Organic Gardening with Chickens: A Winning Combination
Keeping hens can be quite satisfying, and they make an excellent addition to any garden. They give fresh eggs, garden fertilizer, insect control, and make entertaining pets.
Chickens Help With Pest Control
Chickens will eat common garden pests such as beetles, cabbage worms, slugs, caterpillars, and others. Chickens will cheerfully collect insects from your garden if they are allowed to range freely. A single chicken can easily cover 120 square feet of land in a week.
Chickens Are Great For Composting
Chickens are excellent composters for kitchen leftovers, weeds, and rotting garden fruits. There are several advantages to feeding hens your food waste. It not only lowers your waste and garbage disposal costs, but it also offers “free” meals for your flock.
A single chicken can consume around 14 pounds per day, implying that a small flock may easily consume 60 pounds per month. Simply place your leftovers in a food-safe container before distributing them to your hens. Feeding your hens vegetable and fruit peelings is not recommended. What they don’t consume may be composted in your garden!
After eating fresh eggs for breakfast, you may smash the shells and put them to your compost heap. Eggshells are abundant in calcium, which is a necessary ingredient for the development of robust plants and root systems. When producing tomatoes, peppers, or eggplants, calcium in your compost is very crucial.
Chicken dung is a fantastic source of nitrogen for your plants and should be composted immediately. Simply remove the manure from your flock’s coop on a regular basis and store it in a leak-proof composting container. Though it may seem like an unpleasant task at first, your plants will quickly reap the advantages.
Any gardener will tell you that stirring compost to oxygenate it is a time-consuming task. However, the more air you provide your compost heap, the faster it will decompose. Chickens can help you with part of the labor since they are excellent tillers, scratching, mixing, and spreading the compost.
You may also put mulch out for your birds to distribute. Simply spread the mulch or compost in the desired location and limit your animals to that area. The birds will dig through the substrate and disperse it everywhere.
According to Chickensandmore.com, if you want to involve your hens in this manner, just lay out the compost in an enclosed area and let your birds investigate! Allowing your compost to heat up before putting the hens in will make them more interested. After that, return your compost to its container.
Maintaining Harmony Between Chickens and the Garden
Keeping hens in the garden might be difficult. They may cohabit, but limits must be established. Free-roaming hens will cheerfully dig up soil in your flower beds and vegetable patch, eat newly sowed seeds, pull up seedlings, consume new produce, and take dust baths in your plants. When choosing hens for your yard, look for a breed with feathers on their legs, since this softer surface is less damaging to your plants.
Create little barriers or arches with bird wire to protect sensitive plants that hens cannot squeeze under or simply walk over. Even if you merely labor the exterior margins of your garden, chickens may help reduce grasshopper, slug, and other pest populations.
Taller raised garden beds are ideal for hens to scamper about and undertake pest management.
Providing your hens with a ready-made dust bath may also assist to reduce their urge to dig up flower beds.
Chickens and gardens are natural companions for a more productive, healthy, and efficient system. Chickens in the garden reduce household waste, help grow vegetables and fruits without pesticides, provide nutrient-rich composting materials for healthier soil and plants, and are affectionate and entertaining little animals that will keep you company in the garden.