There can be different reasons why people would want chickens out of their yards. Whether it may be for protecting the place, keeping them away from plants that they may peck on, or keeping them from eating dangerous things. So as people may ask, “What are the ways how to keep chickens out of my yard?”
In the talks of keeping chickens out of the yard, fences have been one of the go-to solutions. Chicken fences are effective, but this may take more effort than most solutions, but when done the right way, it can be one of the longest-lasting solutions too.
You can always install the more accessible types of fence. It may last longer with the proper care, but as much as possible, a sturdy and well-made wall is your best way to go.
2. Asking and Communicating
This may sound comedic, but asking works for chickens. It’s not precisely the polite type, but indeed, it will register with them if you alarm them enough. It will eventually imprint in their minds by gesturing and alarming them of your disagreement and their unwelcomeness in those territories.
Creatures can sense whenever they are not welcome, and chickens are one of the types to get jumpy in unfamiliar places. Some chickens are even nervous when there’s a presence of people they are not familiar with.
Simply calling to them and gesturing for them to go back to their space will suffice. The point is to let them know that they are not welcome in your yard. Perhaps you can wave your hands to gesture them away.
This method is one of the easiest and somehow effortless ways of trying to shoo the chickens out. It’s also good to remember that this is also trial and error. There is no assurance that the chickens will not come back. However, if you keep on doing it for some time, they will get the message.
If the chickens you are trying to ward away are yours, it will be much easier. As the owner, you are most likely to have developed a connection with them, and communicating would not be as hard as warding off unfamiliar chickens. Having a prior connection with your chickens will give you one step ahead.
While this could be very familiar, it can serve as a substitute whenever you are not there to shoo them away. This has been an old way of shooing birds, especially in places where farmers plant their crops.
4. Remove Sources of Food
If chickens still keep on going to your yard, you have to understand that they may have something they want in it. This time, it would help to find sources of food that they could be attracted to. Remove it and observe if they come back.
5. Cover Bare ground with Bricks or Stones
Chicken love bugs! They enjoy feasting on them, and the protein is healthy for them. But the only way they can get these delicious treats is by scratching them out of the ground. By covering bare earth with stones and bricks, you’re effectively lowering the ground’s scratchability and obstructing their goal of mining bugs from the dirt; cruel but effective.
Chickens don’t want to hang out on grounds they can’t scratch, so they’ll hunt elsewhere. This strategy is also effective in reducing dust around your yard. Just make sure the bricks and stones are large enough. You don’t want to lay rocks that chickens can easily topple.
6. Make Them Their Own Garden
Perhaps the best strategy for keeping chickens away from your yard is to make them their own garden. Think about it; it’s a win for everyone; you get your undisturbed yard, and they get their own slice of heaven.
As for Ideas for your garden, plant herbs that chickens enjoy nibbling; Henbit is an excellent idea. But don’t just stop at tasty plants; provide them with amenities like dust baths, water troughs, and sufficient shade. Once you build such a chicken lounge, your chickens will want nothing to do with your yard.
7. Install Motion Sensor Sprinkler
Nothing gets chicken out of your yard more than a shot of cold water from a sprinkler. Again, cruel but effective. And it’s a funny sight, too, to see all those poor chickens scampering to safety and running for their dear lives.
And the best part is that it requires no work on your part. The sprinklers and motion sensitive, and they come on when they detect movement. Just make sure they don’t get you because these sprinklers are a double-edged sword.
8. Employ Chicken Tractors
Sometimes the best way to keep pesky chickens from your yard is by containing them. With a chicken tractor, the chickens are confined as they graze around the yard. The advantage is that you can move the tractor at the end of the day so the bids get fresh pasture.
This contraption keeps the birds safe from predators and limited access to your yard. They won’t be scattered everywhere, tearing up your garden.
What Smells Do Chickens Hate and Avoid?
While physical things can help scare or intimidate the chickens, there are also other ways to keep chickens away from your yard. Like humans and other creatures, chickens also have scents that they hate. You can use this information to your advantage. So, what are some smells that chickens hate?
- Black pepper
- Citrus Peels
- Curry powder
- Cayenne pepper
Chickens dislike pungent smells and strong spices. This makes them a good and safe repellent for the flock that keeps on bothering your yard.
