Gardening and Chickens

My son's nursery have just had some chicks and are now looking to re-home them. We have agreed to have two and have done all the research etc.  Their run will be on wood/stone chips but they will be allowed to roam for a bit each day hopefully.  Our garden is roughly 100 feet long with grass, patio, shrubs, trees.  What kind of garden damage can I expect and how can I reduce it?  

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Posts

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,759

    A reduction in slugs, vine weevils and leather jacket-type bugs that live in the soil.  

    They'll scratch at your lawn to get at such things, but if you're around when they're out of their run they'll not do too much damage.  They may peck at some greenery but mainly out of curiosity - hens are very inquisitive.  Just keep them off seedbeds - little temporary fences of chicken wire and bamboo poles, or rather swisher stuff from here  https://www.omlet.co.uk/shop/chicken_keeping/omlet_chicken_fencing/ that you can move about and place where you don't want them to go, will be fine.

    I'm very envious - when I had the smallholding I had 60 rare breed poultry and odds & sods of bantams acquired somehow - I loved them - it was a toss-up between chickens or a pond in this garden, and the frogs don't mind if we go away on holiday image

    Oh, when they're fully grown get someone to show you how to clip one wing on each of them, then they won't fly over your fences image

    You have to re-do it each time they moult and grow new wing feathers. 

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • Mrs GMrs G Posts: 336

    Thanks Dove, that is a relief as you hear a lot of people moaning about how you can't have a garden and chickens.  I'm sure they will be less bother than our two year old! image

  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,754

    ...and produce more free-range eggsimage

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,759
    Mrs G wrote (see)

    Thanks Dove, that is a relief as you hear a lot of people moaning about how you can't have a garden and chickens.  I'm sure they will be less bother than our two year old! image

    Speaking as a mother (even if the toddlers are now very grown up) I can assure you they'll be much less bother - once you've shut them up for the night you won't hear a peep out of them. image

    Get them into the habit of having a small feed of grain scattered in their run in the afternoon - that'll be good training for them to rush into the run for the treat and then you can shut them safely away. image

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • Mrs GMrs G Posts: 336

    Ha ha ha he is being a pain as we speak, wish he was as easy to put to bed!

  • Mark 499Mark 499 Posts: 379

    I know someone locally who lives in a large property with a couple of acres of land around the house for their 6 chickens to roam during the day but the chickens have totally destroyed their garden.

  • And if you're interested in rats you might see a few!

  • SwissSueSwissSue Posts: 1,447

    Always someone around to put a damper on!image My only thought was, what if they turn out to be roosters? Enjoy your chickens, Mrs. G.image

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,759
    Mark 499 wrote (see)

    I know someone locally who lives in a large property with a couple of acres of land around the house for their 6 chickens to roam during the day but the chickens have totally destroyed their garden.

    Mrs G's original post spoke about the chickens 'being allowed to roam for a bit each day' - not for them to be given unrestricted access to 2 acres!  Chickens have to be managed, which is why I spoke about fencing them out of some areas, and also getting them used to regular routines.  

    Rats can be a problem if good food hygiene practices aren't followed - but Mrs G has read up on that.  Rat proof food storage and not leaving uneaten food about is the key. 

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • Alan4711Alan4711 Posts: 1,569

    Oi i heard that Mrs G your poor oldman a pain Never in life are we Ever a pain us men,

    i think the chics sound great,all demeggs  oooh egg custard ,tart, egg an bacon sarny, from erin Sunny Norfolkimage good luck

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