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PunkRotten
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How to get rid of chickens in garden?

Hi,

For a few weeks now I have been noticing a few chickens roaming around my garden. At first it didn't look like they were bothering anything but one day one of them went through my compost kicking around everything. Not much of a big deal. But yesterday I noticed a spot in one of my beds where it looked like something dug. Sometimes cats will roam around my garden so I thought maybe they did it. But maybe it was the chickens. Anyway, I'd like to have them not come to my yard anymore without having to kill them. I think they belong to somebody around the neighborhood but they escaped or something. What could I do to scare them away for good?

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applestar
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Chickens working over the compost pile sounds like a good thing. 8)

These chicken may have "discovered" your garden as a part of their "range". A Guinea fowl from a "nearby" farm -- actually was not visible from my house and is/was located beyond a small woods and across a cornfield -- found my garden and used to come and make a big racket in the morning, but eventually it stopped.

It maybe worth your while to find out where they are coming from.

I don't have chickens myself -- much as I'd like to -- but most chicken owners seem to need to protect their garden from the chickens either by caging the chickens or caging the garden.

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Gary350
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Ckicken are fine in the garden they eat all the bugs. Chickens like to scratch the ground with their feet looking for tiny little rocks and bugs to eat. Chickens need to eat rocks to make egg shells. In very hot weather chickens and birds will peck tomatoes for water so be sure to have several water pans in your garden. Dump a pile of sand and small rock some place chickens will go there and dig. You need to out smart the chickens and birds.

I collect 5 gallon plastic buckets at construction site dumpsters. I keep about 30 buckets of water in my garden. If I make it easy for birds to get a drink of water they won't bother my tomatoes.

Dillbert
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as applestar mentioned, generally speaking chickens are helpful in controlling bugs and pests - beetles, grubs ,etc.

they can be problematic when you're direct seeding or setting out young plants - that "scratching about for juicy bugs" can indeed disrupt the seeds/transplants. a roll of 18" wide chicken wire and some stakes will keep them out of places you don't want them.

but also - as mentioned "got loose" is a possibility and I'd bet the owner would be happy to recapture them. put a sign out front: "Missing Chickens? Inquire within"

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ElizabethB
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I can just imagine the irate responses I will get. Years ago I had a neighbor who raised chickens. It is legal to raise chickens in the city if they are contained. Well the neighbor did not contain the chickens. Even more offensive was the fact that these were not laying/eating chickens but fighting chickens. Yeas cock fighting is illegal but it still goes on and raising fighting chickens is not illegal. Those birds tore up my beds. I talked to the neighbor about keeping his birds caged - no result. Called animal control. They showed up with huge nets trying to catch the birds. I sat on my front porch and laughed myself silly watching these grown chase those stupid birds with their nets. Birds won. The neighbor was cited for not containing their birds. That did no good. The beast were still in my front beds and even managed to get into the garden in the back yard. I had enough.

I got a couple of heart traps from animal control for a refundable deposit. Baited them with corn - set them on my property. I caught 12 chickens in 5 days. I brought them out to the country where there were woods and fields and set them loose. My neighbor was seriously peed but by that point I could have cared less. Had they been eating/laying hens and the neighbor had shown the lack of care and response I would have had chickens in my freezer.

The neighbor was given every warning and opportunity to care for his birds. He was just a real jerk. No sympathy on my part.

Hopefully you can locate the owners and convince them to contain their chickens. They can damage a garden quickly with their scratching. Just my opinion - their damage out ways any benefits.
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Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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jal_ut
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Chickens will eat about anything. If you were to fall down and die with a heart attack in the coop, they would eat you too. They also scratch around and will put a good amount of hurt on your garden, eating young seedlings, scratch them up and peck holes in all the fruit later on. Ya, they will also eat bugs, but in the end their damage far outweighs any good they do. Free ranging chickens are a pain in the butt. Chicken Noodle Soup!
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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ReptileAddiction
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Personally I would be ecstatic if their were chickens in my yard. I love chickens and I would get new pets 8) But if you really want them to stay out of your garden build a short fence around. You could also fence in your lawn or something and put them in their.

