|Lucy, our Australorp, heading to work|
Job one: Turning compost.The first job we set out to give our chickens was to help turn our compost.We moved the compost pile from the edge of the property to next to the garden and have it with an open side so the chickens have easy access.The chickens and the guinea fowl spend lots of time scratching and turning the pile as they hunt for worms and other tasty tidbits.This helps me out a lot, as now I only need to turn the pile over once or twice a season and the chickens do the rest.
|The girls clean up the garden|
Job two: Cleaning up the garden after harvest.The second job I turned over to the chickens was cleaning up the garden after harvest.After I’d harvested all the crops and pulled up the spent plants I let the chickens have the run of the garden.Normally it’s fenced off to them, so they were excited to be given access to this “forbidden area.”They have spent many happy hours scratching at our raised beds.They got all the mulch we placed in the beds during the growing season nicely incorporated into the top soil.Hopefully they have also eaten lots of weed seeds and some of the pest insects that may have been hiding out.
|Guinea fowl on tick patrol|
Job four: Controlling pests.This job takes advantage of each poultry type’s taste preference.Our ducks love to eat slugs in the garden and on the lawn.They also help keep the mosquito population down as they spend time on our farm‘s beaver pond.