The amazing story of two 40-something women on the path to matrimonial bliss

It just keeps getting better...

Monday, February 25, 2013

Gardening with Chickens?!

No one promised us a rose garden...or, more aptly, no one promised us that having a vegetable garden, a mini-fruit orchard and a free-ranging chicken flock would be an easy merging.  In fact, we read books, we debated, and we strategized and then we finally just took a leap of faith and decided we'd figure it out as we went along.

Well...we're going along.  Last year was easy peasy--first they were chicks and then by the time they were out in the fenced back yard, the garden was big enough that they couldn't really do much damage.  This spring is a whole different situation!  Now, our veggie garden is a series of grates, fences, plastic coverings and any other sort of barriers we can come up with to keep those persistent henpeckers from our tender plants!

Yesterday, as I was attempting to plant out the Brussels sprouts, and as I was getting one jumbo flat planted, I was not only pushing the girls away, but trying to keep them from devouring the other flat I had on standby to plant next.  Just so you know, "Shoo!" doesn't really work with chickens--especially tame ones who pretty much think they rule the yard.  They aren't dummies--they want the worms unearthed while I dig, the tender leaves of the sprouting plants and to get their big 'ole scratching chicken feet into the soft, yummy compost.

I remember  how adorably cute I thought it was last Fall when they followed me around as I did my garden clean-up chores--having them under foot, ready to snatch up a freshly planted onion bulb isn't nearly as adorable. So we're back to talking about whether to build a run--at least a temporary one while the veggies are getting started.  We love the idea of letting them free range and they've come to expect it; but we'd like to have some vegetables survive their feet and beaks too!  Meanwhile, we are facing off and we are two gals trying to outsmart a trio of determined hens...stay tuned!

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