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ElizabethB
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So would I if they were eating chickens. In my freezer and in the gumbo. Yumm!
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When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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PunkRotten
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They come from behind my house somewhere. There is some houses that keep chickens, ducks, and other exotic birds. These chickens and roosters have escaped before, I saw a goose once and a peacock. I used to have a big dog a few years back and sometimes they would jump up on my wall and the dog would jump and try to get them. I think they are now coming over to my yard because there are no predators and they like to eat the bird seeds and bugs. Yes it looks like they scratched my bed where I had beet seedlings. This wall they jump is at least 7 feet. I think I will start by scaring them off myself every time I see them and maybe that will do the trick. I also might make a few signs and post it around the neighborhood warning their chickens may be killed or captured (just a bluff) if they don't contain them. As much as they are cool to see, I think they are going to become a serious problem later on. Can a cat kill a chicken? I keep my cat indoors most the time and my cat watches them through the window and acts like it wants to go out there and get them.

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ElizabethB
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Not so sure about a cat. I would not risk my spoiled girls on a chicken that could do serious damage. My babes are way to spoiled. Strickly indoor cats. They don't even know what it is to get their paws dirty. Yes - G and I are both humble human servants to our girls. My Mom has a corgi mix - Lucky. Her neighbor is another unresponsible chicken raiser. Lucky killed a rooster. I mean wrung his neck big time. Then he dropped it on the back steps so Mom could tell him what a good boy he was. Go Lucky!
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

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When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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digitS'
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Chickens are likely to gang up on a cat. The cat may be able to dispatch 1 but 3 or 4 will be too difficult to deal with.

You can scare birds of any type with toys. There is the common 1 - the plastic owl. I have also used a toy cat that very effectively kept sparrows out of new plantings. What it takes with these predator toys is moving them constantly and not giving the birds a good look at them. I don't know about the owl but the kitty toy traveled a couple times a day. She was in a box, hiding behind some boards, under the step to the greenhouse, in the shade of the rhubarb . . .

For chickens, you may want a toy dog. Yes, I've got laying hens and they generally are not allowed out in the gardens. They are easily spooked, anyway. There is a reason that they are called "chicken."

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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PunkRotten
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Yeah these chickens were skittish at first but it seems they aren't scared anymore.

Image


Image


Here is a rooster from months back

Image

cynthia_h
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Time for the hose. Sharp bursts of unexpected water, together with the most hideous, unholy weird laughter you can create to scare them off. Sometimes motion-activated sprinklers will deter unwanted wildlife. :twisted:

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!potatoes!
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ElizB, I'm not sure i get your distinction between eating-chickens and non-eating chickens. all chickens are eating chickens. anything above a certain age just oughta get slow-cooked, instead of any other method. do you think their feed was different or something?

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ElizabethB
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I guess a fighting chicken is edible if you are real hungry but they are tough rangy birds. The meat is very stringy and tough. Much different than laying hens. I just set them loose in the woods. I know I may sound heartless but seriously - people can make me nuts when they have pets or livestock and do not act responsibly. My husband would love to have a Lab - so would I but he is gone too much to train it properly and then there is the issue of boarding when we leave town.. That is why we have 2 adorable cats. When we go out of town they are fine on their own. They do "catch an attitude" when we are gone and require much attention before they allow us back into their good grace. I love animals and keep nagging G to move to the country so I can raise chickens, sheep and a nanny goat. Sigh - the older I get the more I yearn for country living.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

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When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

DoubleDogFarm
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I just set them loose in the woods. I know I may sound heartless but seriously - people can make me nuts when they have pets or livestock and do not act responsibly.
Now I'm ready.:evil: How is trapping and relocating a domestic animal responsible. Giving the problem to someone else.

Pets, Maybe. I believe it to be more humane to kill quickly and eat than to abandon to nature that is cruel. Please don't have animals if you can't give them a good life, be it short at times, and end it responsibly.

