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.
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
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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.
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.
when neighbors chickens fly into your chicken pen to eat your chickens food, clip a wing...one 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
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).
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.
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...
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.
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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
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.