Have your neighbor’s chickens claimed your yard as their own? Or, maybe your flock always wanders beyond their coop, and you want them to leave your yard? Either way, you want those chickens gone – and I’m about to reveal the nine smartest methods to keep chickens out of your yard.
How to Keep Chickens Out of My Yard
- Ask the chickens to leave your yard (No, seriously!)
- Adopt a Labrador or Terrier puppy
- Eliminate the chickens’ source of food
- Introduce fake predators and scarecrows
- Install a motion sensor sprinkler (chickens hate water!)
- Add decoy gardens or seed piles to keep chickens out of your yard
- Use chicken wire fencing
- Cover the soil with wire cloth so chickens can’t scratch
- Grow thickly settled plants
1. Ask the Chickens to Leave (No, Seriously!)
Asking the chickens to leave your yard might seem like a silly response, but I’m only half-joking. That’s because this method always works. I’m talking about alarming the chickens and training them that they aren’t welcome to peck and forage freely in your yard.
If you’re dealing with an unruly roost that always escapes and wanders into your yard, you can steer and guide them away from your garden, porch, or restricted area and toward where you want them to go.
Start by calling your chickens out by name and tell them to go back to their coops. Wave and shout if you must. Tell those chickens to skedaddle!
Shooing the unwanted chickens by cheering and waving your arms should cause the chickens to think twice and leave your yard, even if you have oodles of fresh insects and worms in your yard ripe for the plucking.
2. Adopt a Labrador or Terrier Puppy
Dogs are one of the best methods to keep unwanted chickens in check and away from your yard. Permanently. Chickens are naturally terrified of terriers, hounds, and Labrador retrievers, so they’re your new best friends!
If Labradors or terriers aren’t your favorite choice – then no problem. Just about any shelter dog or hound mix will strive diligently to rid your yard of chickens. With pleasure!
They’ll also work around the clock, even when you’re sleeping, cooking, or knuckle deep in the garden.
Why Dogs Rock (Especially to Keep Chickens Out of My Yard)
- Dogs can’t help but bark at chickens and other intruders! It’s in their doggy DNA.
- Dogs can be trained to keep chickens out of certain areas of your yard. My old cattle dog used to herd the chickens from one area in the yard to another, all day!
- Dogs are protective – especially when they see chickens running around in their yard.
- Chickens are naturally horrified by unfamiliar dogs.
- Chickens panic the moment they hear barking.
- Terriers, hounds, and retrievers love to chase chickens – and bark at unwanted guests.
- You’re also doing the pup a favor by providing it a loving home – sweet bonus!
If you’re worried about your pup squabbling with the chickens, then don’t worry too much. It’s much more likely that the unwanted chickens won’t want to get near your barking dogs and will avoid your yard at all costs.
Also, add a fence around your yard to help prevent your hounds (or other dogs) from chasing the chickens. That way, your dogs are safe, and you’ll have an anti-chicken defense system that will outperform any other!
3. Eliminate the Chicken’s Source of Food
If chickens keep invading your yard, then you need to identify what’s attracting them. Are you feeding the chickens? Maybe inadvertently? Try cutting off the chicken’s food supply in that area, so they have no reason to return.
Two chicken magnets that are easy to overlook – especially in colder climates where natural food is scarce – are bird feeders and birdseed.
Do you love to indulge blue jays, cardinals, titmice, woodpeckers, finches, and robins with suet or birdseed? If so, then you may also attract unwanted guests. Like wild turkeys or your local neighborhood chickens!
Try to hang bird feeders and suet high in the trees so that chickens can’t easily snag them. Also, pay close attention to any seed overflow, so your invading chickens don’t enjoy a feeding frenzy right from under your nose.
You could also run outside and grab the bird feeder or suet when you see the chicken flock encroaching in your yard. Remove the chicken’s food, and they’ll get the message that there’s no free lunch. Not in your yard, at least.
4. Introduce Fake Predators and Scarecrows
If getting a Labrador retriever or family dog isn’t an option for you, then you can use a fake decoy predator to discourage unwanted chickens, birds, and pests from entering your yard.
The problem is that chickens are smart. And hungry! Decoys aren’t perfect. Nearly any chicken can catch on pretty quickly that a scarecrow or an owl decoy is no real threat. That’s why the question “how to keep chickens out of my yard” is no easy one and you need to keep those chickens guessing!
You can also move your decoys around your yard so that your chickens don’t get used to them.
If you combine the introduction of fake predators with the occasional shooing, you’re all but guaranteed to train the chickens that there’s no safe quarter in your yard!
5. Install a Motion Sensor Sprinkler
If the chickens invading your yard are especially tough, boisterous, and rowdy, then you might need to send a stronger signal.
Gently spraying the chickens with a hose works wonders. You don’t need to spray them with much pressure as you don’t want to inflict damage or hurt them. However, the commotion that a garden hose causes will train the chickens to vacate the area. Quickly!
The only problem with manually spraying the chickens with a hose is that you’re not always there to protect your garden, plants, and yard.
That’s the genius of an automated sprinkler system. I found this perfect motion sensor water blaster that will cause the unwanted chickens in your yard to scurry away in seconds. Automatically.
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6. Add Decoy Gardens or Seed Piles
Many backyard enthusiasts say that you can throw a few spicy peppers or cloves of garlic in your yard, and the dilemma of how to keep chickens out of my yard is solved. But some aggressive and feisty chickens will instantly clutch that pepper or garlic clove and peck it down for their afternoon snack!
