Monday, March 5, 2012
Putting the Chooks to Work
And so it was a couple of weeks ago that I found myself sitting in the garden considering a garden furniture re-arrange. Problem is hauling rocks and logs and benches outside is a tougher job than dragging the bookshelf or couch about. And when I decided that the bench seat I'd re-arranged didn't quite work where I'd re-arranged it I didn't have the energy to drag it to another spot. So it took a few days to get right. But Littlest Monkey had whined to get his very own hammock so the re-arrange had to be done.
And when all was re-arranged to my satisfaction and the little monkeys and I were happily swinging on our very own hammocks (yep it's a hard life) I got to contemplating the chooks. They have been scratching about in a run that goes from their shed, along the back fence and under the trampoline since they were chicks. And they have well and truly scratched it bare. The poor chooks need their greens and surely they are sick of looking at that same bit of yard. I decided that they needed a re-arrange too.
The great thing about chooks is that they are very good lawn mowers. Actually, there are several great things about chooks but this was the first that occurred to me as I was re-jigging their run. The weeds and grass growing taller in my yard has been bothering me for quite a while now and I'm surprised that it didn't occur to me earlier to employ the chooks to do my work.
I made a run down the other side of their shed. It's not as big as their previous one but there's lots of grass to gobble for the time being. The good thing about silkie chickens is that they can't fly or jump high so I only need little fences. Some chicken wire and a few stakes are all that's required to keep them in check. I've decided that when my tomatoes are finished I'll extend their new run to include that veggie patch. They can scratch it up and deposit their fertiliser there until I'm ready to plant something new.
And by spring I figured that I could put them back in their old run. By which time some grass will have grown. But to help things along I threw a few handfuls of salad leaf seeds under the trampoline and along the back fence. I only had a packet of "gourmet" salad leaf seeds but I decided they'd deserve a treat by then. And as I had some extra silverbeet seedlings needing somewhere to go, they went in too.
And I must say I felt very pleased with myself and the chooks looked quite happy too. In fact everyone looked happy except Wokee who very much wanted to play with the chooks in their new run.