Eric
Last edited by DoubleDogFarm on Sat Dec 29, 2012 8:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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ElizabethB
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They were not my birds. My irresponsible neighbor was raising fighting chickens. Turning them loose would not cause them injury - they are real beast. These birds are raised and trained to kill each other. Gross. I could have wrung their necks and tossed them. I thought setting them loose in the woods (not a neighborhood but out in the country) would at least give the beast a chance to survive. That was years ago. Glad I no longer have those issues.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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jal_ut
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Pests

I got a couple of heart traps from animal control for a refundable deposit. Baited them with corn - set them on my property. I caught 12 chickens in 5 days. I brought them out to the country where there were woods and fields and set them loose.
I am all for getting rid of pests, however, I have never agreed with re-locating the critters, no matter what they are. You are just giving someone else the problem. NO THANK YOU!

The Hav-a-Hart traps are good to catch critters with, however once you have the critter in the trap, you should drop the trap in the pond for a while, then later remove the critter and either bury it or send it with garbage collections.

You have some options. You can chase the critters off every time you see them. Takes full time vigilance to do this. You can trap them either with foot traps or Hav-a-Hart traps, or shoot them. A nice break barrel pellet gun works wonders on things up to cat and chicken size. Legal in most areas.

For sure chickens are edible. As noted, if it is an older bird, just cook it slowly until tender. It will make excellent soup.

I am sorry, I don't have much patience for stray critters in my garden. I once took out 5 peacocks in one spree with a 12 gauge shotgun. I am sure the neighbors all heard the noise, but nothing was ever said. You think a few chickens can mess up a garden, you should see what 5 peacocks can do.

Owners of cattle or horses will take responsibility to keep them in, but for some reason owners of birds don't seem to take it very seriously. I would never shoot someone's cow, but once they have been notified about birds, I will deal with them if they continue to be a problem.

I grew up on a ranch in Northern Utah and we had all sorts of wild critters bothering livestock at times and raiding our gardens.. Not to mention stray dogs harassing livestock. If we were to protect our livestock, it took firm measures. A loaded gun was always close to hand.

I am sorry if this seems harsh, but sometimes that is what it takes to protect our stock and crops.

For you in city lot situations, it may be better to use the Hav-a-Hart traps. These are effective.

Foot traps work well too, but are bad for pets if they get in them. I use foot traps by my beehives for skunks. No bait. Pets stay away from the bees, but the stupid skunks like to eat the bees. I tie the trap to a ten foot pole and once I have a skunk, I lead it over to the canal and drown it. No stink doing this. They won't spray as you lead them away and the water carries off what ever they release as they die.

Good luck!
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

DoubleDogFarm
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Well said James. :wink:

Eric

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ElizabethB
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Point taken - should have just wrung their necks. Many years ago. Thought I was doing good. Hope I never have a problem with fighting chickens again. It really was funny watching 2 grown men from animal control falling all over themselves trying to catch those birds with nets. NOT!

A funny story to share with you. Armadillos are a huge problem for gardeners in my area. They can tear up a lawn or garden over night and are almost impossible to trap.

I have to tell you about my friend Susan. She was a real southern girl - always dressed, made up, manicured and coifed. Southern Georgia accent in south Louisiana. A very dear friend but a real air head. She and her husband were wealthy and had a beautiful home on the Vermillion River in an exclusive subdivision. She had 4 acres of prime land on the river all beautifully landscaped. I was on the phone with her one time and she say "Shut my mouth - there is a d**** armadillo in my yard. I have to get my gun" Now Susan lives in the city limits and we are not allowed to dischage firearms. When I pointed that out to Susan she said "That's Ok Honey - I have "quiet" bullets and I WILL kill that s**." This in a voice dripping with honey with a little fire behind it. Miss that woman. She was a good shot and killed the sucker. I laughed until I cried. When she was done she got back on the phone and in that same honey voice said " I took care of that b******. Now where were we?"
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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jal_ut
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" I took care of that b******. Now where were we?"
I love it!
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

DoubleDogFarm
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:shock: LMFAO

Now where's that key. Image

Eric

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