All Things Gardening forum: Is there such a thing as a chicken repellent?

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Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Nov 3, 2014 7:19 PM CST

Plants Admin

My neighbors' chickens have started visiting my garden. They're gorgeous and I love them, but they're pulling out plants. I use Aeoniums as borders for some of my flower beds, and they're pulling them right out of the ground and making a mess.
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
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chelle
Nov 3, 2014 8:04 PM CST
Not that I'm aware of, Zuzu. When I noticed this spring that our neighbors were letting their new chickens roam free I knew I'd have to develop a hard and fast unwelcoming stance, so I started using scare tactics each and every time they ventured into our yard. I think they're pretty much trained now; I haven't seen them on our side of the fence for quite some time. Smiling
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Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Nov 3, 2014 8:14 PM CST

Plants Admin

Thanks, Chelle. I'll try scare tactics. Smiling
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
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chelle
Nov 3, 2014 8:32 PM CST
Best of luck to you. Smiling
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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Nov 3, 2014 8:33 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I've never been able to keep chickens out and it's been something I dealt with for a long time and tried many different things. At the end of the day, the only thing that works for me is a good fence.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Nov 3, 2014 8:41 PM CST

Plants Admin

Thanks for responding, Dave. I have good fences, but the chickens are coming in from the street, marching up my driveway, which can't be fenced. I'll just do what I do when the neighborhood dogs get into my garden: Jump up and down and yell "Go home!"
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Nov 3, 2014 9:54 PM CST
When I read the posted question I started laughing out loud. Yikes. What a good question.
Finally I calmed down. I actually have an answer for the question and it is do-able and affordable.

Scarecrow motion activated sprinkler.

Here is in entertaining video...although a video of zuzu jumping and yelling might be just as entertaining. Thumbs up
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOPAS9-KgeU

(I wanted to use this on my neighbor but the police said it might not be a good idea.) Rolling on the floor laughing
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Nov 3, 2014 9:58 PM CST

Plants Admin

What a funny video! Those poor chickens. Of course, it would do the same thing to my cats and to me, so it might not be the solution for my garden. Big Grin
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Nov 3, 2014 10:00 PM CST
"When I read the posted question I started laughing out loud."

Me too!! Hilarious!

Of course, you could just catch them and eat them... Blinking
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Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Nov 3, 2014 10:10 PM CST

Plants Admin

Nooooo! Crying They're beautiful chickens, and I like my neighbors. I also believe in the free-range method, so I can't ask that they be kept in a pen. I'll just live with it. It's not a very big problem in the grand scheme of things. Smiling
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Nov 3, 2014 10:15 PM CST
Zuzu -- sorry, just kidding... I couldn't, either! But really, just because they want free range chickens, other people shouldn't have to be inconvenienced by it!!
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Nov 3, 2014 10:38 PM CST

Plants Admin

Well, for all I know, my free-range cats might be causing even bigger problems for my neighbors. Hilarious!
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
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RickCorey
Nov 4, 2014 3:43 PM CST
My first thought was that a dog would repel them ... those he didn't eat.
Name: Holly
Russian River Ca. (Zone 9b)
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Hollyhawk
Nov 5, 2014 3:18 AM CST
Would think the neighbors might want to keep them fenced on their property to gather the eggs, non laying hen for Sunday dinner??? Drooling
[Last edited by Hollyhawk - Nov 5, 2014 3:20 AM (+)]
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Name: Tom Cagle
SE-OH (Zone 6a)
Old, fat, and gardening in OH
Coppice
Nov 5, 2014 7:39 AM CST
A twelve gauge is sovereign for marauding chickens.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
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pirl
Nov 5, 2014 8:09 AM CST
Unimaginable, Tom! First, Zuzu wouldn't consider it. Second, the gun weighs about 12% of Zuzu's weight!
Name: Jo-Ann
Zone 9a, New Orleans, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member
JoAnn
Nov 6, 2014 4:37 AM CST
I'm sorry, but free-range does not mean someone else's chickens free-ranging on my property. As a chicken owner, I can tell you from experience that chickens can destroy a garden, not only with their eating, but with their digging & scratching. And chickens don't learn from scare tactics. When I allow mine to roam my garden area, I use a hose & a stream of water to get them out of certain beds. 5 minutes later, they're right back in the same bed. 1 of my chickens escaped and got into a neighbor's yard a few weeks ago. Dug up all the newly planted pansies. I had to spend $20 on another flat of pansies, $10 for additional mulch, and 2 hours redoing her flower bed.

If your neighbor had a large, vicious dog running around your yard, would you put up with that?

It's an owner's responsibility to care for their animals. Chickens, or any animal, running free through a neighborhood is not caring for them. Suppose they get hit by a car, or a predator, dog or cat, decides to kill them.
Jo-Ann - Gardening in New Orleans
Name: Tom Cagle
SE-OH (Zone 6a)
Old, fat, and gardening in OH
Coppice
Nov 6, 2014 5:48 AM CST
I'm sure if shooting them chickens is unacceptible, a suit and peace bond may be more tolerated.

Or Zuzu could simply ask her neighbor which avenue they would rather she adopt?
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Nov 6, 2014 3:08 PM CST
I just love my Scarecrow motion activated sprinkler. It works like a charm and I've had it for at least 15 years. There is a little dial on the back so you can turn it off (if you remember) when you're out there. Leaf motion in the wind can set it off, so you need to watch where you aim it, or it might cost you a bit for water. I had mine nicely set, was walking away when a car went by on the street and set it off.

Other than learning the trick to aiming it, the only 'down' side is that I can't deploy it inside my fence or - Zuzu, you're so right - my cat comes in wet, with her little paws on her little haunches and won't speak to me for the rest of the day. So it's no good for the mango tree, but the lychee tree is in the front yard, and the Scarecrow does an awesome job of keeping the birds and squirrels off the fruit.

Now, if I can just remember next year to deploy it on time . . . Rolling my eyes.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses
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zuzu
Nov 6, 2014 3:14 PM CST

Plants Admin

Thank you for all of the suggestions. Most of the "solutions" are far too radical for me. There will be no shootings, suits, or peace bonds. Smiling There might be a need for me to replant some things occasionally, but peaceful coexistence will be the watchword here. These mild-mannered creatures are in no way comparable to a vicious dog. The rooster actually seems to be well trained. As soon as I tell him to go home, he walks out of my garden, clucking at his harem to follow him. One of the hens is a little addlepated, tending to run around in circles instead of getting in line with the rest of the girls, but I've shown her the way out a few times, and she'll get over her confusion, I'm sure.

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