Hi from the Bitterroot Valley, MT...and some questions

Hillia

Hatching
6 Years
Mar 17, 2013
6
0
7
Hi! My husband and I recently moved to this area and bought a home with 5 acres. I'm looking forward to starting my flock and my garden at the same time next spring. I have an idea that seems brilliant :) so I'm wondering what I'm missing...

My goal is to have a nice sized garden and a self-sustaining flock of ~20 chickens. My thought is this: I'll fence off an area about 2.5 times the size that I want for my garden. In the middle, I'll build a decent size coop/garden shed, and then split the garden in half with fencing. Each year I'll use one half for garden and the other half for a chicken run, switching year to year. I'll let the chickens have the garden half each year for a few months before planting - I've read that chicken manure has too much nitrogen and will burn plants if it's not allowed to age a bit before use. I'd need a separate, non-chicken-accessible area for any perennials I want to grow, like berries and asparagus, but otherwise it seems like the chickens would get the benefit of a nice sized run, and they'd do some weed/pest control for me before planting time each year.

What problems am I not seeing with this plan?
 

BantamFan4Life

LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO.
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 15, 2012
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Pyeongtaek, South Korea
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sourland

Broody Magician
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Welcome to BYC, and congratulations on your new home. Sounds like a great idea to me. I'm almost certain that somewhere on site is a schematic/plan from someone with the same idea.
 

SonOFABA-VP

Hatching
6 Years
Aug 31, 2013
9
1
9
Hi! My husband and I recently moved to this area and bought a home with 5 acres. I'm looking forward to starting my flock and my garden at the same time next spring. I have an idea that seems brilliant :) so I'm wondering what I'm missing...

My goal is to have a nice sized garden and a self-sustaining flock of ~20 chickens. My thought is this: I'll fence off an area about 2.5 times the size that I want for my garden. In the middle, I'll build a decent size coop/garden shed, and then split the garden in half with fencing. Each year I'll use one half for garden and the other half for a chicken run, switching year to year. I'll let the chickens have the garden half each year for a few months before planting - I've read that chicken manure has too much nitrogen and will burn plants if it's not allowed to age a bit before use. I'd need a separate, non-chicken-accessible area for any perennials I want to grow, like berries and asparagus, but otherwise it seems like the chickens would get the benefit of a nice sized run, and they'd do some weed/pest control for me before planting time each year.

Also Bitterrooters. Corvallis area. Good luck.
 
Last edited:

SonOFABA-VP

Hatching
6 Years
Aug 31, 2013
9
1
9
I've used my chickens for weed control. When I get a weed problem, I toss their feed into the patch for about a week. By the time they're done digging and scratching, I'm down to bare dirt - ready to plant grass, etc. It works better if you take a straw broom and sweep the droppings. I screen out the doo-doo. I don't even trim my lilacs anymore. I toss wheat under them and the chickens do the rest.
 

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