Gardening with chickens (and other poultry)

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by snoggle, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. snoggle

    snoggle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Would anyone be interested in a section on "Gardening with Chickens"?

    We could discuss ways to use chickens (or other poultry) in the garden - to eat bugs, 'till beds, etc. and discuss how to avoid problems like chickens eating garden plants that you want, etc.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2012
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  2. bnjrob

    bnjrob Overrun With Chickens

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    Sounds good to me. I thought I saw some pics posted of integrating poultry with gardens on another thread- fascinating stuff.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2012
  3. chickmashnoon

    chickmashnoon Chillin' With My Peeps

    if there was some way to get them to scratch in just the right places so I didn't have to till. Like, if I could somehow get them to dustbathe BETWEEN the rows rather than ON them, or to only eat the dandelions. if anyone else has figured it out, that would be great!
     
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  4. snoggle

    snoggle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yep, there is. A chicken tractor! I started a thread about how I'd like to use it in my garden on the "Feeding and Watering Your Flock" section. There are several good books about gardening with chickens too. One by Jessi Bloom and an even better one by Harvey Ussery.
     
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  5. crazychickenwom

    crazychickenwom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would love to hear more about this! Give it to us snoggle!
     
  6. snoggle

    snoggle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well who do we talk to in order to get a section on this started???
     
  7. snoggle

    snoggle Chillin' With My Peeps

    One of the main reasons I got chickens is to use them in the garden. I LOVE to garden, but want to avoid using chemicals and a lot of equipment. And, I am lazy. Chickens (and other poultry) can eat the pests, "till beds, and turn the compost heap.

    I first heard this idea when reading a book about "Four Season Gardening". The author, Elliott Coleman, uses his ducks for slug patrol by putting them in a "duck tractor" that he moves around the perimeter of his garden. Apparently the slugs are actually attracted to the duck poop, so they leave the middle of the garden and head over toward the ducks who inhale them.

    Jessi Bloom's book talks about designing gardens to accommodate chickens. She's a landscaper so much of her focus is on flower beds, etc. She highlights different people's gardens and how they use their chickens. The pictures are gorgeous!

    Then, my favorite, is the book by Harvey Ussery. He actually uses chickens, ducks, geese, and guineas to do different tasks in the garden. Each species has special skills that make them better for different things. He very much recommends keeping the water fowl and the chickens in different coops since the water fowl are slobs.

    I really want to get Runner Ducks next year. They were originally bred to forage in the rice fields of Indonesia (I think that's where) in order to clean out pests. They've been gardening with ducks for hundreds of years! It isn't a new idea at all!
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2012
  8. CarolJ

    CarolJ Dogwood Trace Farm

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    I think this thread is a great idea. It doesn't really need it's own topic. You can just start a thread under "Managing Your Flock." Love the idea - and I'll subscribe to the thread. Right now I'm feeling bad because I've been planting my garden - and so I've kept my chickens in their run the past few days because I don't want them un-doing all my planting.
     
  9. bnjrob

    bnjrob Overrun With Chickens

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    Here too! The grasshoppers destroyed our garden and nothing we did made a difference. I don't like using a bunch of insecticides, especially since our garden area runs off into the pond. I would go out with insecticidal soap and spray individual bugs and such that were on the plants but it was just too much. The squash bugs acted like it was one big party. We're hoping that the chickens will help out with the bugs and that by next year, we might be able to plant a little bit of something.

    Of course right now, our babies are complete and utter idiots. They all looked at a strawberry like it was from Mars. We've only had the chicks for slightly less than a week - it took the pair of 2 month old boys two days of being outside to figure out that "oh, we can eat that green stuff sticking out of the ground".
     
  10. snoggle

    snoggle Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm thinking that Harvey Ussery said something about the squash bugs being managed best by guineas. I'll have to double check that and get back to you. I think the chickens don't eat them as readily or something. I'll check.
     

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