That’s because chickens are always looking for good food. I can’t blame them! So, why not give the chickens what they want?
The trick is to provide an extra garden or pile of chicken seed so your chickens can eat away from your yard, in peace. Place the decoy garden or seed piles away from the area you want to protect.
Where to Place Your Decoy Garden
- A vacant corner of your yard
- Next to your chicken coop
- In the chicken’s designated foraging area
- Anywhere you want to persuade your chickens to congregate and settle
Encourage the chickens to frolic, peck, and eat near their decoy garden or seed pile freely and at the same time discourage them from entering the forbidden areas of your yard.
I have several decoy gardens as a solution for how to keep chickens out of my yard. I’m keeping them out of the family food gardens with the next solution, chicken wire fencing, and they are allowed to freely scratch and feed in several other gardens I’ve created specifically for them.
Eventually, these gardens will be the food forest, so the plants that are currently in there are tough, resilient, mostly perennial and self-seeding plants. Even if the chickens eat them, they often eat only the fruits – and their pooping around spreads the seeds, resulting in free plants for me. And they’re already fertilized! Chickens are a part of your natural forest food web.
There are a few areas they can’t go in yet. In those areas, I’ve created chickens tunnels that have a chicken wire floor as well (photo below). My chickens love adventuring through the tunnels so they get lots of excercise but my plants are safe. And because the tunnels have a floor, they don’t scratch the ground away to nothing.
If you’re interested in building a food forest, don’t miss my free apple tree guild companion planting guide!
7. Use Chicken Wire Fencing
If your troublesome chickens are ravaging and feasting upon your garden mercilessly, then a chicken wire fence might be one of the best bets to keep chickens out – especially if you’re dealing with a plump flock who can’t help but snack nonstop.
Try to make your fence perimeter at least 5-6 feet high. That way, it’s challenging for your chickens to clear the barricade. Here’s a reliable and trustworthy poultry fence mesh from Tractor Supply that works wonders.
Want to protect your garden with less effort and material? You can also add small sections of chicken wire fence around select plants you wish to protect.
Another bonus to setting up a chicken wire fence is that you can decorate it with funny chicken coop signs!
8. Cover the Soil with Wire Cloth
Wire cloth is your secret weapon in your fight against unwanted chickens. Chickens love access to open dirt. Your chickens peck in the soil so they can find delicious and nutritious bugs to devour by the truckload!
Chickens also love dust baths. Dust bathing helps chickens (and other birds) maintain the perfect amount of oil on their feathers. Dust bathing also helps to remove pests.
For those two reasons, if you can restrict easy access to your soil, you may have cracked the code to ridding your yard of chickens once and for all. Without doing anything mean – like spraying outcast chickens with the hose…
A reliable wire cloth also doubles as the perfect chicken wire fence material. If you want to enclose your chicken run, build a larger chicken coop, or seal off parts of your porch, then wire cloth is the ideal multipurpose chicken repellant.
Wire Cloths Help You Build or Secure:
- Chicken tractors
- Chicken coops
- Chicken runs
- Chicken fencing
- Grazing frames
- Tree guards
- Plant guards
- Raised beds
You can find safe and sturdy wire cloth on Amazon and it’s probably much cheaper than you think.
- Half inch hardware cloth, ideal for snake fence, chicken wire, opossum rehab cages,chicken...
- The holes are only 1/2 inch to keep critters out and the chickens / rabbit safe, protect...
- It's galvanized and very rust proof. Galvanizing after welding to ensure that all welding...
- It's galvanized and very rust proof. Galvanizing after welding to ensure that all welding...
- Use this to protect vegetables and flower roots, bulbs, rhizomes, etc from tunneling...
Chickens are an amazing addition to your homestead or permaculture farm. This book below is one of the best guides on integrating chickens to build your soil and raise chickens as a help to your farm, not a hinder:
- ISBN13: 9780984338207
- Condition: New
- Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Tracking provided on most...
- Andy Lee (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 314 Pages - 02/14/2011 (Publication Date) - Good Earth Publications, Inc. (Publisher)
9. Grow Thickly Settled Plants
One final Hail Mary pass to keep chickens out of my yard is to grow weeds, plants, and shrubs as thickly as possible. You already know that chickens love open areas and flat patches of soil, so they can snack on earthworms, ants, beetles, grubs, ticks, and all other creepy crawlies that live in your soil.
But maybe you don’t like the idea of using wire cloth or sprinkling spicy peppers and garlic all over your backyard?
That’s one reason it might be a genius idea to settle your yard thickly and naturally. That way, the chickens don’t have much room to stretch their wings, peck, or forage in the soil, and it’s much harder for them to snack on bugs crawling in the dirt if there’s not much room for them to hunt.
I have a hedge of Kei apple. You’ve probably never seen spikes like they grow before! They’re 3-4″ long, razor sharp, and ridiculously tough. The plants are still small but they will eventually keep even cattle out (and they’re notorious for walking straight through our barbed wire like it’s made of cotton wool!).
They use Kei apples in Africa as natural fencing for cattle, so we can do the same thing. As a bonus, these spiky plants are a great habitat for small birds because it offers them protection.
How to Keep Chickens Out of My Yard, for Good!
Do you agree with our chicken removal methods? Or, is there a secret way of how to keep chickens out of my yard that I’ve missed? Please let us know in the comments below! 🙂
Last update on 2021-04-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API