Chicken Troubles

Trouble with the chickens these days. They are flying over the veggie garden fence and destroying it.

by Jessica Walliser

Once the chickens found the vegetable garden, it took a wing trim to stop them
Photo by Jessica Walliser

Trouble with the chickens these days. They are flying over the veggie garden fence and destroying it. The ladies pretty much have free range over the fenced in portion of our property which is a good acre.


But, no, apparently that’s not enough for them. They discovered the garden two weeks ago and at first just scratched around in the soil but now they are eating lettuce and pea shoots and it’s bumming me out. 


I thought they might not find the garden since you can’t see through the fence but somehow they did. So, last night I went out to the coop at dusk and nabbed them off the perch one by one and trimmed everyone’s right wing. Not sure if it will be enough to keep them out, but it’s worth a try. 


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I thought it might really bother them to have a little wing trim, but cutting the flight feathers was much like cutting my son’s fingernails. No one complained and everyone still likes me as far as I can tell! (They came running as usual when I called them this morning for breakfast).


Today it’s raining hard so they haven’t even tried to hop the fence. Tomorrow is supposed to be lovely weather so we will see if it worked. If it didn’t, I guess I’m going to have to add another length of post to the fence and ‘top it’ with a few feet of chicken wire. More work than I need right now, but if I don’t manage to keep them out, I’ll have no garden left. Sigh. If anyone has a good suggestion that involves a little less work, my garden and I would love to hear it!


Since I’m not the type of gal to focus on the negative, I’ll share some of the good garden stuff too. We’ve been enjoying beautiful ‘Easter Egg’ radish. I love, love, love the hot pink and purple ones in my salad and on buttered bread. 


The lettuce that has managed to escape the chicken onslaught has been delightful and we have even harvested a few heads of broccoli already (had it with a nice piece of halibut for dinner last night). Can’t wait for the strawberries (no doubt I’ll have to chicken-proof them too!)—they should be ripe in another two weeks. And, I filled the back of my Subaru with three more loads of leaf compost from our municipality. Good stuff.


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