Whether you are a chicken grower or a poultry farmer, starting a chicken garden might be efficient for you, your family, and your flock. Here are five reasons why you should start one:
- Cuts down your expenses
The eggs that your chickens provide you are not free. Instead, this pays you for the costs you’ve had for their chicken feeds, bedding, coop, and healthcare. Therefore, creating a chicken garden will not just benefit the health of your flock, but will also cut down your expenses on their chicken feeds.
- Healthy food for the flock
Squash, tomatoes, and sunflowers are plants that can provide nutrients for your flock that don’t require much effort in growing. With the right amount of sun every day, these plants can grow and provide you sufficient produce for your chicken feed.
You can grow vegetables, fruits, grains, and herbs that may help in strengthening the chickens’ health, allowing them to live healthier and longer so that they can provide you safe, tastier eggs.
- Provides food for the family
Aside from the fact that the chicken garden can benefit your flock, your family can also take advantage of it as it can supply you fresh produce that is surely safe and nutritious.
- Multiple crop purposes
A chicken garden means you can opt to plant crops that will be useful and efficient. For example, feeding varieties of herbs to the chickens will serve as a health booster for them. Herbs like mint can improve the chickens’ eggs and respiratory health while basil also contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that can boost your chicken’s immune system. Oregano also helps in fighting parasites and infection.
- Chickens as garden pest control
While your chickens benefit from the garden, you can use them for pest control as well. If bugs are present in your chicken garden, they can be fed to the chickens so the chickens would have additional protein in their diet. The chickens can also help you in your garden by providing fertilizer, by tilling the soil through their scratching and digging, and by eating pests to protect the plants that will either be their feed or be added in your meals later on. It’s a win-win situation.
Plants to grow in the chicken garden
Here are some plants you can grow in your chicken garden:
Vegetables: Lettuce, spinach, kale, bokchoy, beet greens, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, peas, cabbage, cucumber, and potatoes.
Herbs: Oregano, parsley, basil, mint, rosemary, sage, thyme, and chamomile.
Fruits: Strawberries and raspberries
Grain/Seeds: Corn, wheat, oats, and sunflowers
Chicken Gardening tips
Make sure not to give your chickens vegetables and fruits that have mildew and molds as they may cause health problems to your flock.
If you’re growing beans, cook them first before feeding to your flock. Do not let the chickens go into your garden that has just begun; fragile seedlings and sprouts must be protected from getting walked on, dug, or even eaten.
It’s also good to plant a separate perennial garden that will supply your chicken feed a lot easier and longer. Perennial herbs such as mint and lemon balm are highly recommended in this type of garden.