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Any ideas on how to keep chickens out of the garden and flower beds? Last year they kept digging up new flower plants as quickly as I planted them. They dig them up and then lay in the hole they have dug.
By Margo from Ogden, UT
I was having the same problem with my neighbors chickens. I was reminded that my grandfather always used a couple rubber snakes and just re-arrange them every so often. I tried it and so far so good, the chickens stay away and the birds have not come to visit either.
Hi! I know most of you don't work at Mickey D's and may not have access to alot of coffee grounds but I use old coffee grounds to keep my chickens out of my flower beds. At first they went into them (maybe they thought they'd like it) but I haven't had a problem since the first or second time they tried it.
I tried using moth balls to keep my rabbits from eating my husband's small trees and found out that at least one chicken ate one. I cooked some eggs and noticed a distinctive flavor. It took awhile but I recognized it as mothballs! Luckily the customers that purchase our eggs didn't notice anything "off".
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How do you keep chickens out of flower beds?
By Zoe2 from Dallas, TX
Would small fences around the flower beds help? (08/12/2009)
I put an electric fence around my flowers. There are two wires running parallel to the ground, one about 6" off the ground, and one 1' off the ground. It only took the chickens a couple of times to learn their lesson. Now they stay away from gardens and bird feeders. Good luck. (08/13/2009)
Any suggestions that won't harm the chickens, yet keep them out of the flower beds?
Editor's Note: I guess this explains why the chicken crossed the road! To eat some flowers. Sorry.
I used to have chickens and my dad would use chicken wire along the ground, and let the plants grow up through it; and if the base of the plants get too big you can always cut out a little section of it to make it bigger. Then there is the possibility of asking whoever owns the chickens to keep them in a pen.
Oh and by the way your won't even know the wire is there if you cover it with bark, mulch, or pine straw. (04/29/2005)
Letting your chickens roam and destroy others' property is just as bad as having a dog that does that! I would suggest asking the neighbor to fence in the chickens or you will call the police. Also, take photos of the chickens in the act. Maybe have a lawyer write a letter to the neighbors about the chickens destroying her property. After a fair amount of warnings I would be making some chicken soup!-from a former owner of a small chicken flock. (04/30/2005)
Huh? I don't understand how chicken wire covered with mulch will keep my chickens out of the flowers. Do you mean that they will eventually scratch the mulch away and get caught in the wire and then I will end up having to rescue mad, panicked hens from the wire? (05/27/2005)
By KS Sherry
The idea is that chickens don't like walking on chicken wire. Probably any similar type of fencing would work. I doubt they would get caught in it if you laid it flat on the ground. It does surprise me that it would be effective with mulch on it but maybe it would be with a thin layer, that's assuming that chickens don't like walking on wire in the first place. I don't have chickens so I personally couldn't test it. Pretty cheap and easy solution to try out in a small area. (05/27/2005)
I have chickens and my mother simply puts vinegar around her flower bed. It seems to help. (08/12/2005)
I just read on another web site that using mothballs is both toxic to the chickens and to humans. So please don't try this method. (04/13/2006)
My grandfather put an electric fence around his yard. There are two wires running parallel to the ground, one about 6" off the ground, and one 1' off the ground. It only took the chickens a couple of times to learn their lesson. Now they stay away from his gardens and bird feeders. (04/16/2006)
Are you sure there are no laws about chickens roaming in a residential area. You should call your town Code Enforcement Office. I had that problem. They destroyed my flowers, messed on my new concrete driveway constantly, etc., etc. I had no complaint with the chickens, but with their owner. I nicely explained to him what his chickens were doing to my property. He still let them run loose. I then had to let him know I didn't want anymore chickens in my yard or he would be paying code enforcement a big fine and surrendering his chickens. They were only 3 chickens, but they did enough damage for 20. (06/14/2007)
I have called zoning and there is no anti-chicken rule in my residential neighborhood. However, they have rules about lions and tigers. So helpful. (06/15/2007)
Just use a garden hose with a jet attachment, chickens hate getting wet and they'll soon associate the flower beds with getting wet! (11/05/2007)
By Brian Kenneth
Does anyone know how to keep chickens out of flower beds? They are destroying the mulch.
Rolayne from Beasley, TX
Years ago my dad put chicken wire around the foundation of his house to keep his chickens from scratching the dirt away from the foundation. The chickens couldn't scratch there any more. (02/05/2008)
I have chickens and they keep scratching in my new flower bed. I want to eat them for dinner. I talked with an old farmer friend and he suggested sprinkling chili powder around in the bark, chickens hate it. I'm going to give that a try this weekend. I will let you know how it goes. By the way, the spraying them with a hose does work too, but you have to be out there the same time they are. I usually don't know they have been in the flower beds until it is too late. (03/26/2008)
By mama grizzly bear
I have chickens and they are ruining my flower beds. And they are stupid. But, the ticks and bugs they eat out weigh the damage to my garden. They don't ruin the plants they just dig around them. It helped a little when I put in their own sand box in the shade. That way they can dust off and dig in when they are hot. And chicken wire laid on the ground can hurt them. I used it as a fence around my veggie garden. I am going to try the hint about vinegar around my flowers. Long live the chickens. (04/07/2008)
I have had chickens and gardens for quite awhile and have some good suggestions for you. If you have the space, place your vegetable garden at least 4 to 5 hundred feet from where the chickens roost at night. Most will not roam that far, and put a reasonable fence around your garden. As far as flowerbeds, you have to be creative. In my open beds I discourage them by placing obstacles in the bed that do not give them room to make a suitable dust bowl. This means that there can be no open places in the bed larger than about a six inch square.
Large flat rocks are a good idea. But to fill in empty mulched places in my beds I use landscaping flags with the flag torn off the metal rod spaced about 6 inches apart over the whole area. The chickens don't like the feel of squeezing in around the metal rods and the rods are so thin that they are invisible just a few feet away. On plants they like to eat I use wire cages. You might think that a lot of cages will look ugly, but they really don't. A vibrant plant will stand out and look good despite a little wire around it.
Two more suggestions to add color and flowers to your house that are chicken proof: 1. buy some window boxes. These work great and look great and the chickens can't get to them. 2. garden in pots and place the pots over old stumps where you can screw or bolt them down. Mounding flowers that will fill the whole pot are best and the chickens will leave them alone. Hope that helps. (05/10/2008)
I have seen motion sensor water sprinklers advertised (google it), that would certainly discourage chickens. (05/23/2008)
To keep our chickens out of the flower garden I use 12-inch wooden kabob sticks, pointed up, around each newly planted flower. The chickens hate being poked and leave my flowers alone. When the plants get bigger I can remove the sticks. (05/30/2008)