How do you protect your vegetables from birds?

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I grew some vegetables in my backyard. These kales grew well until birds started attacking them as well as stray chicken from my neighbour's compound. These birds would perforate the leaves to the extent that it was not worth harvesting them for human consumption. How do you protect your vegetables from birds?
 
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Chickens are hard to thwart, they're persistent eating machines. Mine got into my herb bed once and it looked like someone had gone through it with a lawnmower. The only thing I've found that keeps plants safe from chickens is a physical barrier like chicken wire. The downside of that is that it isn't the most attractive solution.
 

WindFarmer

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I grew some vegetables in my backyard. These kales grew well until birds started attacking them as well as stray chicken from my neighbour's compound. These birds would perforate the leaves to the extent that it was not worth harvesting them for human consumption. How do you protect your vegetables from birds?

Out here in the countryside, our fledgling little garden is under constant threat from birds (especially ravens), as well rabbits, gophers and various other rodents. (I guess I should be grateful that the coyotes and mountain lions aren't interested in tomatoes.)

Here, there is no way I could plant a garden in the ground and leave it unprotected, so our seedlings are currently inside a box built from pre-sawn, modular pine boards which are fitted together by slipping the ends into pre-cut corner supports. The box currently measures four feet by four feet square and about three feet high, but, thanks to the modular design, I will be able to increase the width and/or height of the box as needed, fairly easily.

To thwart the critters, I have covered the top of this box with overlapping layers of chicken wire. That takes care of the birds (while still allowing access to beneficial insects), but I'm still concerned about gophers and field mice. So, I am taking other measures which seem to help -- such as spreading human hair and even cat hair in and around the plants.

If you don't want to go this route, I'll endorse CrazyConure's suggestion above: Hang CDs (compact discs or DVDs) from the trees or fencing all around your garden. My nearest neighbor (who has great success with his garden every year) swears by this method to keep the birds away. My neighbor also ties lengths of reflective tape to the trees, with one end of each length left to flap in the breeze. (Our first year here, I couldn't figure out what the rustling noise was from a few acres away!)

One thing some folks swear by (although I have never tried it) is a motion-activated scarecrow. That seems a bit extreme for a small garden, but if I were desperate, I would consider it. (There are also motion-activated sprinklers, but I think those are aimed primarily at deterring cats.)
 

Pat

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I have seen people in my area cover their plants with a mesh to keep the deer from eating the plants. I have heard that the CD's work for the birds. My problem is the bugs in the soil that eat your plants, we have some vicious bugs in the yard, walk out there without protection and you are fair game.
 
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I have seen people in my area cover their plants with a mesh to keep the deer from eating the plants. I have heard that the CD's work for the birds. My problem is the bugs in the soil that eat your plants, we have some vicious bugs in the yard, walk out there without protection and you are fair game.

Use crushed egg shells around your plants to prevent slugs and some other types of bugs from getting to your plants. Then, get a spray bottle, and fill it will water and soap and spray it on your plants. It will instantly kill the bugs that come in contact, and won't hurt your plants one bit. :)
 
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The birds are not the problem in my vegetable garden its the squirrels they have been digging my bush beans up faster than I can get them replant them.
 

zigs

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Pigeons are a pest here, they eat young brassicas and beans. Built a wire mesh cage to keep them off the young plants.
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Zigs, the crows and magpies jump on nets here to flatten them enough to allow access to brassicas.

Since it's quite windy here, I use this
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zigs

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Magpies down here use bolt croppers.
 
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Magpies down here use bolt croppers.

Crikey! :eek: We've got a pair that raid our fat ball feeder, but they're easily spooked so don't tend to stay for long.
 

zigs

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They pinched most of the stainless steel bar we were using to pin stone 100 foot up a church, we'd cut it all to length on Friday afternoon and half of it was missing on Monday, don't know what they were building with it :rolleyes:
 
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I don't have an issue with birds eating my garden but I do with rabbits. I've had to put up a fence with smaller openings to keep the rabbits out. I also caught my dog picking tomatoes off the vine. I'm not sure if she eats them but think she uses them as balls.
 

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