Chicken-proof mulch

Jul 18 2012 0 Comments Tags: chickens, garden, mulch

The best and the worst thing about chickens is their habit of scratching!  This is very useful when you want to create new soil or to break up some of the grass runners and reinvigorate our pasture, however I do not appreciate scratching skills being used around my garden.  The first sign that a chicken has been in my garden is that the mulch has been scratch off, they don't tend to eat much, just make a total mess of all my beautiful mulch!  I have been trying to establish an area outside the garden fence, which is just asking for trouble, so that I have somewhere for crazy rambling plants like sweet potato, artichoke and warrigal greens to grow, however the poor plants can't get started when chickens are constantly scratching away at the mulch.

I can't remember if I saw this somewhere of thought of it myself, but I have come up with a solution.  I gathered a thick layer of leftover round bale and manure and spread it over the area.  I then rolled out some left over chicken wire, which I secured with logs.  So far, after several weeks, the mulch is still there, the chickens can't scratch through the chicken wire.  Haha!  Farmer Liz wins!

The mulched area

chicken wire and logs, so far so good

Warrigal greens under the wire
(will have to remove wire when these start to grow in spring/summer,
so they don't just grow all through the wire)

some other mesh to protect a rue and a wormwood plant
How do you keep your chickens out of your garden?

By the way, my chicken eBook is now available if you want to know more about backyard chickens and using chicken tractors.  More information over at the chicken tractor ebook blog.  Or you can get it directly from my shop on Etsy (.pdf format), or Amazon Kindle or just send me an email eight.acres.liz {at}

What's the eBook about?
Chickens in a confined coop can end up living in an unpleasant dust-bowl, but allowing chickens to free-range can result in chickens getting into gardens and expose them to predators.

 A movable cage or “chicken tractor” is the best of both options – the chickens are safe, have access to clean grass, fresh air and bugs. Feed costs are reduced, chickens are happier, and egg production increases. 

 But how do you build a chicken tractor? What aspects should be considered in designing and using a chicken tractor effectively? In this eBook I aim to explain how to make a chicken tractor work for you in your environment to meet your goals for keeping chickens. 

I also list what I have learnt over 10 years of keeping chickens in tractors of various designs and sizes, from hatching chicks, through to butchering roosters.

Reviews of the Design and Use a Chicken Tractor

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