Why should you keep chickens?
Why Should You keep Chickens?
Feathered friends aren’t just there to lay eggs and keep you company. Chickens actually have many other uses in your house… and garden too!
Chickens love to dig, frolic and eat weeds and plants. Instead of making this your downfall you can make this into your triumph! Gardens and chickens go together like peas in a pod… in fact, chickens and plants feed and clean each other. Every Sunday our five chickens frolic around our garden; happily digging, weeding and turning the soil wherever they go.
Eggs of course are another thing! You can eat them, compost them and use them in your garden. If you grind up the eggshells (no yolks or whites, just a clean eggshell or two that have already been used, grind them, and sprinkle them in the garden or put the grinded eggshells in the chicken’s food for extra calcium. Both chickens and plants will be happy, healthy living things. Another thing you can do with your eggs is raising in cracked eggshells.
Recipe for raising seeds in eggshells:
You will need:
- 1 egg
- Three seeds
- Seed raising soil
- Spraying bottle
Crack an egg in half and make your favourite egg dish. Once you have eaten the egg take the two halves and very carefully fill them with seed raising soil. Make a little hole in the soil with your finger and put three seeds of your choice in each half. Fill a sprayer with water and spritz the soil gently to water.
Chickens and herbs –
Growing your own herbs is a great thing for you and your family, but also for your chickens!
Our chickens enjoy living on our property in the Mornington Peninsula where we grow our own herbs from SEED TO SKIN – we have a substantial herbal garden here on our beautiful property on the Mornington Peninsula, where we grow many medicinal herbs including chickweed, Lavender, Chamomile, Echinacea, Calendula, Aloe Vera, Comfrey, Borage, Basil, Rosemary, Mint and more.
These beautiful herbs are then hand harvested at the optimal time, infused (hot or cold infusion) and used (together with other ingredients that are sourced as locally as possible) to make a range of Herbal Remedial Balms (Be Better Balms). These handmade balms aid everyday ailments including rashes, burns, cuts, aches and pains, headaches and more. You can click here to view our range.
Herbs are also very beneficial for chickens. For example, Lavender is a great stress reliever which helps egg production, Parsley is packed with vitamins and minerals and Mint helps the chickens immune system and aid their digestive system. Some research also shows that mint helps increase the size of the egg….
So next time you pick some herbs, add some to your chicken’s food and place some in their nesting boxes for some lovely aroma – the ladies will thank you for it….
You will probably learn to love your flock and will care for them for as long as you can, adding new members (minimum 2 at a time...trust me on this one...) and customs along the way. In the end you will learn that chickens depend on you… and maybe you depend on them.
And here's something for the kids - how to draw a chickens, food bowl and a little coop...enjoy!
We would love to hear your feedback or any questions you may have in the comments below.
For more info on chickens and gardens read backyard chickens and beyond by Pam Freeman and gardening with chickens by Lisa Steele.