Chickens and Gardens - Nature's Pest Control

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Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

Last Updated: 12 September 2014

Chickens can actually be great for your gardens. Really. We aren’t trying to sell you down the river because we’re biased by our chicken love -  chickens really are one of the most effective (natural) ways to keep common garden pests under control.

It’s devastating to come out to your veggie patch that you’ve been tending to, only to find large bite holes and shreds of what once was a cabbage - devoured by hungry little bugs and insects! Having chickens is a great solution to the problem, without having to resort to chemicals and pesticides which are always a bit risky to spray on something you plan to consume.


Chickens absolutely love to gobble up insects such as:

  • Grasshoppers
  • Crickets
  • Flies
  • Fleas
  • Grubs
  • Spiders
  • Ticks
  • Termites
  • Basically anything that’s got more than a couple of legs and is very small!

What’s even better is that the insects are good for them. Insects provide the chickens with a healthy, plentiful source of protein- something that’s essential to their diet.

So if you’ve got problem areas of your garden where pests keep devouring your plants, it’s a good idea to let your chickens free range for a few days in the affected area. They will gobble up the culprits from the soil and the ground - free food for them, pest-free garden for you!

If you’re worried that the chickens might eat more than just the pests on the plants, temporarily set up some electric poultry fencing around whatever flowers, shrubs, fruits or vegetables you’ve got planted - away from inquisitive beaks! This will keep your precious plants protected, whilst your chickens feast on the insects.

Another great option to contain your chickens is to put them in a run enclosure, which you can move around the garden. The run gives your chickens access to fresh grass and the insects that roam around in it, whilst keeping them safe from predators.

So before you reach for the chemical sprays to stave of an outbreak of insects, why not strategically place your coop on the affected areas, and see how the problem disappears! Your chickens will remain well fed, your garden rid of pesky critters, and your plants will thrive! (Plus you’ll have some fresh eggs for breakfast)!

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