Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Chooks in the garden

Our chooks really are a multi-purpose pet. They give us fertiliser, food, entertainment, and they help with the gardening.
OK - so in return we spoil them. They all have names (which they don't answer to, by the way) and they are all guaranteed a home for life regardless of whether they lay or not.
After a day at work it is great to get home and spend some time just watching them do what chooks do - and they do quite a lot.
They don't just lay eggs.

They provide top quality fertiliser for the garden (even when they look like they're resting).

They patrol the garden looking for bugs and grubs.

They scratch through the compost we throw on the garden and mix it into the soil.

They'll even help with the weeding from time to time. Sometimes they'll prune the garden plants as well, but just tip pruning.
They are very good at spreading mulch - even if you don't want them to.

The vege garden is pretty bare at the moment. With the enormous amount of rain we've had, combined with the heat and humidity most of our veges just turned up their toes and died. I'm waiting until early Autumn when the heat and rain has passed to replant so it's become the favourite dust bath area.

Of course, they also have to keep an eye on the compost bins. (possibly their favourite passtime) They make sure any tasty morsels get eaten rather than decompose.
Following us around, and checking what we are up to rates fairly highly on their daily agenda as well.
Note the black four-legged chook, interested but keeping a healthy distance. They've got her measure. She's been known to get the odd peck if she tries to steal their food.

12 comments:

  1. Oh, I so wish I had these girls in my yard. Great photos.

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  2. I think watching the chickens is very entertaining, they are so interesting when they scratch around for treats.

    Do yours always free range? I usually let mine out for a few days, they'll destroy something and then back in they go until I forget about the damage and the cycle continues!

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  3. Oh, Missy, love your chickens! We are down to six hens now, and with all the snow, they are in their coop as they don't like the cold very much. I leave their door open for awhile every day, but they won't venture out. Chickens are very entertaining and yours are gorgeous!

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  4. Same thing happens here Ali. When the vege patch is full force they are only allowed in Chookie World (a fenced off corner with bamboo, a few trees and the compost bins) but there's nothing much they can destroy at the moment so they get to roam the whole yard.
    We can only let them free range when we're home though. One of our neighbours lost their entire flock to roaming dogs a while back, so we like to make sure we keep an eye on them.

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  5. I love my chookies! And Brewster the rooster, adds a whole other dimension of entertainment. The little chickies (well they are 6 weeks old now) are divine. Because we have handled them, they are very tame.

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  6. I can tell you really love your chooks, Missy!

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  7. The chooks do give a lot of entertainment and assistance. I was smiling when I read through your blog. Hope you have a great day.

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  8. I would love to have chickens!!! But I'm sure my dogs would have a different attitude about them than Missy! Your hens are really pretty!

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  9. A chicken is definitely a gardener's best friend! I see that you use shredded paper in their nesting box-great idea!

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  10. They are adorable Missy!

    Gaz wants some chooks after seeing some lovely ones for sale at our nearest farm centre, but we have to restrain ourselves as we've got lots of responsibilities already. Not to mention being cat owners :)

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  11. You have great helpers! must be so cool having them around

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  12. You seem to enjoy your chickens' contributions to the landscaping effort more than I do; 13 acres - and they still have to be right in my beds!!!

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