Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Bad Neighbors with The Bad Chickens

Thanks for the suggestions re: the deer netting and the discount soil. This project just seems very overwhelming at times, but I feel better knowing other people have had the same issues. We did get a second bed built last Saturday (photo left) but haven't had a chance to place it or buy the soil for it.

I know it will eventually get done, but it is frustrating looking out and seeing both my front and back yards in complete disarray. My neighbor asked my husband the other day - "Are you EVER going to plant anything in the front yard?" (Sigh, yes, but we either have to pay someone $$$$$ to do it for us or have the time and $$ to do it ourselves.)

I think I'm going to investigate using the deer netting over the chickens' area so they can't fly out. We first have to secure the bottom of the chicken wire so they can't dig or duck under. Railroad ties would be perfect for this, but I don't like the fact that they've been treated, so I'm on the lookout for something else at the moment. The chickens have been on lockdown since they escaped their pen and went on a seedling-eating rampage. (See photo of decimated seedling at right.) Grrr... I feel terrible they have to be confined, but hopefully we can finish the enclosure this weekend or next week. Their coop does have a small run, but I know they're happier with more room to roam.


  1. You can just drape the deer netting over any seedlings and even the entire bed (I did!) and let the chickens roam and do their thing. That way they get exercise but stay away from the good stuff. :-)

  2. There are parts of my coop that the chickens like to scratch and dig at. I lined my coop and chicken area with concrete blocks. That helps tremendously. I know about the $$$. It sucks!!! But I guess they say it's what makes the world go round. There are a million projects I'd have my claws in if it weren't for $$.

  3. I do the netting-drape over my beds, too. It keeps out chickens--plus skunks and squirrels, who love to dig for roots and bugs in freshly-planted beds. Although, you might want to put a cover over the top of the run, anyway, if you have ever noticed any hawks or other birds of prey in the area. My hens had a near-miss with a hawk the other day. If you do have hawks, I recommend at least putting in some bushes or even a little lean-to in the run so that your hens have someplace to take cover if something swoops down.

  4. My chickens don't dig around to get out of their enclosure but it is pretty good size. They just like to dig up the ground and dust bath. I put bottoms around the outside to make sure nothing dug in like raccoons or dogs. When we put up our chicken wire enclosure walls we left a foot or foot and a half around the bottom out in an "L" shape. Then covered it in a layer of dirt. The grass grew right back up through it and you can't even tell were it is. We did have the 1'x1' stone pavers on it for a while so that it would stay down nice but it worked really well so we didn't have to trench anything.

    We also have hawks and had to put chicken wire across the top of the enclosure. But need to change it out and put something heavier up for the winter. Last year a heavy snow covered branch leaned down and left big impressions in the chicken wire so now it doesn't look so great. But I have had 1 encounter with the hawks diving trying to get into our enclosure. Luckily the chicken wire stopped him. But he tried for a while before I finally figured out how to chase him away and when they are diving like little missals they can be