How to keep chickens out of garden?

Joy Dolcini

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Free-ranging chickens are entertaining to watch yet harmful for your garden. Raising free-range chicken is okay if you have a large amount of land. Then you can do both gardening and raising chickens separately.

But most of us usually have a smaller backyard.  We farmers have to fight continuously between letting the chickens out and growing vegetables in the garden. Seeing  chickens destroying the garden is frustrating and annoying. 

These helpful rangers can ruin your garden within hours. Therefore, you should be careful enough to keep them away from the garden without harming them. Then, How to keep chickens out of garden? Well, today’s article is all about it.

Some unique ways and tips to keep chickens out from the garden are detailed here. These ways can also help you to stop your chickens from ruining your grown vegetables and foods.

Why is it necessary to keep chickens out from the garden?

Keeping chicken out of the garden is one essential task for every farmer. Chickens are voracious eaters and scratchers. A flock of chickens can destroy your vegetable garden within hours.Scratching and hooping trees are their favourite task.

They were born with curious nature and sharp nails. Their powerful feet and shrill nails help them to run and dig. Within seconds they can dig the whole yards. Everyone wants to keep free-range chickens. But, you have to do continuous battle with them if you don’t have enough space.

Once they are free in a vegetable garden, you have to say goodbye to your plants and vegetable seeds. Because all of them will be uprooted by your lovely chickens. Harsh but true chickens are not super intelligent. So they can never discriminate between their foods and your healthy vegetables.

Chickens enter the garden in the lure of mealworms. Chicken loves to eat mealworms from the soil of the ground and many farmers take full advantage of that. But this method is illegal. Now you may think why is it illegal to feed chickens mealworms? The answer is simple. Too many mealworms are deadly for chickens.

Do Chickens Eat Garden Plants?

The most common question that everyone asks me is “Will chickens eat my garden”. Quick and short answer is yes. Sounds funny yet true. Because chickens are naturally careless and love to peck at leaves. Leafy greens are one of their favorite meals. They walk and lie down wherever they want and feel comfortable. Whenever they see the seeds of new soil, they will start digging in search of worms and tasty morsels.

Similarly, they are fond of plants and vegetables such as weeds, lettuce, spinach, kale, beetroot, and tomatoes. Some plants are possibly deadly for them. Daffodils, foxgloves, and sweet peas are a few of them.  Planning herbs will help chickens to smell. Add several aromatic herbs to their nesting ground. It will enhance their taste buds effortlessly.

Effective ways to keep chicken out from the garden

How to keep chickens out of my yard is one common question of both framers and serious gardeners. Well, some effective ways might help you to keep your free-rangers out of the garden. Here I detailed some:

Cut Down on Flock Size:

Having too many chickens in a small backyard is one common problem of farmers. Also, A large flock of chickens can destroy your entire garden. 

The more chicken you have, the more of your plants will be destroyed. 8-10 chickens are enough to convert a vegetable garden into an empty field. Therefore, consider keeping a smaller size flock. To maintain a vegetable garden try to raise five or fewer chickens. 

Defend Individual Plants:

The moment chickens see a muddy flower bed, the first thing they do is destroy the whole garden. Hopping into a large fruit tree is one of the chicken’s favorite tasks. Some also enter the garden to dig herb pots and kick all the surface dirt and mud to the ground.

A little critical thinking can save you from this blander. If you place medium-sized bricks on top of the soil around the plants, the chickens can’t ruin your muddy plants. You can decorate the bricks in an artful arrangement so that your garden looks more beautiful.

Supervise Free-Range Time:

Chickens run side to side as soon as you get rid of the coop.  Therefore, supervise the chickens correctly and train them on how to get out from the coop. Two to three hours are enough for chickens to stay out from the coop. 

It’s best to supervise and guard the entire time of their exploring. It is one traditional method to keep chickens away from the garden. Your physical appearance can keep your chickens away from the garden. 

Strategic Garden Placement:

Place your garden strategically if you have too many chickens in the backyard. Never place the garden in front of your chicken poop. If you want to take my opinion, then I would recommend the front part of the property to gardening.

Therefore place your chicken coop in the backyard. Also, place a fence between the garden and coop. It will keep your chickens away from the flower bed.

Also if you set your herb garden on a high tool, then your chicken can never catch it. They cannot even smell the vegetables or herbs.Hence, your veggies and seedbed will stay protected.

