How to Keep Chickens Out of the Garden?

If you’ve ever had the unfortunate experience of having chickens wander into your garden and start pecking at your plants, you know just how frustrating it can be. Not only is it a waste of time and money to have to replant everything they eat, but chickens can also damage plants with their sharp beaks. In this article, we will discuss some common methods for keeping chickens out of the garden so that you can keep your plants safe!

Advantages of Keeping Chickens

People choose to keep chickens for many reasons. Chickens are interesting creatures. Chickens are also social animals and enjoy being around other chickens. This is why you often see them scratching around in groups in the yard. They have distinct personalities and can be quite comical at times. Some people want to be more self-sufficient and produce their own food. Others enjoy the companionship that chickens can provide. Chickens can also be a valuable addition to any homestead or farm, providing fresh eggs and meat on a regular basis.

Advantages of Keeping Chickens

Whatever your reason for keeping chickens, it is important to remember that they are still wild animals.

Chickens are curious by nature and will investigate anything new in their environment.
As such, they will instinctively scratch and peck at anything that looks like it might contain food. This includes your carefully cultivated garden beds!

How Chickens Can Harm Your Garden

Chickens can cause a lot of damage to your garden, and it’s important to take steps to keep them out.

They can eat your plants

Chickens are omnivorous animals and will eat just about anything. This includes the tender shoots and leaves of your plants. It doesn’t matter what type of plants you have, chickens will peck at them and eventually kill them.

They can scratch your garden

Chickens will also scratch up the soil in your garden beds in their search for food, disturbing delicate root systems and causing serious damage to your plants. Chickens can be particularly harmful to young seedlings and transplants. The delicate roots of these plants are easily damaged by chicken scratching, and the young leaves are very tempting to peck at. If you have chickens, it is important to take steps to protect your young plants from

How to Keep Chickens Away

So, as you can see, while a chicken’s natural curiosity can be amusing, it can also be frustrating if they start scratching up your carefully planted garden. If you’re finding that your chickens are spending more time in the garden than you’d like, there are a few things you can do to discourage them from hanging out there.

Install fences

One of the best ways to keep chickens out of the garden is to install a fence around it. Chickens can’t fly, so a simple fence that’s tall enough to deter them from jumping over it should do the trick.

If you’re worried about digging a hole to put in a fence post, you can use chicken wire instead.
Just be sure that the chicken wire is buried deep enough that chickens can’t dig under it.

You’ll also want to make sure that the fencing is buried deep enough into the ground that chickens can’t dig underneath it. Chickens are surprisingly good diggers, and if there’s even a small opening under the fence they’ll likely find it and squeeze through.

You can also buy special chicken-proof netting that will keep chickens out without blocking your view of the garden. This is a great option if you don’t want to deal with putting up and taking down a fence every time you want to access your garden.

Install fences

To further deter chickens from getting into your garden, you can install an electric wire along the top of the fence. This won’t hurt the chickens, but it will give them a mild shock if they try to fly over the fence. [1],[2],[3]

Place rocks around the base of your plants

Another way to keep chickens out of the garden is to place rocks around the base of your plants. Chickens like to scratch at the ground, so if they can’t get their claws into the dirt they’ll likely move on to another spot. If you have a lot of plants in your garden, this may not be the most practical solution. But if you have a few key plants that you want to protect, this can be an effective way to keep chickens out.

Plant chicken-repelling herbs

While chickens aren’t picky eaters, there are some plants that they find particularly unpalatable. Planting these around the perimeter of your garden will help keep chickens out.


One of such plants is spearmint. Chickens don’t seem to like the smell of mint, so planting some around your garden should help keep them away. Mint can be a bit of a nuisance plant, however, so you may want to consider growing it in pots instead of in the ground. This will also make it easier to move around if you find that the chickens are avoiding one area of the garden more than others.


A great option for both repelling chickens and adding flavor to your dishes, chives are a win-win. Chickens don’t care for the taste of chives, so planting them around the edge of your garden will help keep them out.

And since chives are so easy to grow, there’s really no reason not to give them a try. Just be sure to plant them in an area that gets plenty of sun and has well-drained soil.

You can also use chives to make a homemade chicken repellent spray. Just chop up a bunch of chives and steep them in boiling water for 30 minutes. Then strain the liquid and put it in a spray bottle. Spray this around the perimeter of your garden once a week.


