Micro Entrepreneurism, Simple Living & Art
Last year, when we built our first coop, we thought that a chicken moat around the garden sounded like a genius idea. And Mother Earth News said it was. So it must be. NOT.
It was okay for a while, I survived last Summer’s garden season without any serious discomfort, but also without any noticeable benefit. I was still firmly on the fence about whether or not these chickens were worth their food bill. Because keep in mind they didn’t even start laying eggs until November. But by then I was already past being convinced of their worthwhiledness, for they had eaten my Fall broccoli crop. All of it. In a matter of 2 hours. I sulked and stomped like a four year old over that one.
Then, Mother Earth News also told us that the chickens would do the work of killing our cover crop come spring time. So we let them have the garden willingly in February. And they mostly dug craters and ate worms, leaving most of the cover crop completely untouched. I guess they don’t like hairy vetch and whatever else it was. Two strikes for Mother Earth News.
Now, come the time to actually start doing things in the garden, the chickens are just complete mayhem. They’ve learned they can fly and perform other such escape maneuvers with great skill. Wherever I don’t want them to be, is where they want to be. Despite the fence, and the gates, there are chickens in the garden on a regular basis. Not to mention that anytime I want to go in the garden I must fend them off and rush to shut the gate before they scurry in. Damn chickens. They discovered the hoop house too. Broccoli is still their delicacy of choice. I lost more little broccoli seedlings to them earlier this season.
So chickens might be cool, for something. But they aren’t cool for gardens. At least in my opinion. At least not yet. I think if I can master their composting skills I could start to like them, but until then, they’re just chickens. And damn chickens at that.