If you live in the city of San José, you may think it unlikely you will need to chicken proof your garden. But, don’t take that to the bank.
If you live areas like Pavas, Sabana or Escazú, for example, chickens to do run loose. In rural areas, you will see chickens by the side of the road. So, whatever the case, if you are into gardening you should chicken proof it.
And why you say?
Aggressive beaks and scratching feet can decimate a garden quickly. If there are chickens running loose in your area, they are going to destroy your garden.
Chicken wire is your friend. A simple collar of chicken wire around a small plant will discourage chickens if they have enough to eat. To give the chicken wire structure, use a tomato cage or a couple of stakes.
Need something more? Check out hardware cloth. Sturdier than chicken wire, this wire mesh can be used to protect newly planted seeds. Cut out a square, and cut in a few inches at each corner. Bend the flaps bent down so it stands up off the ground, and weigh it down with bricks. This piece is protecting a bed of newly planted perennial onions. The chickens are unlikely to eat the onions, but they could hurt the new plantings by scratching in the freshly dug soil.
Get serious with bricks and stones. An aggressive chicken can scratch smaller stones out of the way, but a ring of bricks or larger stones around the base of a plant can discourage scratching. This method is especially important in newly planted containers, because the chickens love nothing better than to kick the loose soil out of a pot.
Get weeds to do the work. Yes, even weeds can help protect your plants. When you pull out weeds, you make patches of bare dirt that draw chickens like a magnet. Once they’ve stripped out worms and bugs, they lie in the dirt and pack it down to make dust baths.
With notes from Modern Farmer
Plants just for the chickens. Bushes and low-growing trees can provide shelter for chickens to escape from predators. On hot days, they spend a lot of time scratching and dozing in the deep shade under the bushes. It helps to plant at least one evergreen so the chickens have cover