[Market-farming] Free Range Chickens in the Garden

Marlin Burkholder glenecofarm at planetcomm.net
Sat May 17 23:44:33 EDT 2003


  Does anyone have any experience with using chickens within your growing spaces?
   Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

  I have ranged laying hens during the winter months in my market garden for years.  They do a nice job cleaning up unpicked and spoiled tomatoes left on the vines and helping to incorporate garden residue into the soil.  I'm not fussing about anything they leave behind in exchange.  How else can you get paid eggs and meat for having manure spread on your fields?  I keep them enclosed in electronet fence in order to keep them out of the overwintering spinach, onions, and garlic patches or from unmulching the strawberries.  When spring comes and I'm back into serious planting then out to the pastures they go.

  Marlin Burkholder
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