chickens eating buds

alyciaadamo(3/4)May 5, 2013

Hello everyone, I haven't been here in awhile been terribly busy.

So my chickens keep getting out and they are right next to my main Hosta garden. There were some that were coming up quite nicely because of all this heat. But now they pecked them to the ground without any trace of green. Did they kill all my hostas or will they come back up?? My Guacamole was really going to be nice this year I didn't get a chance to count but it had quite a few eyes coming up, it would have been over 5 years old this year-I got it from someone who took 8+ eyes off their older plant. I am not used to dealing with anything eating the entire eye, nibble the edges yes but not gone to the root! There is also a 6 year old Guardian Angel that I am worried they ate the entire crown off, I just want to cry. Luckily the others have not broken ground yet. On my Robert Frost and First Frost and 2 other they ate the eyes but I do see some whit and a tad green wil they come back? I am more worried about my Guacamole as there isn't even any white it looks brown, like it hasn't woken up yet-although I saw the green eyes so I know it had.

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Alycia, do you have a picture of the damage? It is always easier to tell what is what from a picture, since words never seem to do it justice.

For the brief time I had chickens here, they were too young when the plants were just emerging....and I'm talking vegetables not hosta. But later when I let them out, they scoured the area for bugs and slugs, and never bothered any plants.

I really feel your pain about the Guacamole and Guardian Angel especially. I've been reading critter damage reports on the forum, but yours is the first chicken critter report in my memory. Hopefully you can show us what the hosta look like now, closeup, and someone can make an estimate for you.
Hang in there, many I thought were goners over the winter with squirrel damage returned better than ever this year.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 2:00PM
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ilovetogrow z9 Jax Florida

Fried chicken, chicken pot pie, chicken dumplings, chicken salad, chicken ravioli....

I am sorry. I do hope they recover. Something chewed a hole in my Blue Angle leaf and I am crushed. I feel your pain. Chicken teriyaki. I will be out tonight with a flashlight. Probably having chicken 'nuggets.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 2:17PM
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I will try and get a picture.

NO NOT MY CHICKENS! I do eat the extra males, but my not my girls! It was my fault for not doing a better job on their outside pen. They are my 2 loves other than my children-my Hostas and my chickens I will not get rid of one in order to keep the other. In the summer and fall they don't touch my plants. I think it's just because it's spring and thye haven't seen green inawhile, they tasted all my daylilies too but they grew fast so they aren't as tasty anymore.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 4:39PM
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bernd ny zone5

I just bought 75 ft of chicken wire mesh fence at Home Depot, but used it against rabbits. You need several fence posts to hammer into the ground, tie the fence against it and chickens stay away from hostas.
This year I will have new hosta cultivars, those with round or ragged leaves thanks to wabbits eating off the pips.
Good Luck! Bernd

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 4:56PM
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hosta_freak(z6 NC)

Hey,if one of my hostas can come back.after being eaten right off at ground level,anything is possible! A rabbit,was the critter. Phil

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 7:33PM
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MadPlanter1 zone 5

I keep a bunch of those square plastic milk crates. They let in enough light and are big enough to let the hostas get fairly large. In fact, a couple that seem to be extra tasty lived under a crate all last summer.

I'm betting your hostas come back. Just pop a crate over them until they get big enough not to be chicken food.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 9:17PM
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Yes, your hostas will come back. They have plenty of time to send out new eyes from the crown.

My chickens did the same thing really early this spring in the hosta garden right outside their coop. I only let them out for a little while and the next thing I knew they were chomping away at the pips just poking out of the ground.

They are in confinement for the rest of the summer and won't be out again until fall.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 10:46PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

sorry.. but this is one hosta topic.. I GOT NOTHING ...

crikey.. the wild, marauding chickens of z3/4 ... lol


    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 7:38AM
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