Make hens your garden allies
Given half a chance, chickens can create havoc in any garden, digging up newly planted flower beds, making dust baths in your once immaculate lawn, which now bears a striking resemblance to a minefield, not to mention decimating your prized crops in a matter of minutes. But it needn’t be a horror story — with a little careful planning, your chickens can be your perfect garden allies.
Chickens love nothing better than to be in the open air and sunshine, exercising, and satisfying their curiosity whilst finding their own natural foods which are far superior to anything we can buy for them. So why not reap the benefits of their passion for the great outdoors and put your flock to work? Not only will your feathered friends help on the labour front, they’ll help your pocket too.
If you’re to enlist the services of your flock, it’s only possible to garden organically. Whilst chemical fertilisers and pesticides are potentially harmful to your chickens, your flock are low-cost, energetic organic pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers all-in-one!
As omnivores, chickens have a huge appetite for damaging insects, snails, beetles, mice and snakes, all of which are good sources of protein for them. If you have fruit trees, your flock will clean up any windfalls, thus helping to break the lifecycle of pests and diseases, which may overwinter in the decaying fruit. Bug patrol stints are particularly effective in the spring and autumn when pests are most prevalent.
Digging beds, whether by hand or using a rotavator, is undoubtedly hard work. But have you ever considered using chicken power instead?
Chickens are environmentallyfriendly tillers of the earth, creating perfect seed beds by scratching only the surface layer without disrupting soil structure. Their scratching will