Keep Your Garden Pristine: A Comprehensive Guide on How to Keep Chickens Out

How to Keep Chickens Out of the Garden: A Complete Guide

Having a garden can be incredibly rewarding, providing fresh produce and a beautiful space for relaxation. However, it’s not uncommon to face challenges when trying to protect your beloved plants from curious and mischievous creatures like chickens. In this blog post, we will explore effective strategies and practical tips on how you can keep chickens out of your garden while ensuring the well-being of these feathered friends.

Understanding Why Chickens Love Gardens

Chickens are naturally drawn to gardens due to various reasons such as:

1. Food: Gardens often offer an abundance of tasty treats including insects, worms, and vegetation that chickens find irresistible.
2. Shelter: Leafy plants provide shade during hot days while also serving as excellent hiding spots for chicken coop escapees.
3. Scratching Opportunities: Chickens love digging and scratching around in loose soil or mulch found in garden beds.

Now that we’ve identified why chickens are attracted to your garden let’s move on to some potential solutions:

Fencing Your Garden with Chicken-Wire

One highly effective way to keep chickens out of your garden is by installing sturdy fencing using chicken-wire:

1. Measure & Plan: Start by measuring the perimeter of your garden area accurately so you know exactly how much chicken-wire is required.
2. Dig Trenches: Dig shallow trenches along the fence line—about 12 inches deep—and bury the bottom portion (6-8 inches) of the wire mesh within it.
3. Secure Fencing Material: Attach chicken-wire securely onto existing fences or posts surrounding your garden using staples or zip ties at regular intervals.
4. Gate Considerations:

Gating Alternatives:

If you want easy access into your fenced-off area, consider adding a gate made of chicken-wire (ensure it is sturdy and securely latched) or use a pre-made gate.

Netting Overhead:

For extra protection, consider attaching netting above your garden area to prevent chickens from flying in.

Creating Separate Spaces for Chickens

Providing designated areas for your chickens can significantly reduce their interest in invading your garden:

1. Construct a Chicken Run:

Size & Materials:

Build a spacious chicken run using sturdy fencing materials such as hardware cloth or chain-link fence that stands at least 6 feet high.

Add Vegetation:

Plant shrubs and ornamental grasses around the perimeter of the chicken run to provide visual barriers and make it less appealing to wander further.
2. Designate Free-Range Zones:

Select Safe Areas:

Identify specific areas within your yard where you allow chickens to roam freely without any danger to themselves or damage to your garden. This will help redirect their attention away from vulnerable plants.

Distract Them with Chicken-Friendly Alternatives

Sometimes, keeping chickens out of the garden requires offering enticing alternatives elsewhere:

1. Dedicated Dust Bath Area: Provide a dedicated dust bath area filled with loose soil, sand, and wood ash inside the chicken run. The irresistible attraction will keep them occupied while sparing your precious plants.
2. Compost Piles: By creating compost piles away from vulnerable gardening spots, you offer an excellent distraction for chickens seeking food scraps and insects.

Educating Your Feathered Friends

Training can go a long way when trying to keep chickens out of certain areas:

1. Positive Reinforcement: Reward well-behaving chickens with treats when they stay away from restricted zones like gardens.
2. Deterrents: Utilize harmless deterrents like motion-activated sprinklers, reflective objects hanging in the garden, or even a scarecrow to discourage chickens from venturing near your plants.

Conclusion

Keeping chickens out of your garden doesn’t have to be an ongoing battle. By implementing these strategies—proper fencing, separate chicken spaces, distractions, and training—you can create a harmonious coexistence between your flourishing garden and curious feathered friends. Remember that providing adequate care for your chickens alongside protecting your valuable plants ensures everyone can enjoy the beauty and benefits of a healthy outdoor space!