My photo cloud recently reminded me that I’ve been a chook mum for a whole year now! As I looked back on photos from the first weeks and eggs of our 4 girls, there was much to reflect upon. You can find the post all about our chooks here.
A flock of chickens is not just about having bodies that will produce eggs. Whether you’re in it for the googy eggs, giving battery hens a new life, or the manure, there are lots of interesting parts to bring a chook mum that I hadn’t anticipated.
It turns out that chickens have a lot of useful behaviors for my garden!
Given a bale of hay, they’ll turn it into mulch for my garden beds!
I feed my chickens virtually everything from our kitchen, aside from major no-nos like avocado peel and chocolate. If we didn’t have chickens, this waste would be hot composted. Chickens love to scratch around in compost piles, eating scraps and the bugs that come to the party.
Of course, don’t forget the chicken poop. Such a great fertiliser, and even though winter is proving to be a challenge for my green thumb, I know that the chicken poop dug into our beds is helping a lot! This tomato plant, for example, grew entirely by itself. A stray tomato seed found its way into the chicken poop that we built this soil up with… And these tomatoes were the hardiest out of all this season’s plants!
Chickens are also proving to be lovely pet, and great opportunity to teach responsibility to the kids. Reuben “delivers” the food in the morning, and counts out the eggs as we collect them. We always say “thank you, chookies!” to show our appreciation, and regularly surprise them with garden greens or special treats.
I guess all of this is a round-about way of justifying the fact that I bought FOUR MORE CHICKENS!
As we prepare these four silky bantams for their new family, we’re still thinking of names! Two white, one brown, and one black. Fingers crossed they all turn out to be hens or they might find themselves shipped off to the farm!
Wish us luck in bringing them into the flock, and subscribe so you don’t miss any chookie action. The coop needs adjustments, Queenie, Hilda, Kate, and Darla need prepping, and our new arrivals need more feathers to withstand the cold nights without their heatlamp!