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Chickens for bug control and food recycling.

Discussion in 'Gardening With Animals' started by Beekissed, Sep 3, 2015.

  1. Mar 1, 2017
    PennyJo

    PennyJo Deeply Rooted

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    had to get my girls out of the mudpit of their old run. I fenced off 8 ft high of wire
    BF cut a new door and the girls took to it like butter to bread
     

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  2. Mar 1, 2017
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Garden Master

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    I bet they did! :thumbsup They look happily busy out there! :D

    I'm battling extreme rains causing muddy feet from outside the coop, tracking right into the coop and into my nest boxes. Getting the occasional smudge of mud on the eggs during this time. I had put down a good layer of wood chips on the most well traveled spots but we had torrential rains that caused many rivers to wash away my chips.

    I opened up my tarp at the rear of the coop to let in some of this great moisture, as my DL under the roosts has been too dry all winter to decompose as quickly as I would have liked. Will do the same a few days from now to capture even more. Soon I'll set up a catchment system that will divert rain into that area of my coop so I can capture more moisture all year round there. I've got a piece of gutter up there I can use for it, just need to figure out how I'll get it to the middle of my mass there.

    Egg count has been GREAT this winter and is still good. The chickens have gotten to forage all winter long, which is unusual. I think it made a big difference for them.
     
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  3. Mar 2, 2017
    ducks4you

    ducks4you Garden Addicted

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    D'awww!! Happy little fuzzy butts!!!! I bought this nylon chicken tractor and I'm waiting for the next day without a big wind to put a few hens at a time in it to clean up my garden beds. I think there is still a BYC post with a video that shows what a flock of about 5 birds can do to clean up an area in just one afternoon. They eat up the weeds and the bugs and till up the soil. What good little workers!!!
    Until you start mowing, you could buy a bale of straw and put it out in the run. YES, they will work it down in the soil in the run, but you can clean that up in about a month or so and compost it. It's really good when you can find a bale of straw or hay that got rained on bc they go for peanuts.
     
  4. Mar 2, 2017
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Garden Master

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    I don't have a run, as my birds are free ranged, but I always advocate for those who do to incorporate a deep litter system in the run, at least a foot thick, of a variety of materials that will allow air and water exchange in the mass. No more muddy runs, no more stink, no more flies and a great place to compost kitchen scraps, garden refuse, etc. Healthier environment for chickens.
     
  5. Mar 3, 2017
    ducks4you

    ducks4you Garden Addicted

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    DD have a lot of leaves in the backyard left from last Fall. Good idea--I think I'll bag them up this weekend and give them to the chickens.
     
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  6. May 17, 2017 at 11:19 PM
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Garden Master

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    Mom and I were sitting out the other day, just watching the chickens foraging the yard. It never ceases to amaze us just how many bugs they are eating each day....two steps, bug. Two steps, bug. A couple of beaks of clover or grass, then two steps, bug again.

    Imagine how many pest bugs we'd have here if we didn't have this crew cleaning up the place? :th

    The start of this year's new flock or meat birds, with two more hens sitting on clutches due to hatch this weekend. More bug eaters to come! :weee

    [​IMG]

    The orchard benefits from this also. I've also got a new crop of kittens nursing right now that will help keep the squirrel population from denuding our apple orchard. Since getting these two young cats I haven't seen a squirrel one in that orchard, so we may, just maybe, get to taste our own apples for the first time in 20 yrs this season. o_O

    Getting the younger dog 2 yrs ago enabled us to have our first real peach crops here in 20 yrs as well. The older dog didn't really care about the squirrels and deer eating the fruit, but this younger dog is guarding his food supply....now we only have to worry about him and the chickens eating the peaches. :eek:
     
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  7. May 18, 2017 at 2:31 AM
    baymule

    baymule Garden Master

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    Apple fattened squirrel ought to be real tasty......:lol:
     
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  8. May 22, 2017 at 6:11 PM
    PennyJo

    PennyJo Deeply Rooted

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    Had a visitor come in. yesterday BF saw a chicken at the front gate
    I have two black sex link's this is possibly austroloupe sp. 005.jpg he thought since it walked to where the chickens are must be one of mine 008.jpg
     
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  9. May 22, 2017 at 8:04 PM
    Nyboy

    Nyboy Garden Master

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    Quarantine visitor if you plan to keep
     
  10. May 22, 2017 at 8:44 PM
    PennyJo

    PennyJo Deeply Rooted

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    nope not keeping but yes did when I saw it was not mine but showed up
    about 8 am I did not know of it until about 8 pm
     

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