While lavender smells great to us, chickens find the scent overwhelming and will avoid areas where it’s growing. Lavender is also a pretty plant, so it’s a great way to add some decoration to your garden while keeping chickens out.

Other herbs that chickens don’t like include:

  • Basil
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme

These herbs not only taste bad to chickens, but they also have a strong smell that chickens don’t like. So, not only will planting them help keep chickens out of your garden, but they’ll also make it smell nice!


In addition, you can utilize some of these herbs in cooking. This way, you can kill two birds with one stone by keeping chickens out of the garden and adding some flavor to your dishes. [1],[2]

Use citrus peels

Chickens also hate the smell of citrus, so scattering orange or lemon peels around the perimeter of your garden will help keep them out. You can also try soaking a rag in citrus juice and placing it near the entrance to your garden. Just be sure to replace the rag every few days, as the scent will dissipate over time.

Another option is to make a spray using citrus peel and water. Simply boil water and add citrus peels to it, then let it cool before spraying it around the perimeter of your garden. This spray will need to be reapplied after it rains. Citrus oil can also be used in a diffuser to spread the scent around your yard and deter chickens from entering the area.

Install ground covers

Another way to keep chickens out of the garden is to install ground covers. Ground covers are plants that spread horizontally and can grow densely, creating a thick barrier between the soil and the air. This makes it difficult for chickens to scratch at the ground and also discourages them from digging.One of the best ground covers for deterring chickens is mulch. Mulch is a material (usually organic) that you spread around your plants to help retain moisture in the soil and prevent weeds from growing. It’s also effective at keeping chickens out of the garden because it creates a barrier between the soil and the air, making it difficult for chickens to scratch at the ground.You can also use other materials as ground covers, such as rocks or gravel. These are less effective at deterring chickens, but they can still help to some extent.

No matter what type of ground cover you use, it’s important to make sure that it’s installed properly.
Ground covers should be spread evenly over the entire area of the garden, and they should be thick enough to deter chickens from getting through. If you’re using mulch, for example, you should spread it at least four inches deep. [1],[2],[3]

Don’t weed your garden

Another way to keep chickens out of the garden is to not weed it. Chickens love to eat weeds, so if there are no weeds in the garden they’ll be less likely to hang out there. Of course, this means that you’ll have to put up with a few weeds in your garden, but it’s probably worth it if it means keeping the chickens out.

If you do decide to weed your garden, make sure that you remove all of the roots. Chickens will often dig up newly sprouted weeds if the roots are still in the ground.

You can also try using herbicides or pesticides in your garden. These chemicals will kill any plants that they come into contact with, so they’re definitely effective at deterring chickens. However, they can also be harmful to the environment and to your health, so use them sparingly and only as a last resort.

Create a designated chicken area

Another option is to build a chicken coop in your garden. This will provide a safe space for your chickens to stay, and if the coop is designed properly it can also help deter them from scratching up your plants.

A well-designed chicken coop will have a floor that’s elevated off the ground. This will prevent chickens from being able to scratch at the soil and dig for bugs. The coop should also have a door that’s big enough for chickens to get through, but not so big that they can easily escape.

The other key to keeping chickens out of the garden is to make sure they have plenty of other things to keep them occupied. If you provide them with food, water, and shelter, as well as some toys or other objects to keep them entertained, they’re less likely to want to spend time in the garden.

Create a designated chicken area

One of the best ways to keep chickens out of the garden is to provide them with a designated area where they can stay. This can be done by building a chicken coop, or simply by creating an area in your yard that’s fenced off from the rest of the property. The important thing is to make sure that the chickens have everything they need in this area, such as food, water, shelter, and some toys or other objects to keep them entertained. By doing this, you’ll create a space that’s specifically for chickens and discourage them from spending time in the garden.

Install sprinklers

Another way to keep chickens out of the garden is to install sprinklers. Sprinklers will deter chickens from entering the garden by making noise and spraying water whenever they come near. This is a great option if you have a small garden, or if you only want to keep chickens out of certain areas.

To install sprinklers, you’ll need to purchase a timer and some tubing. You’ll also need to find a place to put the sprinklers where they won’t be in the way. Once you have everything set up, simply turn on the timer and let the sprinklers do their job.

By installing sprinklers, you can both only keep chickens out of the garden, but you can also water your plants automatically. This is a great option if you live in an area with high temperatures and low rainfall.

