. All of that being said, I love having chickens, and let them out to re-arrange my landscaping as often as I can, but they have a secure run for when I'm not around to supervise them. I've lowered my standards about what a flower bed should look like. As of last summer, the points of interest in my front flower bed were not the beautiful flowers, though there are still a few, but the chickens kicking up the mulch and flinging the dust around.
     

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