If you’ve got chickens and looking to create a garden and make happy chickens? Or perhaps enhance the garden you already have? Then this post is for you!
Is It Going to Be You or the Chickens?
Whether you are starting a garden from scratch (which is hard work unless you have one of those big honk’n expensive tillers) or freshening up your garden for a new season, putting chickens in the garden is a really good way to begin.
Put ’em to Work!
We believe in working smarter not harder whenever possible and we are always looking for ways to more efficiently do our chores. So when we moved to a new property that had never been tilled and without any out buildings for our animals, we decided to put the chickens to work and purchased an electric fencing for poultry
They’ll Love You for It
We set up the hoop house, that we brought with us when we moved, for shelter which is so cool because it’s super light and easy to move. If you’d like to watch our video on “Let’s Build a HOOP HOUSE”, you can check it out here. Next, the nesting boxes were set up and the chickens turned loose. They went to town scratching and a pecking, and in no time, they had killed the grass and whole lot of dirt was showing through.
Do I Need to Add Compost?
No need! Because to create this kind of garden, the happy chickens fertilized as they worked the garden. Scratch scratch, poop poop, it’s a beautiful thing. Chicken poop added to the garden in this way is not like adding it to the compost pile. The compost pile has to sit, process, and breakdown before it’s safe to add it to your garden space. It’s compiled with many other organisms that create a lot of heat which in turn breaks everything down and prepares it for the garden bed. But the chicken poop, is directly distributed into the soil by rain, the chickens’ scratching, and eventually the tiller.
The Happy Chickens Must Go
But not far, because the electric poultry fencing and the hoop house is super easy to move and we have a lot more ground for these happy chickens to cover in order to fertilize the land which brings forth beautiful green, organic grass and wildflowers for the rest of the animals to graze upon.
This has nothing to do with gardening but it is very important. Once you move the happy chickens off of a piece of land, that land needs to sit and to rest for at least 80 days before putting any other livestock on it to graze.
Now It’s Our Turn
Our happy chickens have done a wonderful job which means that our job is going to be so much easier. But we still have a job to do. So out comes the tiller and let’s finish this garden spot off. Tilling packed dirt is so much easier than tilling packed dirt covered in green grass, let me tell ya (at least that’s what my husband tells me). But the ground does have to be tilled and the dead grass has to be raked out. And then the furrows are to be made. I use the Double Wheel Hoe by Hoss Tools that makes the job soooo much easier.
Pretty Pretty Garden
Let the Good Times roll, because now the fun begins! But before you plant your garden, think about planting things that go together. That compliment each other. This is called companion planting and you can find a really handy chart here. While you’re planning your garden, don’t forget to add plants and flowers that will not only add beauty to your garden but attract those valuable pollinators to ensure a productive crop.
Find More “Homemade Homestead” posts below:
- How to Homestead with Only an Acre of Land
- Rich, Delicious, & Easy Chicken Stock
- Let’s Get Dirty in the Garden
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If you ever have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to ask. I love to hear from you!!