Just be sure to adjust the timer so that the sprinklers only come on when chickens are active. If they’re set to come on during the day, for example, they’ll likely just end up watering the chicken coop instead of deterring them from entering the garden. [1],[2]

Use chicken wire

Obviously, one of the most effective ways to keep chickens out of the garden is to fence them out with chicken wire. This will take some advance planning, as you’ll need to put the chicken wire up before you plant your garden. But it’s definitely worth it if you want to keep your plants safe from curious chickens.

Make sure the chicken wire is at least four feet tall, and bury it a few inches into the ground to prevent chickens from digging under it.

Another thing to keep in mind is that chicken wire doesn’t block light, so if you’re trying to keep chickens out of a sunflower patch, for example, they may still be able to see the sunflowers and be tempted to peck at them. [1],[2],[3]
Consider raised beds

If you’re really serious about keeping chickens out of the garden, you may want to consider raised beds.

Raised beds are elevated platforms that are typically surrounded by chicken wire or some other type of fencing.
They can be built at any height, but they should be at least two feet off the ground to deter chickens from jumping into them.

Raised beds are a great option if you have limited space, as they allow you to maximize your planting area while still keeping chickens out. They’re also relatively easy to build, and there are plenty of plans and kits available online.

Just be sure to line the bottom of the bed with chicken wire or hardware cloth to keep chickens from digging in and eating your plants.

Let your pets out

If you have a dog or cat, letting them out into the garden can help keep chickens away. Chickens are naturally fearful of predators, so having a pet around will make them think twice about entering the garden. Just be sure that your pet is well-trained and won’t harm the chickens. If you don’t have any pets, you can try borrowing a friend’s dog or cat for a day.

Let your pets out

Another option is to get a chicken guardian animal like a donkey or cow. These animals are larger than chickens and will intimidate them if they try to enter the garden. Of course this option isn’t practical for everyone, but it’s worth considering if you have the space.

Install scarecrows

Scarecrows are a classic way to keep birds out of the garden, and they can work for chickens too. Chickens are easily scared, so a well-placed scarecrow can be enough to keep them away. Just be sure to move the scarecrow around occasionally, or the chickens will catch on and realize it’s not actually a threat. [1],[2],[3]

Shoo them while you’re in garden

Last way to keep chickens out of the garden is to shoo them away whenever you see them in there. Chickens are social creatures and they don’t like being alone, so if you make it clear that you don’t want them in the garden they’ll likely stay out. Of course, this won’t work all the time, and you’ll probably still find the occasional chicken in your garden. But if you’re consistent about shooing them away they’ll eventually get the message. You can also try using a water hose or spray bottle to deter chickens from entering the garden.

Chickens don’t like getting wet, so a quick shot of water will usually send them running.
Just be careful not to use too much water, as you don’t want to damage your plants. [2],[3]


Will coffee grounds keep chickens away?

Coffee grounds are effective at repelling a number of pests, including slugs and snails, but chickens aren’t one of them.

What smell will keep chickens away?

There are a few smells that will keep chickens away. One is the smell of predator urine. Another is the smell of garlic or onions.

What smell will keep chickens away?

Chickens don’t like the smell of these strong spices, so they will stay away from areas where they can smell them. Lavender is also something that chickens don’t like the smell of, so it can be used to keep them away from areas that you don’t want them to be in.

How do I get rid of unwanted chickens?

The best way to get rid of chickens is to prevent them from entering your garden in the first place. You can either create a physical barrier, such as a fence, or use a chicken-repellent spray.

If you already have chickens in your garden, you can try to scare them away by making loud noises or using water guns. However, these methods are only temporary and will not work if the chickens are determined to get into your garden.

Will moth balls keep chickens away?

While moth balls may work to keep chickens away, they can be harmful to both people and animals if inhaled or ingested. There are safer, more natural alternatives that will do the job just as well without posing a risk to your health.

Useful Video: How to keep chickens out of your garden


While there’s a lot of benefits to keeping chickens, you don’t want them in your garden. They can ruin your plants and make a mess. But don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to keep them out.

The best way to keep chickens out of the garden is to build a fence. Chickens can’t fly, so a simple fence should be enough to keep them out. Another way to keep chickens out of the garden is to use scarecrows or decoys. As you can see, there are a few different ways to keep chickens out of the garden. Which method you use will depend on your individual situation. If you have a lot of chickens, for example, you might need to use multiple methods to deter them. Experiment and see what works best for you. And remember, even if chickens do get into your garden from time to time, it’s not the end of the world. Just enjoy watching them scratch around in their new found territory! Thanks for reading!