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My chickens are fantastic gardeners — The Grow Network Community
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My chickens are fantastic gardeners

Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 1,680 ✭✭✭✭✭

This spring and summer I am starting to totally revamp the property and gardens. I am trying to simplify, take advantage of any property traits (micro climates for one) and of course I plan to take advantage of my chickens. They can be good gardeners.

For the last few years my chickens have tilled my garden spaces. They start with an area and clean out all plants and weeds and fertilize it for me. One week and the area is ready. I have switched to raised beds, so they just prep the land and I move in the raised beds. (But you can plant right here in the ground and its amazing! Just add seeds water and mulch)

If the raised beds need cleaning after a season I sprinkle treats on the beds and let them clean and fertilize them.

They are in charge of my compost piles and getting them broke down and ready for raised beds or sales. Yes, I sell farm fresh compost. And finally, after years of begging I found a place I can pick up veggie waste. This will be exciting to see the difference in my chickens and compost.

And last but not least. My chickens grow the very best tomatoes! In the spring I feed them tomatoes and they pass the seeds out, covered with fertilizer. Those tomatoes always grow faster and better than anything I plant.


  • Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 1,680 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 16

    I do have wire covers for some of my garden beds. It's there for covering crops and other wild animals but its mainly there for those chickens who sometimes don't know when to take a 15 minute break.

    My chickens are usually in runs or pens but in the fall or winter if its mild they are out if I am home. And chickens do get creative and get out once in a while. Usually with the one goat. They can be an uncontrollable gang.

  • Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 1,680 ✭✭✭✭✭

    With the weather somewhat breaking I have assigned areas for my chickens to work the soil and prep the area for gardening. I prepped the one area today and looked over later to see ther slackers working the compost pile. They did a nice job of turning it for me so I guess I shouldn't complain - too much. That compost pile needs to be ready in about a month for my shrub transplants

  • RustBeltCowgirlRustBeltCowgirl North Coast OhioPosts: 760 ✭✭✭✭

    So nice to have a cooperative work crew.

  • JennyTJennyT Posts: 425 ✭✭✭

    My chickens helped me with controlling the bug issues I was having in my new planted medicinal herb beds I had made last year. Most of the plant were new to me and was uncertain of the problems that arise. So they were a welcome help, though it was accidentally at first.😊

  • TaveTave Posts: 526 ✭✭✭✭

    Nice! My sister has her chickens prepare the beds before planting, too. Cooperation works much better than chemicals.

  • Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 1,680 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @RustBeltCowgirl The work crew is a littler grouchy this morning. We had freezing rain last night. But they're starting to head out and rip the area up. Scratch grain works every time.

    @JennyT Between my chickens and the ducks my insects, particularly ticks, have really disappeared. Glad to hear your medicinal herb beds did well. Will you be able to move the gardens when you find a new home?

    @Tave Yes, cooperation works better than chemicals. Chemicals are a temporary fix that create more issues later on.

  • JennyTJennyT Posts: 425 ✭✭✭

    @Denise Grant I'll be able to take some things with me.

    But I'll know more as soon as we hear back from the young newly married couple who saw our house this past Sunday. They have some work to do yet on their house before they can sell. But if we could work something out, things go well and they buy it there would be a lot less juggling we'd have to do before we move. We only started looking last week and unfortunately there's not much out there at this time. 😕

    Hoping and praying for us to find the right property and the right time.🤞🙏

  • Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 1,680 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JennyT Hope it all works out for you. Big Hugs!

    Even if you can take a little slice off one of your plants that would be great.

    Keep us informed

  • VickiPVickiP Posts: 578 ✭✭✭✭

    This is so funny! I just opened up my raised garden beds to the chickens and WOW! those girls really do a great job! They are always so happy while tilling, gives me a good laugh.

  • dipat2005dipat2005 Posts: 357 ✭✭✭

    @Denise Grant that link is great. Thanks for starting this thread. I have laughed my way through the comments!! I never knew chickens did this. I do remember the pie cherry trees in the chicken yard and the greenhouse too. I never saw chickens in the garden though. Thanks for all the fun and laughs!

  • Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 1,680 ✭✭✭✭✭


    Laughter is wonderful. I think I need a pair of these for my head rooster

  • JennyTJennyT Posts: 425 ✭✭✭
    edited March 19

    @Denise Grant @dipat2005 Thought you two would like this picture. My oldest who is crazy about chickens saw this some where and made some for hers. This is our head hen (we have no rooster), Thumbalina. 😄

    As you see she's thrilled with this whole thing. Giving a little stink eye.😆

  • Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 1,680 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Chickens and stink eye is hysterical. But when you give them treats, that equally as funny.

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,749 admin

    I just saw a news report about a guy who has started a business on BC's Vancouver Island called Bugs & Slugs for Lunch. He has 4 ducks which he puts in a cage on his bike trailer and goes from property to property letting his ducks into your garden for pay. Apparently, they loves slugs, which are a menace in the temperate rain forest climate that they have. Huge banana slugs. UGH!!! Anyway, he has made a very nice little business for himself.

    Maybe he should dress his ducks for advertising purposes.

  • dipat2005dipat2005 Posts: 357 ✭✭✭

    Cool!! I love the picture.

  • Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 1,680 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 23

    I have a pile of old potting soil. Its quite large, about 10 foot long 4 foot wide and 3 or 4 foot tall.

    It needs stirred up a bit more so I threw some scratch on top and shredded leaves and let them have a party all day. I think my work crew was about 35. They were tired and went in to their coops with no issues. Fresh potting soil with added fertilizer. Another few days of this and it will be ready for my perennial transplants.

  • DurwardPlessDurwardPless Posts: 163 ✭✭✭

    @JennyT So, your chickens did not hurt your medicinal herb garden? I have been reluctant to try letting chickens in for fear they would tear them up.

  • Annie KateAnnie Kate Eastern Ontario, CanadaPosts: 466 ✭✭✭✭

    Love it! We were going to get chickens again this year, but apparently everyone is becoming a homesteader and they are sold out until the fall! Next year I'll put in an order early in the winter.

  • Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 1,680 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Annie Kate check you local classifieds. I still see chicks listed there in most areas.

    I kindof like getting chicks in the fall. Spring temps can be hard on them getting them delivered safely without being stressed out

  • JennyTJennyT Posts: 425 ✭✭✭

    @DurwardPless I did have to keep an eye on them because they would get a little enthusiastic and start to tear things up. I just let them in the area when I was near otherwise I had the kids keep them out, or try to at least.

    They soon became enamored with the area because its where all the "good stuff is" My one poor lavender plant has seen better days but it's still hanging on. The girls would literally step into my lavender plant and peck a few times then sit down. Crazy birds.😄

  • karenjanickikarenjanicki Posts: 609 ✭✭✭✭

    That's incredible! I have wanted chickens for awhile. Where we are at currently it isn't feasible but I'm fascinated by them. And you have given me plenty more reasons to keep considering them!

  • RustBeltCowgirlRustBeltCowgirl North Coast OhioPosts: 760 ✭✭✭✭

    Planning ducks and maybe chickens in the future.

  • Annie KateAnnie Kate Eastern Ontario, CanadaPosts: 466 ✭✭✭✭

    Brilliant, I will check Kijiji (we no longer have classifieds). You are a very practical and helpful person, @Denise Grant . Thank you!

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