As most of you know, late this summer we moved across town. One of the most difficult things that I had to do was leave behind what we designed and grew from nothing 13 years ago. Over those years, I turned a vacant lot into a lush oasis, filled with perennial walking gardens, blue stone patios, a fabulous chicken garden, a honeybee apiary and a lovely area of raised garden beds. My heart still pines for those gardens, wondering how they are growing without my daily tending. Weirdly, I miss my plants. I had no idea they were such a part of me. But with change, comes new opportunities and I got a head start on next year’s vegetable garden at the new place.
Have you thought about gardening with chickens but just don’t know where to start? Today, I’m sharing with you some terrific tips to get started and also a fun DIY gardening project to recycle your flock’s eggshells into seedling starters.
Sometimes I compare my backyard to an oasis. My kids spend hours playing in the grass and the garden provides fresh vegetables for my family. It’s a place where I go to clear my head, a place where all my worries drift away. Because my family and I love my lawn and garden so much, I have given a lot of thought into keeping the backyard healthy. One of the best helpers I’ve found? My flock of backyard chickens – and, in turn, the feed they eat. I feed my chickens in the morning, let them free-range and forage throughout the day and then bring them into their coop at night. Not only does this keep the chickens happy, it also helps my plants keep growing! The chickens eat insects, aerate the lawn, love eating weeds and even produce fertilizer!
Ready to add chickens to your backyard? Here are four steps to get started!
One of the ways that my family has traditionally shown and shared love is through food. This is especially true for my step-father. To him, food is love. For the past twenty-five years, he has nursed broken hearts with sundaes, healed sicknesses with soups, and celebrated special times with feasts. Love is always abundant when we’re gathered around the table. I believe the same goes for my chickens. Every time I feed the girls, I am showing them love. After all, they give the love back to me with the eggs they produce. Because food is such a strong statement of love in my family, I’ve given a lot of thought into which feed to give the girls.
If your flock is like mine they LOVE to gobble up dried mealworms. Recently I learned about Chubby Mealworms. I hadn’t heard of them before so I was excited to learn about a new company. I think you can guess by their name what they sell…mealworms and other dried bugs, just up the chickens’ alley! They graciously sent me a bunch of samples for the girls to try.
Keeping a flock of backyard chickens while raising children is, in my opinion, one of the most wonderful things that you can do as a family. Kids and chickens go hand in hand. From the fresh eggs to life’s lessons, I don’t think that you can chose a better pet. Did I mention that they also make you breakfast? Today, I thought I ‘d share some tips for those of you getting started with a family flock. Keeping chickens with kids is an amazing adventure.
If you think about it, chickens lay hundreds of eggs during their lifetime. Many times their eggs arrive just on schedule just as predicted; gorgeous warm orbs of goodness. Hens are amazing! Although rare, sometimes reproductive system and egg laying issues arise that leaves chicken keepers scratching their heads. We’ve all had weird eggs. The perfect place is to start is inside the chicken and what leads up to the laying of an egg.
Have you heard of Dookashi? Well neither had I until a few months ago when the company owners reached out to me to try a new way to manage my chicken’s waste. I must say that I thought that I had managed my chickens’ waste with a good system. This product has made it even better!
|Her final bouquet.|
If you spend enough time with the flock you will inevitably learn their language. We’ve been speaking chicken for years with our own flock and I share how you can do it too in my book. Recently I sat down and wrote a blog post for my publisher about speaking chicken.