Chickens are notoriously famous for scratching up plants, digging the seeds, and leaving little treats everywhere. If you also have a garden and pet these poultry birds, you have to find a way to keep chickens out of the garden without shooing them all the time.
But don’t despair. In this blog, we will cover several ways to keep chickens out of your yard.
How to keep chickens out of your garden?
So, let’s get started and protect your greens while still enjoying the company of these feathered friends.
Here are a few effective ways how you can chicken-proof your garden:
1. Build a fence
The most effective way to say ‘Bye, Felicia’ to chickens is to build a relevant high fence. You can use wooden planks, chicken wire, hardware cloth, or even chicken netting to create a barrier around your garden. Make sure the fence is tall enough (at least four feet) and buried deep enough (at least six inches) in the ground to prevent your chickens from digging underneath it.
2. Plant chicken-resistant plants
The weedier the garden, less the chickens will have space to spread their wings, peck, or fodder in the soil.
Some plants are less appealing to chickens, so consider planting these in your garden and letting them spread thick, naturally. Herbs such as rosemary, thyme, lemongrass, and basil are known to be chicken-resistant, as well as plants with tough leaves such as lavender, catnip iris, and daffodils. To make your garden dense, sprinkle some spice peppers and garlic all over your backyard. Plus, you will enjoy home-grown flavors for your next herbal tea or dinner party.
3. Plant citrus & use the peels
You ought to include several chicken repellents that emit a smell or taste that chickens dislike. Some popular chicken repellents include hot sauce, vinegar, and citrus juice. But keep them away from your plants as they will damage the crops.
Gather fresh lemon or lime peels, orange peels, or leftovers and sprinkle them throughout your garden. And don’t worry, it won’t hurt your birds. Citrus and sour-tasting plants only repel and stop chickens from getting into your garden.
4. Train your chickens
Chickens are highly trainable, and with a little patience and persistence, you can train them to stay out of your garden. Start by placing a barrier around the garden and supervising your chickens when they’re in the area. If they try to enter the garden, gently shoo them away by waving your hand or using a stick to scare them or by spraying water. If they do the job well, reward them with treats to encourage them to stay outside the barrier.
5. Create a coop
Chickens need a safe and secure place to sleep, so consider building a coop for them. This will provide them with a designated area of their own to roost. Though, it will be convenient to build a coop closer to your home but try to move it a little further. This will give you a persuasive hand to coax your birds to stop chickens from getting into your porch and garden. Fix their free-range pecking and forage time during the day and get them back in their coop during the evening. Not just a place to sleep, lay eggs and have fun, but this will also protect them from predators on prey at night.
6. Cover the exposed space
Chickens are quite fond of three things in the open: bugs, plants, and dirt. Remedy these, and you can keep chickens out of your yard for good. Using large bricks and stones to cover the exposed earth will do you well in keeping chickens from claiming your garden. Make sure to use large concrete and stone and dig them deep to prevent chickens from moving them out. Furthermore, it also keeps dust and tasty bugs (for chickens, obviously) away. Alternatively, you can consider using a wire mesh or hardware cloth to prevent the girls from scratching the soil.
7. Provide an alternative scratch area
Like little kids like to play in a mess, so do chickens. They like scratching and pecking at the ground, so if you provide them with an alternative area to do this, they may be less likely to enter your garden. You can create a designated scratching area using gravel, sand, or even a specific type of soil they prefer. Plant some of their favorite crops and build enough space for them to dirt bath in their garden.
8. Install motion sensor sprinkler
Even if you give them their own garden, chickens (like any other animal and bird) thrive out of captivity and love to explore the areas that entice them. Apart from growing dense weeds and chicken-proofing the surroundings and bare soil, you have to look out for your chickens frequently. But who’s got that much time to sit and spray chickens all day? For this, installing motion-sensor sprinklers in your garden would be a good option. Every time a bird or even a person comes near, it is going to spray water on them. So, heads-up your guests in advance.
9. Choose bright colors, noise, and fake scarecrows
Like humans, animals also react inherently to loud noises, bright colors, and scary-looking figures. Thankfully, chickens are no different. Take this to your advantage and place a couple of scarecrows and predator decoys in the field. Though you must know: chickens are smart and always on the lookout for food and soil. Hence, decoys won’t work for long. To stand your solid ground in deterring chickens, you can consider flashy, bright colors like red or a shade of pink. Additionally, sending out the high-pitched voices of chicken predators like hawks and coyotes gives them a good scare.
In a way, keeping chickens out of the garden can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. By trying the above-mentioned tips, you can chicken-proof your garden and still enjoy having them in your backyard without worrying about them destroying your flower beds and crops. With a little effort (and following our way), you can have a beautiful garden and happy chickens.