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Chickens in my Garden

March 8th, 2012 by Veggie Master · 8 Comments

For several years I’ve been dreaming of having fat, healthy hens running around in my vegetable garden.  My dream is about to come true.  Why would I want to keep chickens you may ask.  Here are a few reasons.

Fresh organic eggs are my prime motivation.  To eat a flavorful egg with a deep orange yolk (that’s the beta carotene) seems the epitome of haute cuisine to me.  I have gardened for years with the purpose of putting delicious and nutritious vegetables on my family’s table.  Why not add a source of protein and fat to our home-grown diet?

Insect pest reduction - Chickens are hungry gobblers of all kinds of nasty garden pests, like Japanese beetles, grubs, squash bugs, Colorado potato beetles, tomato horn worms, slugs, and snails to name a few.  The insects provide chickens with healthful protein.

Nitrogen-rich fertilizer deposited directly into my garden or added to my compost pile.  Chicken droppings are said to be one of the most valuable of manures.

Veggie waste re-cycling - Feed the girls vegetable peelings, pulp from the juicer, weeds you pull out of the garden, or anything of the like, and the result will be  better eggs and healthier chickens.

Aerated garden soil is a side benefit of all the scratching chickens do in search of insects.

Entertainment - Every hen has a unique personality.  Their antics and interactions with each other in a flock can be quite amusing.  My friend has even trained one of her chickens to do tricks!

Make new friends - Chicken-raising seems to be a source of interest for most people from the grocery store clerk to the meter reader.  Those who do it will offer helpful suggestions, and those who don’t will have questions for you.

Show kids where their food comes from - Anything we can do to connect children to the land and nature is a good thing in my book.

I’m sure there will be a number of challenges to face in my chicken-raising enterprise, but none that I won’t be able to meet as long as I have a positive can-do attitude.  I’m busy searching for a suitable chicken tractor (portable coop), organic feed, accessories like a waterer, and more.  I’ll keep you posted on what I find.

8 Comments so far ↓

  • Uncle Cholly

    Another thoughtful backyard idea; I’ll be interested to see what kinds of coops you discover… again, thanks.

  • anne g

    I too am wanting to have chickens, and for all the reasons you cite! I am at this time most interested in what you find for a portable coop, and look forward to learning about what you decide to do for this.

  • Joanne

    Good luck to you. I look forward to many updates on how your project evolves. Having raised chickens myself in the past, I know how delicious fresh, free range chicken eggs are and what a pleasure it is to see Spotty, Redhead, Zesty, etc. running around doing their stuff.

  • Cindy

    We have raised chickens for many years and enjoy the benefits of fresh eggs, compost material, and scrap eaters. We let ours run about and have had problems with them “scratching” up our garden seedlings and sometimes eating them, so we have had to put up barriers.

  • Byron

    Sounds fascinating. Store-bought and even many restaurant eggs are mostly disappointing. Can’t wait to hear more.

  • Donna U.

    Chickens have been a dream of mine for years too. I’m so interested to hear how your project goes. I’m especially interested in their “housing” – what kinds of coops there are and how you manage them. Best of luck with this new voyage of discovery – I’ll be tuned in!

  • marilyn r

    I am very interested in raising chickens for the same reason and will want to know what kind of choices there are available for housing the chickens. I will be following this blog closely to see their progress.

  • Linda

    With the price of fresh eggs at the Farmer’s Markets running about $6 a dozen there’s good reason to consider raising your own chickens. Backyard chickens have become popular, even in city lots where you can have up to 4 chickens (no roosters) so I”m interested in hearing more about what kind of coops are available.

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