The main ecosystem you build with your chickens can make your garden beds flourish. It is an ecosystem based on organic science methods. Utilizing the physics of the world to make your chickens happy and your vegetables really grow, can fill a homesteader with such joy.
It is a bit of work and not everything we say will work for you. If you have an idea please do comment on it here. The Homesteading Hippy loves to hear your thoughts on chickens. This is your individual ecosystem you are building.
Doing a Chicken Tour and finding out what your neighbors do can also help you find what is best for you. The terrain I’m used to has a lot of rocks and hard winters. I plan in accordance.
If you are in a different terrain, you might need to do something different. They are chickens and fairly simple creatures. They are one distinct breed and adapt to different environments. It really is about finding what adaptations to our advice works best for you.
The place where the chickens sleep is a place for them to poop. One of the things you can do is put sand down where they poop. With a kitty litter scoop you can then easily get the poop. \
Remember that a little bit of sand will not hurt your garden. You then put the poop in a bucket and set it aside. It can then be used as fertilizer. You don’t want to put this on your root vegetables. It can carry pathogens and it won’t be good.
If you use a metal scoop, you can scrape easier. You can also use oyster shells and set them on a small board on the side. This will provide them with extra calcium and can even prevent your chickens from eating eggs.
It is best to bake your oyster shells before to eliminate any pathogens. It is really important to not use fresh manure on your root vegetables.
Root vegetables like carrots, beets and potatoes should not have fresh fertilizer because of pathogens. Only ten percent of manure is then utilized and the rest is simple water. This mixture is then stirred and applied by pouring or using a scoop to lift and put the mixture on your vegetables.
Chicken poop is very high in nitrogen and too much nitrogen can hurt your plants. It is best to not use it to water your plants, but to put it around your growing vegetable near the roots. This is also a great fertilizer for your fruit trees. Again, just pour the mixture around the roots of your fruit trees.
Chickens love to scratch. With a few cinder blocks and a screen you can build some magnificent compost. Put the cinder blocks on the ground and put the screen on top. Be sure you lay the screen flat so that the chickens can get on top.
With this simple trick you then simply place your compost on top. Your chickens will thank you. They will then get on top and scratch around. Little do they know that their energetic delight is becoming easy fertilizer for you.
See, compost and leftover food makes wonderful soil. The chickens dig and scratch and push little bits of compost mixed in with their poop through the screen. Do this and your plants will jump (as far as they can) for joy. You will be giving them the extra nutrients in a cheap and organic fashion that will make them grow far.
We live in a society with a lot of food waste. Seven percent of greenhouse gases come from wasted food that then releases methane according to Vox. If you put all of the food waste together it would make a country smaller than Russia, but larger in Canada. That’s a lot of food waste.
The thing is, that food doesn’t need to be wasted. It can be easily composted. If you use chickens for this, even better. Composting is really an easy chore. Chickens are beneficial to this.
Chickens love to scratch with their feet. In a way, you can call this the new Hunger Games. We have a ton of food to eat, but our planet is starving. What’s a simple solution: chickens.
In America 1 in 8 Americans go hungry, yet 365 pounds of food each day gets wasted. Every day a football field-sized portion of food is wasted every day. So how do chickens factor in?
The answer is composting. See, composted food is a bit gross. It rots and attracts bugs. Plus, it does need to be turned.
It really is about policy. The abundance of food waste in American is a problem, but not all of us are politicians. However, if you are a homesteader, you can do this on your own.
Aeration and Chickens
Your chickens love to scratch and dig and you will love the compost they give you. Now, you don’t need to build anything fancy. If you lay the food out by the coop and let your chickens out they will find it.
They love finding rogue bugs and meat and chowing down. It really is in their nature. If you add in a compost pile and let your chickens dive in they will thank you. They will love you.
Chickens aren’t vegetarians. They love nibbling on a spare bug that’s wandered into the compost pile. The coolest thing about doing this, is it will make great compost. Chickens really can open your eyes to a lot of things. When you are deciding to take the plunge in homesteading, you might think you can’t afford the cost and care of chickens.
Chickens like to eat things you probably have been told you can’t compost like meat and dairy. They will scratch and turn your compost and they will remove the things you might not want in your compost. While they do this, they are providing the necessary aeration that your compost requires.
If you live in a city, your neighbors might not like the smell coming from your compost. See, chickens help with this. A good compost shouldn’t smell. It should have a sweet aroma of sugary dirt.
A normal city compost without the use of chickens, needs to be turned. If you have chickens, they will do this for you. They will scratch the compost and let the air molecules in, and make the compost more natural and with extra nitrogen that your vegetables will love.
