We are slowly turning into a nice, albeit small, pocket farm. Along with a small flock, we have some fruit trees, a couple of raised garden beds, and multiple other plots with various production.
As it turns out, chickens are avid little gardeners!
Their pecking will help with pest control, of course. But, all that ground hunting also helps turn over your soil before planting anything. Their feet are great for breaking up earth. Need good fertilizer? Look no further than your coop. Need that fertilizer spread? Turn ‘em loose for a bit! They will even work a compost pile for you. (I’m sure you will get lots of noisy “thanks” for all the little critters they will find there to nibble on.) Gosh, you can even clear some ground with your flock.
Speaking of clearing ground; you definitely don’t want to put them to work in the garden once seeding and growing starts. There just wouldn’t be much garden left after all the foraging!
There are best practices for your sweet backyard gardeners. That largely means a controlled environment while they go to work for you. Make sure to supervise all that free labor so they don’t clock out and run anywhere…except for the house. The henhouse, that is.