Wells Poultry

Author Topic: eggs or vegetables?  (Read 1232 times)

northfifeduckling

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Fife
    • North Fife Blog
eggs or vegetables?
« on: April 04, 2012, 01:04:55 PM »
when I was ill the chickens dicovered freedom and have been all over my veg plot. Even the fleece covered beds (and seeds) are not being spared. There is no way of improving the fencing in a way that will stop them getting to where they want to get so I'll have to give up on the idea of outdoors veg I think  :'(. Maybe Buffy has some magic in her upcoming book that will just keep those birds in! :&>

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: eggs or vegetables?
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2012, 01:13:19 PM »
Is your fleece just laid over the beds, or is it supported?  I find that if I make hoops out of blue water pipe, with a length of cane pushed up each end for anchoring in the ground, then drape the fleece over and secure it well, the hens don't bother with it. You can do this with mesh netting too.   I also find that although they are forever in the veg garden at this time of year when the ground is being worked, they lose interest later when there is a lot of foliage.
So although you can't protect the whole veg garden - even if you fence it they will fly over - you may be able to protect some crops.  It would be a shame not to grow any veg at all.

northfifeduckling

  • Joined Jan 2009
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    • North Fife Blog
Re: eggs or vegetables?
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2012, 01:28:24 PM »
so far I've secured the fleece with dug-in filled water bottles and tent hooks but they stiff find a way in to scratch it out of the way. The fleece over the kale (the biggest I had) was not wide enough for when it started growing again by 2 feet in a fortnight the chickens had a feast! Just something I not had to deal with before at all - for 2 1/2 years they were happy where they lived - in a really large fenced off garden.... :&>

Sylvia

  • Joined Aug 2009
Re: eggs or vegetables?
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2012, 01:49:22 PM »
Clip wings if they are flying out of their pen, just one wing though and clip it short, not just the flight feathers. If this doesn't work heighten the fence. They are cunning little beggars when they find a tasty food supply ::)

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
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Re: eggs or vegetables?
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2012, 01:55:21 PM »
Clip wings if they are flying out of their pen, just one wing though and clip it short, not just the flight feathers. If this doesn't work heighten the fence. They are cunning little beggars when they find a tasty food supply ::)
That didn't work with mine - My two Light Sussex crouch down and JUMP! ::) ;D

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: eggs or vegetables?
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2012, 02:03:39 PM »
We havent finalised our veg plot yet .... will probably enlarge it when we get time so have it fenced in a temporary way for now. It is just canes pushed in the ground, supporting chicken wire. Our Friesian Fowl really can fly ..... wouldnt have thought it possible for a hen to fly so well! However they rarely fly into the veg plot ..... think it could be because the wire is quite flexible and gives them no foothold and there is nothing solid looking about it. They can and do fly over things that are much higher than the wire.

Simple to do. Might be worth a try.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: eggs or vegetables?
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2012, 02:39:39 PM »
For holding down fleece, long canes along the edges, held down at each end with wire loops works well.  Roll the fleece around the cane before fixing.

I hate the idea of clipping wings as it means the birds can't get away from a predator attack.

I think the wobbly canes and chicken wire would work too, with the added embellishment of fleece over the top, but tie it on in case a hen lands in the middle  :D :chook:

My hens like to take  a short cut across my garlic and shallot bed - some very neatly avoid the plants, but others, esp Buffy the Buff Maran with her big feathery feet, squashes whatever she stands on.  Mostly at the moment they are being great picking up any creepy crawly baddies I don't want in the freshly turned soil - and a lot of worms too.

colliewoman

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Pilton
  • Caution! May spontaneously talk rabbits!
Re: eggs or vegetables?
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2012, 05:44:02 PM »
It depends on how pretty you want your veg plots...
The best anti chicken/pest device I have come up with is to blag an old dome or tunnel tent off of freecycle, put it up without the outside skin so you just have the inner flysheet with the zippy doors intact. cut the ground sheet out and peg/weigh firmly all round. Even keeps butterflies away but isn't very pretty :-\
We'll turn the dust to soil,
Turn the rust of hate back into passion.
It's not water into wine
But it's here, and it's happening.
Massive,
but passive.


Bring the peace back

Sylvia

  • Joined Aug 2009
Re: eggs or vegetables?
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2012, 06:37:07 PM »
That's a good idea and would mean your hens have a bit more liberty! How about pond netting stretched over plastic bottle topped canes and pegged down with tent pegs?

PetiteGalette

  • Joined Dec 2011
Re: eggs or vegetables?
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2012, 09:00:51 PM »
Heras panels tied together plus a netting covering will stop even our most determined turkeys trying to get out.
You can buy cheap (long off-cuts with different sized mesh)  netting from the last manufacturer of good quality English netting based in Cornwall. It lasts forever.
We use different sized-mesh (small) to protect the week-olds when they go outside..............and large-holed pigeon-netting that keeps the oldsters in.
We also use the pigeon-netting to grow the runner beans up and keep the peas under control.
A pessimist sees only the dark side of the clouds, and mopes; a philosopher sees both sides, and shrugs; an optimist doesn't see the clouds at all - he's walking on them.  ~Leonard Louis Levinson

plt102

  • Joined Jan 2011
Re: eggs or vegetables?
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2012, 09:56:47 AM »
My chickens love freshly dug seed beds. Saw one at the weekend dig up my whole row of lettuce seedlings and then gobble up a big worm! Will try some chicken wire to keep them out this weekend but they do fly and jump very well!

northfifeduckling

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Fife
    • North Fife Blog
Re: eggs or vegetables?
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2012, 08:56:13 AM »
It is a constant fight with the  :chook: :chook: :chook: :chook: :chook: :chook: :chook:now. I try to plant as much as possible in the tunnel, but some things should go outdoors! At first it looked like they don't care about spinach and chards until it was all gone  :'(. They have decimated my kale and broccolis. Oniona are flying and are pecked atas soon as they have been planted.  I put closhes onto new letttuce plants but they even knocked those over how ever deep I dug them in. Can I plant safely broad beans and potatoes? Will they go for pea and bean plants? If I cover them with fleeces will they get pollinated? Will they go for strawberries? Help, please........... :&>

plt102

  • Joined Jan 2011
Re: eggs or vegetables?
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2012, 01:45:03 PM »
I have basically built a chicken run around my veg plot now to keep the chooks out rather than in. Also invested in some large plastic cloches. Fingers crossed....

 

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