It really is difficult to find the right margins of chicken fertilizer for your garden bed. This way, you will have the compost for your garden beds and it will have been turned and pooped in by your chickens.
Chicken fertilizer really can boost your garden beds. It is super-filled with nitrogen and should never be put straight on. Neither should it be put in with root vegetables. Chickens add a lot of aeration to your compost. They can add quality fertilizer. It just takes patience.
Chickens and Bugs
Bugs love compost. They love to wallow around in it and lay their eggs in it. They can make an infestation if not properly attended to. Now, what is the easiest way to do this? The answer is chickens.
They love bugs and they love to put their ears down to the ground and try to find them. Another pest drawn toward your compost are worms. The chickens will eat them too. That adds extra protein into their diet and makes their eggs extra good for you.
You may be asking: aren’t worms good for compost?
Chances are you’ve heard of the term worm bin. Know that the science behind utilizing chickens to build your compost is nature’s science or organic science. It is the physics of the land of which we are all apart of.
The chickens won’t get all of the worms and yet some will stay in your compost. This natural fusion of fertilizer production makes great sustainable compost. The Earth will thank you for this and supply you with eggs. It will make your chickens happy and you will be reducing your carbon footprint.
There really isn’t a such thing as a cage-free, vegetarian hen. If a hen sees a bug she will take the plunge to make it her next meal. You might as well as use this to your advantage. No one wants to waste food and no one wants to deal with the smell of rotted vegetables.
A homesteader who really likes to take advantage of the physics of Earth, will learn from his or her mistakes and maximize the profits of a good compost made with the aid and love of chickens.
Now, worms eat dirt. Chickens need dirt in their bellies. It is often referred to as grit. By eating some of the worms, they are getting the essential dirt they need for digestion. Now, we recommend you do provide a level of safety and screening.
Your chickens will love you if you provide them with the nibbles of a compost. They will have their own flock party in your honor. If you are someone who loves to give your flock extra treats but don’t like the cost of pre-packaged goods, know that compost will attract worms that your chickens will love to eat.
Composting with chickens is really a form on recycling. It is vital to the land and reduces your carbon footprint. It will take time and be an extra chore. However, the rewards will warm your heart.
Chickens are a very real way to nourish your homestead and make your compost really healthy for your vegetables. Chickens are an integral part of a healthy compost. If you don’t mind the extra work and care for a few egg layers, they will make your compost extra healthy and your vegetables extra nourished.
Why Is It Good For Your Plants?
Chickens can and will decimate your gardens if they get a chance. They will wreck havoc on your garden. I recommend you have your chickens separate from your garden. The worst thing they can do is scratch and eat your vegetable seeds. I know how much work goes into hoeing and organizing your garden beds.
Not everyone can identify their plants when they emerge. It is best to keep the chickens separate from your garden beds. They do, however, make excellent fertilizer. Chicken manure really is good for your vegetables.
However, know that root vegetables can be tainted by bird poop. That’s why we always recommend you fertilize your vegetables with a process that makes sure the pathogens that chickens can release in their poop is virtually neutralized before you use it.
Water is the world’s best solvent. You should never put straight fertilizer on your vegetables. My grandfather always had a bucket of water and a scoop. Only one-tenth of the water solution was fertilizer.
The majority was water, and only one-tenth was a composted mixture with chicken poop. If you can’t compost, know that no more than one-tenth of the solution should be chicken poop. It really can be a symbiotic relationship with creating fertilizer with your chickens and using that to nourish your vegetables.
Imagine growing corn for your chickens. You can then use that as feed. You literally can just feed them the ears of corn. One year when we had a big corn crop we fed the chickens the corn after we cooked it. I loved watching them eat the ear of corn.
It really is about building a homestead that has a symbiotic functionality that works smarter and not necessarily hard. Yes, you will be adding a bit of sweat equity. That sweat equity will pay off. You will be rewarded with cute critters, healthier eggs and quality fertilizer that won’t break the bank. You should never have your chickens in your garden beds.
If you are concerned with bugs, use marigolds, not chickens. They will destroy your garden. In addition to scratching, chickens do take dust baths. They will do this and not care where you planted your cucumbers.
Your eggs should always come out perfectly clean. If you see poop on your eggs they need to be de-wormed. If you are following the organic fertilizer process, know that that may happen. If it does, you need to take measures for them. It really is its own ecosystem.
These are just a few tips on how to do it. It really is about what works best for you. I made so many mistakes in my first homestead. Luckily I did manage to learn from them and now I’m telling my mistakes to you. It would be a mistake to try and merge your chickens with your gardens.
Know that chickens can really help build compost that is utilized for your garden that doesn’t take from it. It is an art form, however, if you are a dedicated homesteader know that some things are distinct and necessary for your garden and your coop.