Add Backyard Chickens to Your Organic Vegetable Garden

Vegetable Garden
by Kake .

Have you ever raised chickens…in your backyard? Have you ever thought about it? There are many good reasons to do so. They are an excellent addition to your organic vegetable garden, and , as pointed out below, can reduce your work load!

First, the eggs are healthy, organic, and taste good. You control the eggs and the food that your chickens eat. I like vegetarian free range chicken eggs. Man do they taste good. As an added bonus, free range, organic chicken eggs are healthier and more nutritious because they are richer in Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin E than the supermarket eggs. If you are watching your cholesterol, the backyards eggs help you tremendously by contributing to your good fat and contributing far lower amounts of cholesterol than store bought, factory eggs.

Chickens in your back yard also help control the insect problem. The chickens eat mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, slugs, and their eggs. Chickens love fly larvae. Wouldn’t it be great to go outside and not be bothered by unnecessary bugs? Chickens also assist with weed control. Introduced into a mature garden, the chickens scratch and remove small plants and weeds. If you keep the chickens in a tractor or portable coop/yard, you can control where they weed.

Putting the chickens where you want them also allows you to put the excellent chicken fertilizer to work for you. Unlike dog poop, chicken poop is an excellent source of fertilizer for your garden. Rotating the chickens through your beds after the growing season gets your earth tilled, weeds and varmints removed, and fertilizes for the next growing season. Put the chickens for work for you.

Chickens are inexpensive and easy to care for with a bit of planning. Make sure that you design your coop or tractor so that it is easy to clean. Provide suitable roosting for your chickens and provide privacy for your layers. Chickens also are fun for your children. Chickens are silly. It is almost impossible to watch chickens run around your yard without smiling.

Chickens can also improve relations with your neighbors…as long as you don’t get a rooster. Roosters crow all the time. In the morning at dawn, before dawn, as sunset, in the middle of the night. As long as you get chickens (not roosters) your neighbors will be thrilled with the fresh eggs that you give them. How do you know the sex of a baby chicken? I’d leave that to the expert at the beginning. As long as you are familiar with a few terms, you can make sure to get the best chickens for your family.

Do not buy straight run chickens. The straight run chickens are just selected based upon the order they hatch and are not sexed. You just get a grab bag of boys and girls. You probably know that baby chickens are called chicks. They are not called boy chicks and girl chicks. Cockerels are baby roosters (boys) and pullets are baby chickens (girls). Your local farmers cooperative probably sells chicks. Just make sure they are sexed. Also, depending how many chicks you want, you can order them off of the interest and have them delivered UPS to your door. Pretty cool! Lastly, your local extension service can tell you how to locate a chicken producer near you.

Get some chickens, raise them right, and add them to your organic vegetable garden today! Your family will be thrilled!

John C. Shelton is a recovering attorney, husband, and father of two. After 15 years in the wilderness (lawyers, on whole are a cranky lot) he is listening to his muse. I love to garden and improve my environment. As an added benefit, I can save money at the same time. We all want to live better for less. I can help you live better and save money.

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