The hens trashed Ed's flowerbeds, digging up expensive plants and laying waste to everything. He was Not Pleased At All. So today I put up fencing to keep them off the beds.
The fences are only very low and I'm not sure if they're up to the job. The chickens could jump over them if they had a short run up, they wouldn't even need to fly. But I didn't want to go straight to def con 3 and erect six-foot high chain link with floodlights and lookout towers, if a nine-inch high decorative plastic edging would do the job just as well.
So far it seems to be working. They're pretty stupid beasts and when they hit an obstacle they just change direction and go somewhere else. They don't seem to spend hours figuring out how to penetrate our defences the way, say, a dog would. The cost of the fencing sets back the date when the chickens start paying for themselves, or to look at it another way we learned a priceless lesson about the importance of fencing in livestock.