Not long ago I pointed out the benefits of free ranging our suburban chickens.
It was good while it lasted.
The mess is the problem. Chickens poop EVERYWHERE, and by everywhere I really mean E V E R Y W H E R E!!!!! They also dig, not just scratch, I mean some of these ladies were digging HOLES. It’s part of their natural behavior. They like some fresh dirt for their dirt baths, so they just keep digging holes, here, there… random inconvenient spots all around the yard.
Don’t get me wrong. I liked the whole concept of the free range ideal. It just has to be balanced with kids, family, life, and some attempt at reasonable cleanliness.
So Saturday I grabbed a cup of scratch and headed over to the run. The girls ran like crazy after me. Bribery is a lot easier than trying to catch or herd chickens. They are pretty basic. Have food, will follow.
With some help from my boys we got the porch swept, hosed, scraped, hosed, deck scrubbed, and finally hosed again. Almost back to normal. We blew the wood mulch back into the border around the yard. Filled the holes. Evened out the dirt. We pulled down the chicken wire around the raised beds and along the Buddy fence. Then broke out the weed eater and cleaned up around the beds. It looks SO MUCH BETTER. Sigh…
Then we sifted some compost and mixed that with some sandy loam in containers and planted the Jerusalem artichokes.
Turned all of the compost.
It was a productive weekend.
Even with the “pause” just starting to lift, I was able to harvest enough different greens to make a salad for a couple of families from our small group last night to watch my Niners try and pull out an unlikely victory against the seachickens. It didn’t happen. But the salad gotten eaten up. 🙂
I probably could have cleaned up the grass from the weed eater a little better. That thing can really make a mess sometimes, but all in all it looks okay. The dino kale has been going into smoothies. Good stuff!
I still need to finish cleaning up the main garden area. Do some follow up plantings to finish out the winter garden season and get the peppers and tomatoes started. I am way behind on peppers and tomatoes. If I don’t get them going soon I have no hope of spring peppers.
Hint: Minimize chickens digging holes every where. Build a 2 foot by 2 foot frame from 2X4’s or 2X6’s fill with woof ash from your wood stove, fire place of BBQ pit. Chicken will flock to it to bath in the ashes and the chemicals in the ashes will kill bird mites as well.
Grin … Happy ‘New’ backyard gardening
Really! That’s cool! I had no idea. I’ll have to think about that.
Jones, ha, yeah, I can certainly identify with your dilemma. What I see in my mind is not always the way it works out in real life. Especially, birds and animals have a way of mucking up a great plan. I hope and pray that plan “B” works out better for you.
Have a great chicken run day.
Dave, I’m usually fortunate if I find success with any plan B. I feel like in some cases I’m doing pretty good if I succeed by plan P!
What a day with repairing after the girls! But it sure makes you feel good, at least it to me, to do garden clean up. We have our vege bed ready now for the spring…first year ever. No weeds due to there being no rain this season…Not sure if we should even do a garden with the drought we have and being on well water….
Regardless, I wanted to thank you for signing up to follow Life in the Foothills! Have an amazing time with your garden and I look forward to your posts! ^..^ B
And I look forward to yours. Best of luck with the new garden and hopefully you get some rain!
Oh geez. At least you know bribery works. Good luck with solutions!!!
When it comes to chickens, bribery is an easy bet.
Although it’s not easy on you, it’s nice to see your journey.
Hi Keith. Our chickens used to be free range too. But not any more. I don’t know what it is with chickens and decks, but I much prefer being able to walk on the deck without stepping in anything ickky!
All the best with the spring seedlings.
Cheers Sarah : o )
Well, it’s good to know that chickens are the same the world over. 🙂 Ours do seem a little angry back in their run. I think one that is especially vocal might end up being the first sign up for freezer camp. Not sure I can have her making all that noise.