Gardening with Free-Range Chickens For Dummies
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The best way to have an abundant bountiful vegetable garden is to keep your free-ranging chickens entirely out of it. Keep it enclosed, fenced off, and out of bounds. Don’t grow vegetables amongst free-ranging chicken, because of the remote possibility of sickness and disease such as salmonella.

Low-height vegetables should be off limits to free-ranging chickens because 1) they will eat them all, and 2) if fresh chicken manure comes in contact with these vegetables, anyone who eats them could become violently ill.

Here are some points for keeping chickens out of your vegetable garden:

  • Create an enclosure or zone surrounding your vegetable garden. Keep your chickens out of that zone during the entire growing season, until the garden is spent. Using a mobile tractor, place your chickens over your finished vegetable garden to clean it up, aerate it, eat any insects and bugs, and fertilize it with their manure.

    When your chickens are finished, move them out of the vegetable garden zone. If you have a potager, tractor your chickens on the plot that you’ll next leave dormant, and then move your chickens to another zone.

  • Grow vegetables, especially ornamental vegetables, interspersed with other plant layers throughout your chicken garden for design and for your chickens, but not for your consumption.

  • Grow vegetables for human consumption in an entirely different part of your property, such as the front yard, where your chickens never free-range.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Bonnie Jo Manion has been featured in national garden magazines with her gardens, organic practices, chickens, and designs. Follow Bonnie at Rob Ludlow is the owner of, a top source on chicken raising, and the coauthor of Raising Chickens For Dummies.

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