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Talkback: Hens in the vegetable patch

great to hear you march your hens out into your veg plot.... yes i agree with you but what will you don in the spring as we have done the same to find that they will eat all you young seedlings and anything else thay take a fancy to, let me know.. do you do what we do put them in a lovely enclosed run for the summer although i do have to say they do keep the snakes at bay....especially the little vipers..


  • I had the same experiences but just built a 5 foot by 3 foot chicken tractor that I can put anywhere I want my hens to work for me. They clean up but aren't able to eat my new lettuces before I do.
  • Great, this is what I call useful - plenty of hints for me too!! The hens are lucky in that they have a huge run with lots of undergrowth and I'm hoping that when the veg patch is too full of veg, things will be growing better in their run ! Interesting about the snakes we have a huge grass snake which lives and moves through the run, never seen them do anything but make lots of laoud 'announcements' when they see it though!
  • Lovely to hear your hen stories as I absolutely love hens but alas cant have any of my own. As you say they can ruin a garden and I haven't a spare patch of ground as my garden is small. I would love them to roam free rather than be shut in although they would be put to bed at night to save them from foxes!
  • Hi All, Bonsoir,

    New to the GW site,

    Just 1 question at the moment im sure there will be plenty more...
    where oh where on the site is the instructions on how to build the coldframe, it looked like a metal or strong plastic frame work.Shown on TV before Christmas.

  • I have 2 chickens and for the last couple of months have allowed them out of their small run to roam the whole of the garden. They love it and do find loads of grubs and bugs. Lately they have made quite a mess on the borders and now that new growth is sprouting I have had to restrict them to and hour or two and only if I'm in the garden to keep an eye. They are very clever, they know that me digging means worms, also that seed can be found under the bird feeders and they understand OFF when I catch them on the borders where I don't want them, they do push their luck sometimes and go back on as soon as you turn your back but another OFF and they behave. Wouldn't be without them as they do eat the grubs, supply lovely stuff for the compost bin and eggs too.
  • I was in New Zealand recently and saw for sale in the shops and garden centres large plant pots with 5 or 6 different types of lettuces and leaves in it - ready to go. Pick a few leaves for a sandwich or a handful for a salad.
    How about it Britain? Even flat dwellers could have a pot of leaves on a window sill, no huge lettuce languishing in the fridge.
    Friends and neighbours could get together and swap seedings.
  • I saw on a re-run of Gardeners' World a mention of a guy in London who grew
    a Gunnera in a bucket in his suburban
    garden and very good it looked too.

    Just what I want for a bare corner in my garden.

    Any tips, - other than the obvious 'first catch your Gunnera..."
    John B.
  • No5 have a look at the eggloo
  • I'd love to have hens but unfortunately we have foxes all year round in our garden, and we.... feed them too!!! We live in Sedgley, West Midlands, where could I get a couple of hens? Chantalou
  • Great post. However I also keep chickens & used to keep them free range only to find that they were destroying almost any young veg plants. I now keep them in the run & am thinking of enlarging it & just letting them out when I'm there.
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