A common challenge that many people who raise backyard chickens struggle with is keeping their chickens out of their garden. One day your garden may be fine, but the next you find it trampled and eaten. While some people just decide to get rid of their garden, there are ways for your chickens and your garden to coexist.
Often times the reason your chickens are trampling over your garden is because they don’t have enough space to move around. Your chickens require at least 8-10 square feet of space per bird to comfortably roam. If you have less than this, then your chickens may find other areas to roam around in. You’ll either have to expand your backyard, or cut down on your flock.
Wrap chicken wire or hardware cloth around individual plants
Wrapping chicken wire or hardware cloth around individual plants can easily deter curious chickens without harming the plants themselves. Chicken wire is best for taller, more mature plants. For newly planted seeds or low-growing plants, however, you’ll need to use something stronger, such as hardware cloth, in order to keep your chickens out.
Use large bricks and stones
Chickens can toss away small stones, but not larger ones. By placing a few large bricks and stones around the base of your plant, they’ll be unable to get too close to the plant to cause any damage. Bricks and stones can be used on their own, or in addition to chicken wire/hardware cloth if you feel those won’t be enough.
Place the garden out of reach
If your chickens are still getting into your garden, then you may have to move your garden so that it’s out of reach. You can either place it in the front yard (with your chickens in the back), or use a raised garden bed that’s high enough to prevent your chickens from reaching the plants.
Use herbs to repel your chickens
There are some scents that chickens simply cannot stand. Many of these scents come from herbs. While there are many herbs that chickens do like (see below), there are also plenty that they don’t like. If you plant these herbs around your garden, your chickens won’t go anywhere near it. They may try to taste-test these herbs, but once the flavor will quickly deter them. Here are the herbs that repel most chickens:
Or use citrus
Another thing that chickens don’t like is citrus. In similar fashion, if you sprinkle leftover orange, lemon, or lime peels around your garden your chickens will likely stay away. You can also use the juices. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll need to reapply these regularly, especially after it rains.
Make a separate chicken garden
A chicken garden is full of plants and herbs that your chickens love to eat. By creating a separate chicken garden, your hens will be less likely to go after your own garden. Not sure how to get started? Read our guide on building a chicken garden here.
Have further questions on how to protect your garden from your chickens? Then contact Chickens for Backyards for any of your backyard chicken needs.