Monday, April 5, 2010

The Joys and Turmoils of the Yard Bird

Chickens provide many benefits and obstacles to the garden.  Here are some examples-
  • Their healthier, yellower yolks from eating greens (&bugs?) in your garden (omega-3s & carotenoids, etcetera, baby!), but be careful they don't compete for foods you intend for yourself!  
  • They make high nitrogen (nutrient) compost, but be careful it is "aged" properly or it will burn your plants or contribute disease to the soil.  Spreading it thin by always providing them fresh yard prevents some issues.
  • They are good surface tillers, and their "tilling" is less likely to hurt your soil structure; but they are SO good, given the chance, they'll get everything;
  • Pest eradicators.  They are equal opportunity hunters, so they will assassinate garden friends and foes- be careful!


  1. Do your comments apply equally to other yard birds such as ducks?

  2. Ducks might do less tilling damage, but with less damage comes less benefit. For example, I doubt they eat the same amount of kitchen waste, so they don't help generate as much compost. Also, I don't know how their poo differs, nutritionally speaking (for your soil, silly).

  3. Which yard bird is cuter? The reds you have or a duck?

  4. That is a tough one. If personality counts, then lost of ducks are cuter than my mischievous, fowl-mouthed city birds. For example, see the runner duck These guys might win out. In a fight OR a photo contest.