In this post I’m sharing how to keep chickens off the patio. From physical barriers to supervised free range time, I’ll cover the three easiest and most effective methods plus my top tips for keeping your backyard flock happy and healthy.
Backyard chickens are friendly, curious critters who love to be close to their humans, and that includes hanging out on the patio.
As sweet as this can be, the novelty soon wears off as you find yourself constantly dodging chicken poop as you pass by. I am yet to come across a toilet trailed hen, and in return for fresh eggs daily, they seem to expect we forgive them for their messy ways.
Seasoned chicken owners know that keeping their flock contained can be a challenge and that’s why today I’m sharing the three most effective ways to keep chickens off the patio.
Is your flock making a meal of your harvest? Learn how to protect your vegetable garden and flower beds and read my tips for keeping chickens out of the garden.
The best, most effective ways to keep chickens off the patio
- Create a dedicated chicken run
- Use a chicken tractor
- Supervise free range time
Create a dedicated chicken run to keep chickens contained
Perhaps the easiest way to keep chickens off the patio is to keep them confined to a dedicated chicken run.
At our homestead, our dedicated chicken run houses the chicken coop and nesting boxes, chicken feed, water, dust baths, shade and everything else backyard chickens could want.
This method also prevents the chickens from having access to our vegetable and flower gardens.
One side of our properties backyard is dedicated to the chicken run. The house is one part of the barrier to which we have added our own make-shift fencing. This method keeps the chickens confined to their designated area and off of our patio.
When setting up a chicken run area, make sure that on hot days there is plenty of clean water and shade available for the chickens, whether that is a natural bush or tree or something that you have to provide for them.
You can purchase specific chicken fencing or wire mesh at most hardware type stores, or use garden trellis like we have in the picture below.
Alternatively, you could erect a fence around your patio, so the entire backyard becomes the chicken run.
Use a chicken tractor to keep the chickens off the patio
The main benefit of using a chicken tractor is that you can move this portable chicken coop around the backyard for continuous access to fresh grass, without allowing the chickens to free range on the patio. In return, your backyard receives a daily dose of manure as well as regular lawn mowing.
While this is a cost-effective and space saving option the downside is that chicken tractors are more labour intensive than a dedicated chicken run (you should move it every couple of days) and may not give chickens access to a variety of enriched activities like climbing obstacles and dust bathing.
Supervise free range time to keep chickens off the patio
Supervising free range time is a great option for allowing your chickens access to some parts of your yard while at the same time deterring them from making entrance onto your patio.
This method is less effective than constructing physical barriers and you need to be present in order to deter the chickens from your patio. Although you are saving money, it does take time to be outside and to be vigilant in your supervision.
To supervise your free range birds, simply let them out of their run or coop when you are outside and keep a close eye on them. If they come near the patio area, promptly move them back to where they are allowed.
A great time to do this is in the afternoon shortly before sunset so the chickens will be more interested in foraging and getting back to their coop than hanging out of the patio.
You must be attentive though, keep your chickens in sight at all times or make sure you know where they are and what they are up to! They can get into all sort of mischief when they free range.
Be sure to give your chickens access to plenty of fresh grass, whether that is during supervised free range time or part of your dedicated chicken run. You'll be rewarded with nutritionally superior eggs!
Want to know more about keeping backyard chickens? Discover my top tips for keeping chicken water fresh and clean.
Hopefully you will find one of these helpful ideas for keeping chickens off the patio works for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Maybe. I have not found that smells deter my chickens from entering an area, however fellow chicken keepers have reported that some chickens seem to be deterred by strong smells like herbs, citrus, chilli and black pepper.
It depends on each flock, and even each individual chicken as some have stronger tolerances and disinclinations than others.
You can try planting the herbs such as catnip, chives, marigold and lavender as a border around the patio, sprinkling black pepper and/or chilli powder, or spraying water infused with essential oils around the area.
Maybe. My chickens walk straight past the plastic owl by husband hung to ward off smaller birds from our patio area. They are not phased by its presence in the slightest.
A mechanical owl decoy may work to deter your chickens from entering your patio or any specific area, however, over time this method may become ineffective as your chickens desensitise to the owl object.
Yes. Using a garden hose to keep chickens off the porch is a reliable and proven method for many backyard chicken owners. Chickens hate being hosed with water and many rely on this method because it easy and cost effective.
On the downside, you will need to be vigilant and keep a hose near the patio so when your feathered friends approach, you can quickly startle them with a stream of water. A spray bottle that has a strong stream setting can be used also.
You could also try motion-activated sprinklers or another type of water barrier to prevent chickens moving on to the patio.
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