Although chickens can be both a blessing and a curse in the backyard, in this article I want to focus on the positive and look at ways that chickens can be of help. As long as you take a few precautions, chickens can save you time and money with your garden.
Some gardeners and chicken keepers would argue that chickens are such good workers, that they should be kept even if they weren’t laying eggs or kept for their meat.
In this post, I will explore 8 various ways to use chickens in your backyard. You will find out how to put chickens to work by offering nitrogen for the compost pile, fertilizing the garden, replacing machine tillers, spreading mulch, turning compost, controlling pests, disposing of your garbage and sanitizing the orchard. Here we go:
1. As a source of nitrogen for the compost pile: According to Ohio State University, a single chicken has the ability to produce 8 lbs. of manure per month. That is enough to compost 1 yd.³ of leaves!
2. As a tiller: A single chicken may till 50 ft.² of established sod or turf within just 4 to 6 weeks!
By eating practically all vegetation and scratching, they make excellent tillers. Even though they take a lot longer than machine tillers, chickens require no fossil fuel, they are a lot quieter, and you do not need to do any of the work. and you do, of course need to block them from accessing parts of your backyard that you want left alone!
3. As an automatic fertilizer: A single chicken may offer enough nitrogen fertilizer for 50 ft.² backyard in a little over one month.
4. As a compost-turner: A single chicken may help do ¼ of the work of turning one compost pile!
5. As a mulch spreader: A single chicken may level a huge amount of leaf mulch within 2 days.
6. As a garbage disposal: A single chicken may convert many pounds of waste per month into meat and fresh eggs!
7. Insect Control: A single chicken easily can de-bug up to 120 ft.² per week!
8. As an orchard sanitation: A single chicken may de-bug a whole fruit tree within one hour, and break the life cycle of disease and pests.
And that is it- 8 great ways in which chickens can help a well organised gardener.
This blog post has been written by James Grayston. On his new blog which is about keeping chickens in your backyard, he has just published what is possibly one of the most detailed guides to broody hens that you will find.