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Chicken Deterrent Sprays

This is my first year raising chickens. I have two laying hens which freely roam around the yard & garden (I have no fence). Up until now, they have not been at all destructive to my garden. But about the same time they began laying (two months ago), they began to pick, peck & scratch at many of the young plants I have growing as a fall crop (broccoli, kale, leaf lettuce, carrots).

Installing a fence around my garden would be too much of an obstacle. What would be ideal for me would be a "spray on" odor or taste deterrent for them so I don't have to throw netting across each patch of veggies? I'm going to begin with a garlic and pepper spray and kinda go from there. I was just wondering if anyone has already been where I'm about to go? I have never heard of a taste or odor which will repel chickens.
 
birds in general don't have a good sense smell so that of type deterrent would not work.
 
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fencing is the only reliable way to keep them out of places. i raised chickens for 8 years around a market garden. the first year they were loose because like you we thought a fense was just too much trouble and expense. But after the hens getting into the garden and helping themselves to the crops, bathing in the flower beds and digging up several hundred bulbs and finally when several birds decided the nice warm road (and we live on a very lightly traveled country road) was THE place to sit and not move and than got flattened by the UPS truck (3 times) we knew it was time to fence in the birds.

fencing is not all that expensive considering the fact the hens will destroy your garden, it is what chickens are programmed to do.
 
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Chickens and gardens do not get along. I've found that a simple fence of chicken wire and T posts do the trick. Rebar might work, too. Just use the T posts in the corners. Chickens can fly pretty high, but I've found that if they don't have a perch on the top of a fence (like a cross board) they won't fly over it.

They only flew into my garden when they found the potting bench was next to the fence. I just put and 18" lenght of chicken wire on it. The next time they tried it, they flew up, hit the wire and fell back down, looking very confussed. :^O

I just love having chickens. Mine are day roamers, they get locked up nice and tight at night.
 
Making a splash on the Kings River in Northwest Arkansas. Zone 6a
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