Having chickens can be fun and rewarding, especially once you start getting eggs. For the most part, they are easy to take care of, but they do love to get into everything! While nothing is truly “chicken-proof”, we’ve provided some ideas to help keep your garden and your chickens healthy and hopefully keep them from destroying all of your plants. It is also important to note that what works for keeping some chickens out of the garden and from eating or destroying your plants will not work for others -unfortunately, it’s trial and error. Hopefully, some of these will work for you and your flock of chickens.
- Add roosting options in and around your garden. This will help deter your chickens from sitting directly on your plants when resting.
- Make sure your chickens are always well fed – although they’ll eat plants and shrubs when they have plenty of food, you don’t want to force them to eat your plants as their only source of food.
- Discourage chickens from scratching the dirt around your plants by strategically placing heavier rocks around the base of plants or as a barricade they can’t get around.
- Plant trees and shrubs for them to use for shade, protection from predators, or as a hangout spot on hot days or even during the wintertime.
- Add fences or chicken wire around your most important gardens or plants.
- Add plants that drop berries for the chickens to eat off the ground as they fall off.
- Use predator decoys.
- Create a living fence with dense shrubs
- Plant shrubs with thorns, the chickens will not mess with those thorns.
- Roses – Oso Easy Italian Ice®, At Last®, or Reminiscent™ Coral
- Barberry – Sunjoy Gold Pillar®, Sunjoy Orange Pillar™
Remember nothing is fully “chicken-proof” these tips are just to help deter your chickens from eating, pecking, and scratching at your gardens. If a chicken does end up destroying one of your plants check out “Why gardening with chickens is beneficial” as a reminder of all the good your chickens do for not only you, but your garden as well.