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There is a very short window of time that it would be appropriate to allow them to live inside a garden. But they cannot be in the garden once fruit sets on, either. This means there are only a few weeks when they would be able to peacefully coexist with your garden plants without much harm.
Most garden plants do not all produce at the same time. What may be the perfect occasion to provide a little pest control for the squash is ill-timed for the tiny, tender green tomatoes that would just be setting on late in July. This makes it easy to block off the peppers and tomatoes from the late-producing winter squash. Chickens can rotate through the zones at the appropriate times, causing little damage from their overzealous grazing or scratching. You can give your garden the best possible chance of survival by dividing your zones with deer or rabbit fencing.
Material that is two feet in height, stretched out and secured with small posts, should keep birds put. Very few will think to crawl underneath, but you can always use small tent pins or a similar stake-type fastener to secure the fencing to the ground soil. This brings us to how to keep birds in their place. If you allow your birds to go natural i. This means that even the best-constructed garden fencing can eventually fail. That is why I have also taken to allowing only the smaller, less experienced birds around my garden.
Tiny bantams who have no idea that there is life outside the netting are ideal for this type of environment. The broody, five-year-old Black Australorp hen with ideas about the world is not. If you are in love with the idea of having your chickens work the garden, and you are beyond frustrated with trying to keep them sorted out, perimeter work may be for you. Building a chicken run along the outside walls of your garden is better than nothing.
Chickens can make quite a difference in keeping grasshopper and slug populations down by only working the outside edges.
I have done this with just three sides of my garden most years. Overzealous pumpkin vines are redirected to this fourth wall, or I may allow an heirloom cucumber to make its home here. They will, however, scurry around the base of the raised beds, reaching up to snag a slug or harmful grub straight out of the dirt.
Again, this is probably best for the better-behaved, smaller hens. If at any point they find the greens to be tasty enough to reach for, they get put back into perimeter duty. This type of gardening only works with very clear boundaries! Chickens seem made to stretch your expectations, and challenge the typical gardener. These gals will find a place to nest usually somewhere in the wild mass of overgrown tomatoes and refuse to leave.
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Do your best to keep broody hens near their regular laying boxes. I have had seasons where there were more eggs than eggplants in my garden! If you keep roosters, you know that they have a purpose. But they also cause hens to fight and distract from the job of pest control. Unless you want to hear hours and hours of distressed calls between mother hen and baby, leave the little ones out of the garden.hamleredenchoi.tk
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They tend to get tripped up and lost in the maze of plants. Even if you decide to keep your feathered friends out, there are ways to keep the symbiotic relationship alive — even in a surrogate manner. Weeds and rotted fruits should get tossed to your hens daily. Chickens and the garden are natural partners for a more healthy, efficient system. How you put them together, however, is a very personal choice. Will you be putting birds inside your garden fence this year? What stories can you share about chicken environments gone wrong? Tell us in the comments!
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Thanks for this realistic view. I made the mistake of moving my veggie garden from a deer-fenced area which was admittedly not draining well into some raised beds near the chicken coop. I tried putting some low fencing around the perimeter of each box, but the hens just hop right over it. Thanks for your question, Susan.
Wishing you the best of luck!
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