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Chickens In The Garden
This is the first year that I have not had the chickens separated from the garden. I was kind of worried because I've read that chickens can really destroy a garden if left to run loose in it. Now that the season is well underway I can honestly say that it hasn't been that bad. Here are a couple of things that I learned from my experience this year.
1) The chickens absolutely loved borage seedlings and would eat them to the ground as soon as I transplanted them. However, if I protected them and let them get about a foot high the chickens left them alone.
2) They never once bothered the sunflower, pepper, squash or tomato seedlings.
3) Amaranth, okra, pole beans and cucumber weren't their favorites, but if left unprotected they would pick at them.
4) They definitely like blueberries, especially after they are ripe. The only way I could get any blueberries was if I covered the bush so they couldn't get at them.
5) This is the best squash harvest that I have ever had... and I have yet to find any bugs on the squash plants. My brother is less than a half mile away and can't keep the vine borers away.
6) In fact, I haven't found any bugs at all in the garden. I can't see how they could keep the tomato horn worm away, but so far I haven't seen one.
7) They pecked at a couple of the tomatoes and squash, but for the most part they left all the fruit alone (except for the blueberries).
So, it has been a give and take, but overall I think having the chickens in the garden was a success. It took a little more effort on my part to make sure the seedlings were protected, but after they got big enough the chickens would simply wander down the row and scratch. I'm thinking the little bit of work on my part was offset by the pest protection. The biggest headache has been the blueberries. If I can figure out a way to protect them next year then I might not put up a fence. We'll have to see.
Last edited: Mon Aug 18, 2014 7:17 pm
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>>> The biggest headache has been the blueberries. If I can figure out a way to protect them next year then I might not put up a fence.