How to keep chickens out of garden?

by Dianne Brehaut
(Blackheath NSW)

I do enjoy your newsletters and have just had a good read of the link on pests and recipes for sprays. I have a problem with chooks - my own chooks, which I like to let out in the late afternoon for a wander and a peck about.

Trouble is, instead of wandering in my vast back yard, which is still a bomb site waiting to be turned into a garden, but with lots of lovely potential for foraging hens, they choof off around to the front garden where they love to scratch in my mulch and make a dreadful mess on my paths.

Building protective fences is not really an option for us at this stage, (our property is quite vast and not a fence in sight) and I don't
want to not have them free ranging like this.

Is there a harmless way I could stop chickens from scratching in my garden mulch? If not I guess I will just have to continue restoring order to the front beds each day. Many thanks

Comments for How to keep chickens out of garden?

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Jun 01, 2009
Stopping chickens scratching up garden
by: Stacey

Chickens just love to scratch in the ground ... it's very hard to stop them. They feed on slaters and other crawly crusty things.
They need a lot of calcium for egg production, and generally they get this from gritty things. They also need gritty things, little stones and shell bits etc, for their gizzard.
To stop them you can put chicken netting on the ground, firmly pegged down or held down with bricks. But their diet still needs to cater for what they need to lay eggs.

Sep 27, 2011
Wire netting did the trick for our chickens
by: Ali

My husband lets the chooks out of their chicken tractor each afternoon to have a free peck around. They go into the garden and don't seem to do too much damage, so far. They did take a liking to uncovering the potatoes. He placed strips of netting along each side of the plants and covered then with mulch and no problems since.
We always have beds at different stages. So if there is some nice loose dirt they head for that and also get in between the plants and we hope eat any pests that intend to reproduce and
eat our vegies!

Sep 30, 2013
clever chooks
by: ofelia kowald

I come to your website to find out to solve my problem of my chooks,i got a few hundred of free checkens and got abig tree around it for there shade, but my problem is do climb up and fly outside the fence and if they are out in my garden they eat all my vegetable and other problem is the lay eggs and you don't know where and sometimes we find a fifties eggs and get wasted as we don't know if its fresh or not ,I don't have time to chasing them all day so for me this become a problem .

Nov 01, 2013
Found eggs
by: Leah

I too sometimes find a stash of eggs my girls have hidden and I don't know how long they have been out in the yard. Just place the eggs in a deep bowl of water and the ones that float to the top are bad.

Jul 09, 2014
Shingles worked for me
by: Keith

My chickens have been digging in my flower beds for years and earlier this year I had my roof replaced and put some of the old shingles in my flower beds before I mulched it and they dug a couple times and decided they were not getting anything and they have not dug in it the first time in 2 months. Yea!!!!

Aug 10, 2014
Scatching chickens
by: Anonymous

I have flower beds and trees, with lillys, planted in them, Have had no problem till the neighbors got chickens. fencing is bob wire, so they have they have no problem getting under it. I sprinkled black pepper and chili powder around them, don't know if that will help.

Mar 21, 2017
Keeping chickens out of flower beds
by: Anonymous

Has anyone tried just a low double electric fence on 3' sticks,like what's used to keep cattle in except use short stakes for chickens

May 05, 2017
Electric fence for chickens
by: Sue

We kept chickens when I was a girl, and we had an electric 2 strand setup. It was quite powerful from memory because the chickies fluffyness made it necessary so they got a decent fright. The electric fence was also put there to deter stoats and rats from egg stealing. Also cut the feathers off one wing, just down to the bony bit, no more. Be careful, just the feathers. They will be lopsided now and find it hard to fly anywhere!!

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