Make space for chickens

Person Author: Ryan Lewis Calender April 27, 2012 Posted Tags: , , , , Comment No Comments

Image courtesy of Ryan’s Garden

Keeping chickens at home or at the allotment is becoming increasingly popular and when you look at the positives of doing so it’s plain to see why so many people are doing it. Yesterday, the Seed Parade forums went crazy with chicken talk and so I thought it only right that we acknowledge our feathery friends.

Chickens make excellent pets and offer hours of entertainment. Any chicken keeper will know just how easy it is to simply sit and watch these creatures go about their daily lives. Watching how chickens interact and behave, depending on their place in the pecking order, is truly enthralling. Chickens are often very fond of human attention too. Three of my chickens, which I keep at my nearby allotment, battle for attention and make a racket when you leave them. They even know the sound of my engine and as I approach they all dash to one side, “back-awing” and fighting for front row seats to watch my approach.

The biggest benefit of all however, okay maybe there are two, is that they produce eggs and the provide manure. Two of the most prized commodities this gardener could ask for. The eggs, firstly, are second to none. Fresh eggs are full of flavour and what with recent changes in legislation, keeping your own chickens makes good economic sense. The manure, on the other hand, is to my mind, as valuable as any other highly prized commodity. Allowed to breakdown over the course of a year it provides oodles of nutrition for plants and soil life and everything seems to thrive with it’s inclusion. Broad beans, Runner Beans, Courgettes and Squashes, which all prize high nitrogen values, are especially grateful and they grow so well on this diet. Added to the compost heap, the fresh manure also acts as an activator and really speeds up the process. In times where money’s short this also means that you don’t have to spend money on manure pellets or other fertilizers.

Chickens are relatively easy to keep and they do require regular care and attention, much like any other pet. If you are going to invest in keeping some of your own make sure you do your research. Talk to other chicken keepers and ensure that you make your coop, run and garden as secure as possible. Many people often overlook routine health care for their chickens too but they will require a regular worming treatment and you should keep an eye out for mites and lice that can live both on the bird and in their coop. Don’t let this put you off, however, as all these problems can be minimized and prevented with the right routine.

Do you keep chickens or are you thinking of taking the plunge in to become a chicken keeper? If you answered yes to either of these questions then come and take a peek at the Seed Parade forums!

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