chicken repellant

bloomingaddiction(z7 MS)April 2, 2006

Is there any possible way, besides a fence, to keep chickens out of a newly tilled and planted flower bed? I had heard someone say maybe mothballs, and I have considered placing chicken wire over the top of the flowers, but that will make a mess when the flowers start to grow through it. ANy ideas?

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Maggie_J(z5 Ontario)

You could use the chicken wire but remove it before the plants grow through. The chickens will be less attracted to the flowerbed when it is no longer newly disturbed soil. Maybe you could dig up a nice dusting/digging spot for them near their coop to distract them just before you remove the wire.

My chickens are making a mess of the flowerbed against the south wall of the house right now. I am using this area for herbs and they are in danger of scratching out several nice clumps of chives. I think for this bed my best bet will be to use flat rocks between the plants to discourage digging. They dig in other beds as well, but this one gets most of their attention right now because it is the most sheltered spot. They love to sunbathe and dust there.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2006 at 10:03AM
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Maggie_J(z5 Ontario)

Just came in from checking out the latest chicken damaage to my herb bed. Dust pits everywhere and chickens lolling about in them making weird noises. LOL. I wouldn't use moth balls... they are toxic and the chickens are such bird-brains they might eat them.

What I did to protect my plants short term was to strategically place those sections of dollar store plastic border (they are supposed to look like wrought iron and have spikes on them. They look horrible but I can live with that as a stop-gap measure.)

Long term, I still want to use flat rocks between the plants but I am thinking of putting down a layer of chicken wire about an inch below soil level. I'll cut holes in it to accomodate the existing plants and let new seedlings just grow up through it. The soil and flat rocks will hide the chicken wire and the combination will (I hope) make a permanently chicken-proof bed.

Glad you posted this question, Bloomingaddiction, since it made me think it through. I might not have come up with the solution otherwise.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2006 at 1:46PM
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I haven't heard of using moth balls for chicken repellent, but I know it works on snakes, if you do it early enough in the season.
We used them for snake repellent when we had chickens and they tried to eat them but the taste was so nasty they left them alone, it didn't keep them out of our yard by any means.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 11:24AM
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tedwerd(z6 ny)

i've had problems w chickens in the flower beds for awhile and finally just decided to fence them in for the summer. They had all the bare dirt they could want down at the barn but they would always come up to the house. I'm going to close the gate on them any day now for this year since theyre already ruining lots of bulbs. i tried the shiny cd theory i heard, the fishing line, and lots else. unless the plants are pretty dense they will get in there and dig everything up, they especially love kicking the woodchips and mulch right out of the bed. the little cheap fences i tried for awhile too but it didnt work that well for me and it was ugly as hell. my father suggested getting those motion sensor things that squirt water at them, but i have way to many flower beds for that, and chickens might be too stupid anyway to understand whats going on.i say just fence them in, or grow some really thick beds.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 2:22PM
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chapelhillgardener(7a NC OrangeCo)

it's the kicking mulch & compost out of the beds that got to me - i couldn't keep up with the several-times-daily repairs. they also scratched & dug around plants, unearthing them on many occasions. after several years of trying various things to repel them, the only satisfactory fix was confining them to their own happy area with a high sturdy fence :)

    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 8:21PM
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I thought it was nice to have them running around my yard until they repeatedly dug up my gardens. Mine are all fenced inside a large yard. I still have notorious escapees who are confined to a smaller coop. I wouldn't use moth balls...they are naptha based and toxic, to you and the chickens.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 9:34PM
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About 60 stray chickens (and roosters) roam my neighborhood. I've contacted every agency in the county for help in eliminating the problem. They tell me that it is the owner's responsibility but no one will confess. The sheriff's office said that they belong to me when they are on my property and I can kill them by any means I choose, short of shooting a gun because this is a totally residential area of small lots. I have very little grass because of shade trees and I am losing that due to 60+ chickens. I saw new baby chicks yesterday. Even the aligator farm won't come get them. HELP! What can I do?

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 8:10AM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Feral chickens are pretty darned wily. They wouldn't survive otherwise. Also, they are going to be fast little buggers and fly like eagles.

I'd construct a temporary pen (one they can't fly out of, because they are going to be able to fly amazing heights and distances) and get them used to you feeding them in it over a week or more. Go out, call "Chick-chick-chick" and let them see you dropping the food in the pen. Go out and leave the door to the pen open so they can go inside and eat. Chickens are VERY food motivated and are basically unable to resist food.

Once they catch on that FOOD is being handed out in the pen, and get a little more used to you, you can drop food in the pen that has to be eaten in place--scratch or something too heavy to carry away, suck as raw corn on the cob. Once the chickens go in, shut the door to the pen. They you go, trapped chickens. You can repeat this process until you've gotten them all or have reduced their numbers to a manageable amount.

Of course, this means that either you or some willing high school kids you've hired are going to have to go in there and start grabbing chickens (wait until it's dark and the chickens can't see and it'll be WAY easier). Pack them into pet carriers or cardboard boxes and cart them to the local animal shelter or feed store as freebies. Some people use a 'catching pole'--a long pole with a noose at one end, they look like this:

You can easily make one yourself. Snare the chickens by their legs only, if you go for their necks you can easily kill them. The chicks should want to stay with mama, so if you catch mama and cage her, the chicks will soon appear, peeping, and you can grab them and box them up. Keep each mamas' chicks with that hen, if you mix them up the strange chicks could be killed by the mother hen.

Or, place an ad on Craigslist, the local ad paper, the feed store, whatever--'Free chickens, you catch 'em, you keep 'em!'

Good luck, like I said--wild chickens are clever little stinkers. I'll be willing to bet they are all banties, right?

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 12:07PM
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Unfortunately I live very close to the street and there is a lot of property in the back but they insist on venturing out into the street. Is there anything I can sprinkle along the road to make them want to go back the other way? Fencing is not an option. I will be moving soon so I am trying to find a moderatly cheap temperary solution.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 10:28AM
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I have over 7 acres of land, yet my chickens still thought the grass was greener on the other side and I couldn't keep them out of my neighbors yard. Finally, after receiving the suggestion from fellow chicken raiser and out of sheer desperation, we decided to install a very low voltage electric line on just our side of the property line. (After speaking with neighbors to make sure they knew what we were doing) It was only four inches from the ground, so was very easy to maneuver around. It worked like a charm! After only a few days and a couple of zaps,(again, very low voltage so as not to do any real damage to our chickens) they learned very quickly they did NOT like going in the neighbors yard anymore. We left the electric line up for a few more weeks, but it was no longer hot and was there only as a visual for the chickens to see. Once their habit was to no longer go in that direction, they stayed on their own land from that time on. We took the electric line down completely and It's been well over two years ago and my chickens still haven't been back in the neighbors yard. I know some of you might think it's not humane to zap your chickens into doing what you want...but for me it was so much better than caging them up. But please, if you decide to use this method, make sure you speak to a professional to insure you are installing the correct amount of voltage. Your not out to hurt the chickens, only to give them a little pinch. While we were using this method, our chickens didn't have any signs on their legs from the electric wire and they continued to lay eggs everyday without a hitch. Both were proof to me that the chickens did not suffer outside or beyond that of the split second jolt. Love my chickens...especially when they are free to roam. :)

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 4:52PM
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