Use fake predators:

You can create fake predators in your garden. It will scare the chickens most. A fake Owl or fox will keep your chickens far away from your vegetable garden.  Hence, no chicken will enter the Vegetable Garden at the risk of its life. 

Fence the Garden:

How to keep chickens out of flower beds? Well, fencing might be one best way to keep your chickens away from the garden. Welded wire fence plays an important role in keeping chickens out from a vegetable garden.

Welded wire fencing is much more reliable and trustable than wooden fencing. Although, both of them are equally supportive to keep your chickens out from the flowerbed.

Is there any law for keeping Chickens in the garden?

No, there is no such law for keeping chickens inside the seedbed. It’s entirely up to you where you want to keep your chickens. However, it’s wise to consult with your landlords before keeping a free-range chicken flock.  

Make sure your land has no deeds to prevent keeping livestock. Otherwise it might create difficulties for you further. Besides this one consideration, there is no problem in keeping free-range chickens.

Tips to keep chicken out from the garden

You have to face unbearable damage if you don’t know “how to repel chickens”. Few tips can help you discourage your free-rangers from crushing, scrabbling, and pecking muddy areas of your garden.

  • Plant a separate and attractive garden for your careless friends.
  • Fixed a time to spend with them only.
  • Cover the entire ground of the garden with wire cloth.
  • Trained your chickens properly to stay away from the veggies.
  • Arrange Motion-activated sprinklers to distract them.
  • Plant and spread spices across your garden ground.

Have Any Questions?

How do I stop my chickens from eating my plants?

Well, some basic ideas and guidelines can help you to stop your chicken from eating vegetables. Plant distasteful herbs and vegetables that chickens don’t like. The most disliked herbs of chickens are lavender, catnip, marigold, and spearmint. You can put a durable fence around the entire garden. You can also follow ground cover methods to stop your chickens from eating plants and vegetables.

How do I keep chickens out of my vegetable garden?

Proper fencing can surely keep your chickens out of your vegetable garden. Cover the garden sides with orange peel, citrus juice and essential oils. These can keep chickens away from the garden. Likewise, harvest herbs and disliked the vegetables of chickens. Give enough space to your chicken to move and run peacefully.

What will scare chickens away?

Predators are the biggest fear of chickens. To keep them out from your garden you can create fake predators in your garden. As long as you keep a fake predator on your land no chicken will explore or peak into your garden. Owls can be an ideal option to scare your chickens.

Do I have to let my chickens out every day?

Yes of course. It’s important for their routine and mental health.  Set a particular time for your chickens to go out. Mostly chickens roam around in the daylight. Therefore, set them free every morning to feed and run. Open the door in the early morning and close the door 1/2 hour after completely dark.

Can chickens eat grapefruit?

Yes, chickens love to eat grapefruits. Yet, few of them reject eating grapefruits due to having a sense of taste. Grapefruit contains a high level of acid. Therefore, chickens sometimes refuse to intake grapefruits. Before buying more for the whole flock, try it with one or two chickens to see whether they will eat it or not.

Can chickens eat orange peels?

The straight answer to this question is “No”. Chickens hate orange peels. They never want to swallow it because its skin is too hard. Line your garden’s border with orange peels. It will help you to keep them away from gardens. Though chickens dislike the orange peel, you use these to please them. They can play with it in their leisure time.

Can chickens taste sweetness?

Can chicken smell or taste? Yes, chicken can taste almost all flavors. Their taste buds are quite similar to humans. Chickens are capable of tasting salty, sour, and bitter. But the sweet taste is quite unfamiliar to them. They can’t taste sweet. These grain-eaters don’t prefer to taste the sweet and salty flavor.


Keeping chicken is both a hobby and a necessity for farmers. But they are not naturally beneficial to maintain seedbeds. It’s our responsibility to train them carefully and follow some necessary steps to keep them away from the backyard garden.

It’s always better to prepare your chicken coop and roaming area before adding a flock to your homestead. Also place the coop far from your vegetables garden. 

Plant some favorable plant of your chicken on one side of your garden. So even if they enter the garden, they will be busy eating their treats.

Prime concern of almost every farmer is to understand how to keep chickens out of garden. But actually they don’t have to worry now. Because this article has the capacity to clear all your queries by providing all necessary information.

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