We really wanted to have free range chickens, but alas, I couldn’t stand it!
We fenced in the big garden, but we have a lot of gardens around the yard. Every bed had to either be fenced or repaired almost everyday as chickens are diggers.
The new rhubarb looks like poop as the chickens ripped away the soil everyday, I had to cover it with deer fencing as the chickens were eating rhubarb leaves, which are poisonous to people so I didn’t think the chickens would eat them. Jokes on me they ate them…and they all lived.
The chickens started ranging further afield as well, on the edge of the neighbors property and I didn’t want them to become nuscince to the neighbors.
We also have a fox skulking around. I scared it away one evening, she was definitely close enough to kill one of the chickens that were out. It was a nice evening so I had the window open and heard the chickens getting riled up, looked out the window and saw the fox. T and I went out and rounded up the chickens and they went right in…few.
A fox will come back if they see easy pickings so our best bet to keep them alive is to keep them caged as we don’t have a rooster. We have had roosters in the past, they were loud and they all got mean at some point and ended up in the stew pot.
We had some chicken’s that were jump/flying the fence and some that found the darndest holes to squeeze out of around the base.
We tried electric fencing, which was a flop and plugging holes and running a higher string around the top of the coop. They were getting out of everything. Finally we took some fencing that we had used to create extra run space last summer in an attempt to give them fresh pasture often, without free ranging, and River attached it to the top of the other fencing, making the fence between 8 and 10 feet tall in some places. The Littles and I staked the bottom of the fence about every foot with tent stakes. I am happy to say that for the first time in months, the chickens stayed in the run all day! Whoot! I was so happy, I didn’t need to do any bed repairs yesterday and I can start building up the rhubarb bed again!
Hopefully the chickens have done enough damage to the tick population in our yard that we won’t have a major recurrence this year, our yard has been remarkably tick free.
Here’s to garden beds that don’t get dug up and ladies safe from the foxes!