In repelling chickens from your yard, it’s also important to note and make sure you are not killing the chickens. Research, read, and make sure your repellants may be natural or processes are not harming the chickens in any way—the goal of repelling is simply to keep them away rather than killing them.
Toxic Repellants to Avoid
Mothballs are not made to keep chickens away! These balls can be dangerous to chickens, so avoid using them. Mothballs are toxic for both humans and animals. When chickens consume mothballs, it can be fatal to them.
The death rate of chickens who have consumed mothballs is up to 30%. This is not the only damage mothballs cause. The poison is passed on to the eggs and the chicken’s integral parts, especially the muscles.
Cedarwood is also not healthy for chickens. These cedar shavings can cause harm to the chickens’ respiratory system. These respiratory issues can grow and become fatal as it remains untreated. Despite the need to shoo chickens away, it’s still better to avoid killing them.
Pesticides, herbicides, and rodenticides are also not suitable for chickens. These elements can cause toxicosis in chickens when ingested. Since these things are sprayed on plants, insects, and other pests, the possibility of contact becomes bigger. Once chickens eat plants or insects that have been sprayed with these, they can get sick, and in the worst-case scenario, they can die.
Again, while it’s important to keep chickens away from your yard, it’s also essential to make sure that you don’t kill them. Whether it may be the neighbor’s chickens or your own, make sure to keep the things that ward them away healthy and safe both for humans and animals.
Plants as Repellants
A more natural approach to keeping chickens away from your yard is to use plants. Some plants can act as fences, and some just do not go along with chickens.
Believe it or not but trees are an excellent deterrent to chickens. Trees, in a way, distract chickens. Chickens can just end up chewing up leaves and burrowing along with the trees’ roots. Groups of chickens often visit trees and just hang out, burrowing and fertilizing along with the trees’ roots.
Shrubs and Hedges
Shrubs and hedges play a dual role. Most importantly, they abstract the chicken’s view of your yard. The tightly-packed foliage also deters chickens from trespassing. And the extra green adds more life and color to your yard.
Some herbs are naturally unfavored by chickens. Most of these plants are plants people like but chickens hate. In a way, it’s a win-win situation for both parties. Examples of these plants are peppermint and rosemary.
Not only is it practical and pleasing to humans, they now gained an extra purpose around your yard. There are also more colorful options available if you like bright things. Calendula is an excellent plant to start with. It is pretty and can even be mixed with your tea.
Adopting Pets To Ward Off Chickens
Adopting a dog is also an excellent way to ward off chickens. They are not just good companions, but they are also great helpers when shooing some annoying chickens away without harming them, of course.
Chickens are just naturally scared and terrified, even of dogs like Labrador retrievers, hounds, and terriers. So, if you think about considering this method, you can adopt any of the breeds mentioned above. This way, you have both an effortless helper around your yard and a best friend to spend time with.
These buddies will bark at intruders. This way, you will know whenever chickens attempt to go into your yard. Their bark will probably intimidate the chickens, so they will be encouraged to back away. Chickens tend to panic at the sound of a dog barking.
More Ways to Keep Chickens Away From Your Yard
Make a decoy point wherein they can get distracted. This is useful in exceptional cases where chickens are stubborn and will not budge after all your efforts. You can establish several decoy gardens outside the yard and place some edible snacks for chickens around them. This way, they will remember the place and go there for a peck instead of trying to storm into your yard.
Growing weeds is also beneficial to discourage them. As the bare ground looks more attractive, leaving some shorter weeds up around your yard will make it look less interesting for chickens. Having all the weeds pulled out will only expose more bugs making it a very attractive target for pecking.
There are many ways to keep chickens away from your yard. However, it can be challenging to find the right one as well as the most effective one. In this case, the answer to the question “How to keep chickens out of my yard?” requires a little bit of exploring as well as trial and error.
Joseph Hudson has been raising chickens for over 15 years. In 2018, he completed the Agriculture & Natural Resources program at Mt. San Antonio College. He currently raises over 1400 chickens on his 7.5-hectare farm. He keeps sharing his experience on raising healthy and happy chickens on Chicken Scratch The Foundry.