Chicken Garden or garden chickens…
After yesterday’s ‘chicken run’ style escape attempt, we’ve decided to let the chickens have the run of the garden.
Our chickens are currently pecking and scratching away all round the garden. Hopefully they’re keeping away from the vegetables and sticking to dandelions, clover, grass and worms.
There have been a few considerations before we decided to allow the chickens access to the whole garden; we’re still undecided as to whether this is a good idea, or whether to continue our plans for a dedicated chicken run down the end of the garden.
The major consideration was how our dog (Pip) would react to having the chickens invade ‘his’ garden space.
Pip is a Jack Russell and is a confirmed ‘killer’. He absolutely hates vermin and has regular battles with the local foxes and squirrels. He’s also ‘dispatched’ a few rabbits that I know of.
One of the most embarrassing incidents of my life was a Pip related rabbit dispatch… On full view of a school rugby match at a local playing field close to the house.
The rugby match had a large group of mum, dad and sibling supporters. But that’s a different story – I console myself in the fact that the rabbit must have had mixy and so it was the kindest thing to happen to it!
So the chickens are in the garden and pip is behaving himself. The chickens have pecked him a few times, he’s nicked their corn on the cob but he seems to be happy with them and so we’ll let it continue for the time being.
I wouldn’t trust Pip with the chickens in the garden on his own. That’s a totally different scenerio and one I don’t think he’ll be able to help himself over… The temptation would be too great!
One of the things we’ve discovered on letting the chickens have the run of the garden is just how friendly they are. We’ve been sitting on the patio watching them from a distance pottering about. The chickens have been up and down the garden and seem to be content with being close by us.
They’ve been on the patio, on our garden furniture and have even managed to get in the house. It’s one thing having chickens in your garden, a totally different thing having the chickens in your house. They have to know their boundaries and the house is out of bounds for chickens…
The chicken poo problem would just be too much!
We’ve had them eating corn from our hands, even Zach our youngest has been feeding them and so I kind of like the idea of having the chickens in the garden – free range chickens so to speak.
As I write they’ve created a chicken dirt bath in one of the flower beds. I don’t know whether they’ve chosen this spot because of the chickens in next door’s garden – before getting our own, we could always hear next door’s back garden chickens.
Obviously another consideration with having chickens in the garden is Mr Fox. We’ve seen him about during the day time in the past. The only night time sighting of him was last week, but I wouldn’t put it past him to check the garden out in the day time now that he knows we have chickens wandering about.
Well we’ll see how the chickens in the garden experiment goes and keep you posted.
Posted: August 24th, 2008 under Keeping Chickens.
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