If you have a garden or outdoor space then you may have considered getting chickens and may have already done some research into the things that you need and one question that you might have is that of do chickens wreck your garden?
Chickens love to scratch the earth to get insects, seeds and other foods and their sharp claws mean that, yes, they do wreck gardens. If your hens are left to roam around without any restrictions then they can, and probably will make a mess of your garden.
Chickens will wreck your garden
There is no doubt that, if you leave chickens to wander around your garden then they will wreck it.
Chickens enjoy dust baths and will scratch the ground making bowls that they then lie in dusting themselves to get clean.
Of course they also like to scrape around for worms and other food sources and, for the free ranging hen, everywhere is an option, this includes your flower beds, vegetable patch, lawn and even potted plants.
They love to peck at leaves on all manner of plants and can quickly destroy seed beds and newly planted flowers and bedding plants if they are not controlled.
How to stop chickens from wrecking your garden
The easiest way to prevent chickens from wrecking a garden is to enclose them in either a fixed or moveable pen.
You can either make your own pen for hens or buy a ready made chicken run like this one.
If you have a large area then you can simply fence off an area of your garden, they can free range and roam around this enclosed area, yet are prevented from wandering around the garden.
Add a hen house or shed to this enclosed area for your chickens to live in.
Fencing should be high enough to stop your chickens from jumping over it, chickens tend not to fly but they can jump a good height of up to 4 feet quite easily, so you need to make sure that any fencing is tall enough to keep them in.
Similarly make sure that there are no gaps that they can squeeze through, they are great escape artists and if you are shoddy with your fencing they’ll soon find it and get out.
In the past we’ve simply used fencing posts driven into the ground, connected across the top with a piece of timber and then used chicken wire to create the fencing – it is a cheap and easy method that works.
- ♥Sturdy Construction♥ This chicken coop is crafted of fir wood and asphalt waterproof material, sturdy and can be used outdoors for a long time.
- ♥Pull Out Tray♥ Removable bottom sliding tray for easy cleaning to help you eliminate potential messy situations.
- ♥Wire Fencing♥ Our large rabbit hutch is fenced in with wire fence, it is not only ventilated, but also protects your animal from external predators.
- ♥Spacious Space♥ This large coop is divided into two spaces for the main house and the running area which provides spacious room for your poultry to live and run.
- ♥Widely Use♥ Suitable for a variety of poultry, such as chicken, duck, rabbit, etc. Comes with 2 boxes, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us and we will help you solve the problem.
Chicken garden wreckers can be useful for vegetable patches
Even though chickens wreck gardens there can be some advantages to this. One such time is when you have a vegetable patch or area that needs some clearing.
If you let your chickens roam and graze on your vegetable areas before you plant then they will scratch and scrape the ground, removing weeds, weed seeds and pests, making your clearing job that much easier.
They will also break the soil up and manure it while they are doing the job.
Use chickens to clear garden areas in the winter
If you have a moveable chicken coop or run then you can position it over areas of your garden in the winter months to get your hens to clear the area.
This can be useful for flower beds and other areas that you are looking to replant in the spring or use for other purposes.
By getting into the habit of regularly moving the run your hens will always have fresh earth, grass and other ground to scrape around on.
Chickens and gardening
Chickens will wreck your garden if you give them the opportunity and do not restrict them to a pen or other area that is okay for them to destroy.
Free ranging chickens are great but they do not discriminate when it comes to plants or flowerbeds and everything is fair game to them – they will either eat it or scratch it to oblivion.
There are however, some great gardening positives from keeping chickens:
- They are excellent at clearing ground of seeds and pests
- While they are ‘working’ they deposit soil enriching manure freely
- The bedding waste from the hen house can be added to the compost heap and will quickly rot down into useable and valuable compost
- You can feed them some of the waste from the garden and the waste that is inedible can be put onto the floor of their run and they will scratch it up, turning it into useable soil additive.
It should be clear that chickens destroy any vegetative matter that they come into contact with and that, given the chance, they will wreck gardens.
This is not all bad news though as the ability of hens to clear ground is incredible and you can put them to work in many areas of the garden.
The benefits of having chickens in your garden far outweigh any disadvantages.