You are Unregistered, please register to use all of the features of Homesteading Today!    
Homesteading Forum

Go Back   Homesteading Forum > Livestock Forums > Poultry

LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old 02/15/09, 02:30 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: NC Mountains
Posts: 14
Keeping chickens out of the garden

My chickens are free-range. The neighbor's chickens are free-range and completely flighted.

I've got a huge garden area planned, but I've got to keep the chickens out of it. Can anyone give me an idea of what I need to do to accomplish this? Our neighbor's chickens can fly into our 8-ft tall chicken run and eat the scratch we threw out for our chickens, so I'm worried about how to protect my garden.
Reply With Quote
Old 02/15/09, 07:52 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma
Posts: 1,503
I fought chickens last year for most of the summer!!! You'd think it wouldn't be that hard to outwit something with a brain the size of a bb...... We put chicken wire over the cow panels that I have the garden fenced with, then put plastic chicken fencing, three feet tall around the top. The plastic is floppy enough that when they try to fly up on it, it kinda gives way under them and they get back on the ground. I have enlarged my garden by another 20 feet so I'm getting started tomarrow putting up more chicken wire and plastic netting. Good luck
given the oppurtunity, a cow will always take the wrong gate...Baxter Black
Irish Dexter Cattle for sale..............
Reply With Quote
Old 02/15/09, 08:33 PM
SnakeRiver's Avatar  
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Idaho
Posts: 180
Buy a shotgun
Reply With Quote
Old 02/16/09, 09:56 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 1,519
I'm just considering this myself. I have two flocks that tear up everything. I think the solution is to only let them free range part of the day, that way they are hungry and eat 'easy' food - and don't scratch the crap out of your plantings.
I'm going to use some type of landscape fencing to keep mine out of the herb and veggie garden this year.
Reply With Quote
Old 02/16/09, 08:27 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 87
I haven't had to deal with it, but my aunt had to keep free range chickens AND sheep out of her garden, so he had a fence around it and netting over the top and that seemed to work.
Reply With Quote
Old 02/16/09, 08:37 PM
Ernie's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: In the Exodus
Posts: 13,422
I find that most of the year the chickens aren't a huge problem in the garden. They are more of an issue when fruit is forming or when seeds are sprouting. So I confine them during those times. At other times, they are an asset in keeping down the insect pests.

I've got almost 2 acres of garden, so it's not very cost effective to keep the chickens out of there with fencing. The only alternative left to me was to fence in the chickens.
Reply With Quote
Old 02/16/09, 09:23 PM
||Downhome||'s Avatar
Born in the wrong Century
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 5,431
plant them thier own garden? just scatter bird seed and water. section it off so you always have fresh sprouts coming up. maybe different plots to keep them busy running back and forth.

Last edited by ||Downhome||; 02/16/09 at 09:26 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 04/01/10, 02:16 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1
Home depot has bird netting that is 14' x 90' it works great placed over top or too fence off with wooden stakes and staple it to the stakes.
Reply With Quote
Old 04/01/10, 02:29 PM
wintrrwolf's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Bellflower, MO
Posts: 3,711
when neighbors chickens fly into your chicken pen to eat your chickens food, clip a problem solved. I will be using chicken wire and a little garden electric box and surround my garden with it..have more to worry then just chickens so gonna try to zap what ever tries to get in there...but my garden isnt huge either
The more I know people the more I respect animals.
Lovn Ivy Farm
Reply With Quote
Old 04/01/10, 03:33 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 5,665
Percysgirl, how big is your garden? If it isn't too big, the netting that treehouse mentioned is probably your best bet -- cover the entire garden with it. It's pretty hard to fence out chickens that can fly over an 8' fence. You should also talk (civilly) to your neighbors about the chickens -- explain that you are going to be depending on your garden for food, and ask if they could confine their birds (and then you'd have to confine yours, too).

Reply With Quote
Old 04/01/10, 03:39 PM
didaho's Avatar
D-Idaho, Single
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Idaho
Posts: 664
I have a 2' fence around my garden and so far for 7 yrs they haven't tried to get into the garden.

The Lord My Shepherd
Reply With Quote
Old 04/01/10, 09:27 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Western PA, USA
Posts: 627
I plan to try the deer netting on mine this year. With lots of other ground, I hope they won't make the effort to fly into the garden.

I always had an electric fence to keep the deer out, and a 22 for the groundhogs and rabbits. Electric doesn't conduct well through chickens.

Last year I only let the chickens range when I was outside with them, and used the hose to chase them out of the vegetables.
Reply With Quote
Old 04/02/10, 02:12 AM
Sanza's Avatar
Crazy Canuck
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Alberta Canada
Posts: 4,162
My chickens free range but never went into the garden unless they were in the area and saw me in there. Of course they had to come for possible treats. I covered all my tomatos with netting as a precaution and I wished that they would come in and eat the grasshoppers. Most of the time they stuck to the bushes for safety.
Now I've got some marans and australorps that love to come and scratch in my flower beds around the house so I am keeping them penned up until the perrenials are all up.

A wise person speaks when they have something to say but a fool speaks just to say something
Reply With Quote
Old 02/06/12, 01:53 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 197
I'm thinking of doing the chicken tractor thing, but the chickens tend to peck each other more that way, and I have a LOT of chickens. That, and isn't their purpose supposed to be eating the bugs that pester my garden???? How can they do that when they're penned up? But last year the little monsters ate my field of corn seed that I planted three times in a row, and devoured anything green that I planted, or picked it to death, whether it be peas or squash plants. Little seedings 4 inches tall were a snack for them. They would slide under electric wire and take the hit and then go in anyway. I can't afford that poultry netting, it's a good $100+. I let my chickens free range because they scratch under my rabbit cages and eat all the redworms for the good protien. I haven't fed them much all year because they just love the worms and the grass. They have a whole acre of grass to scratch in, but they have to attack my garden. Sigh...
Reply With Quote
Old 02/06/12, 09:04 AM
Callieslamb's Avatar  
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: SW Michigan
Posts: 16,464
MIne are getting their own special run this year. They fly too easily, I will never keep them out. Since they haven't been in the garden anyway, I can't claim that free-ranging is eliminating bugs there. This year, I have jaerhons and they fly everywhere. I'm putting their run around the garden on two sides. Then I can toss them all the weeds and have easy access to their fertilizer.
Reply With Quote
Old 02/07/12, 05:54 AM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Alabama
Posts: 1,085
I have fought my chickens and fought my chickens. I even clipped wings and they still got in. This year I am adding more chicken wire to the top of the fence to raise it up to 10 feet. This after I spend the money on building a chicken yard so that they couldn't free range my garden (which is the first place they would head when let out of the coop), they still get out of that 8 foot fence. I spend more money on chickens than I do anything else since it seems like I am constantly buying more fencing or replacing plants or cleaning the poo off my front porch. Sometimes I really think they are more trouble than they are worth. Good luck to both of us keeping them out of the garden. Blessings, Kat
Come visit Homesteading and Homekeeping at Whisperwind Farm
Reply With Quote
Old 02/07/12, 09:26 AM
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: western new york
Posts: 36
Rotate the chickens and the garden, my chickens love digging where the garden was and my garden really grows where the chickens were. I throw them truckloads of lawn clippings and they rotate them daily and produce the best compost available.
Reply With Quote
Old 02/07/12, 09:49 AM
lisa's garden's Avatar  
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 736
A Lot of great ideas here...thanks for posting!
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:45 AM.