Gardening with chickens might just be one of the best partnerships that could ever exist for both the home gardener, and the chickens!
Raising chickens and having productive gardens and flowerbeds go hand in hand.
In fact, it is one of the finest examples of pure sustainability and permaculture you will ever find.
The chickens help to feed the garden with their super-rich manure. All the while, keeping pest and weed seed populations under control.
And the garden’s left over produce, along with all of those pests and weed seeds, provide an incredible source of food for the chickens as well.
As you will see below in detail, it is quite simply, a marriage made in garden heaven!
Gardening With Chickens – The Secret To Gardening Success!
Chicken Manure – The Ultimate Natural Fertilizer
Chicken manure is one of the best natural fertilizers around. And it can be used in so many ways!
The high nitrogen level of chicken manure heats up compost piles quickly.
And the resulting compost is filled with nutrients, providing big power to flowers, vegetable plants, and even shrubs, trees and bushes in the landscape.
You can also use fresh or dried chicken manure to make a nutrient-filled fertilizing tea. By steeping the manure in water for a few days, the resulting liquid can be used to water plants for a big boost.
Dried chicken manure can also be used to side dress flowers and vegetable plants during the growing season.
You do have to be a bit careful when using straight manure in the garden. It can be extremely “hot” with nitrogen, and can be used near plants, but not directly on them.
Insect and Bug Control
Gardening with chickens is like having a built-in pest control agent on duty at all times.
Chickens devour countless insects, ranging from tiny aphids to enormous tomato and cabbage worms.
In fact, a small flock of just 4 to 6 chickens can devour hundreds of insects each and every day. (See : How To Stop Grasshoppers)
But more importantly, they also devour the larvae of insects below the surface of the soil. And that is where many devastating pests such as Japanese beetles and tomato hornworms overwinter.
It is one of the reasons many gardeners turn their flocks loose in their gardens in the early spring or in late fall.
As they scratch and dig in the soil, they can eliminate many of pests that are just waiting to attack the garden.
Gardening With Chickens For Weed Control
Chickens are an incredible natural weed suppressor, and a great way to control invasive weed problems.
As they scratch and claw about, not only are they eating insects, they are also gobbling up weed seeds. And in amazing quantities!
Having a few chickens around means having far fewer weeds.
As much as your garden and landscape benefit from chickens, the chickens are rewarded as well.
The bugs, worms and seeds they devour complement their diet perfectly.
As chickens scratch about, they consume small bits of rock and grit. And that grit is necessary to aid in proper digestion.
They also need to “dust” themselves with dirt on a regular basis. It is a form of a dry bath that keeps them clean and free of mites. And garden and flower bed soil provide that in large quantities.
The chickens also love garden left-overs. They are a great way to dispose of over-ripened crops or garden remnants when a crop is pulled.
After all, they simply “process” all of that goodness before it heads to the compost pile!
Gardening With Chickens – The Eggs
And of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t talk about that one major final benefit of gardening with chickens – All of the Delicious Fresh Eggs!
Here’s to raising a few backyard chickens, and powering you flowers and gardens to new heights!
For a great read, check out the book : Free-Range Chicken Gardens: How to Create a Beautiful, Chicken-Friendly Yard
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