Cleanup crew

The chickens love getting into the garden every Fall once the main harvest is over. So many leftover greens to eat, and by that time it’s usually just full of little beetles and caterpillars for them to eat, too. While I regularly feed them alfalfa and omega 3 supplements, the yolks are never quite as bright as during this time of year.

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They absolutely ruin the nicely delineated garden paths, flinging mulch and topsoil around about as efficiently as a shovel would (I’m not even exaggerating). They leave potholes deep enough to twist an ankle in, or sink a loaded wheelbarrow, and have already taken down my giant hugelkultur bed by about 30%. Every year I just wait it out all winter long. In the Spring, come planting time, I begin letting them out into the forest paddock instead (outside the garden fence) and only then attempt to rake it all up nice and neat again.

But I figure all that destruction is worth it: they’re searching out and wreaking havoc on all the little nasties that are trying to overwinter and destroy my garden next year. It’s the natural thing for chickens to do, so they’re visibly cheerful all day. And of course they’re mixing in their own fertilizer as they go, too.

Go git ’em, gals.

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