Last year we learned our lesson early, the chickens ate all of our spinach starts. All of them. In a matter of moments. It was a complete masacre. So the poor chickens were relegated to this smaller picket fenced yard within our yard. However they can easily jump over that, so we built up this really attractive layer of wire fencing over the pickets to make the fence higher. But still they were able to get through the fence somehow. Which means that while already watching a three year old and a one year old, I often had to go flying outside to shoo chickens out of the garden. A lot of days I’d just give up an leave them in their coop, and while that it’s a very nice coop, it just felt like animal abuse that they could run around like ‘spring chickens’.
This year, I got creative. Over our new pea, spinach, lettuce, and daikon radish seedlings I put mounds of wire. First a layer of old flat wire fencing, then on top of that our big round metal tomato cages. It looks like these poor seedlings are doing time behind a prision fence, but at least it keep them safe. And the chickens can roam free and we can keep their egg yolks that insane orange color with all the bug and weed eating. We need their bug eating ability now to get the first harmful bugs out of yard too.
I don’t know if we are going to have enough intimidating wire to cover our entire backyard this growing season, but at least during this early spring start, I can rest a little easier.
Have you found any tricks to keep your chickens away from your seedlings?