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Backyard Chickens0

 

I’ve discovered the best method for keeping a backyard flock of chickens: have a friend do it.   

I have a good friend who’s passionate about raising an organic flock or two of chickens, and we have a perfect arrangement.

Whenever I go over for a visit, we watch the antics of those birds for hours on end. She always seems to end up with one maverick rooster in the new batch of chicks which only adds to the enjoyment (mine, not hers).

Not only is it free entertainment, but the obvious benefit of having chickens around is great eggs by the handful every morning year round. And, by eating insects, beetles and grubs, they’re an excellent component of an integrated pest management program for the garden. 

For me, it’s all about the organic chicken manure for my raised vegetable beds.

The last time I went over for a trunk load of chicken manure my friend wasn’t there but urged me to help myself to what I wanted. So I spent a couple hours by myself with the chickens. They watched me from their resting place under the hedge while I scraped out their shed. Soon curiosity got the better of them and they joined me clucking and pecking around my feet. They followed me behind the shed to get a couple bucketfuls from the composted heap, showed me their water container, and then walked me to the car. The perfect hosts.

Backyard chicken enthusiasts can be found in the rural, suburban, and urban landscapes across the country. And I’m certainly an enthusiast for those chickens in my friend’s backyard.

 

text and photos by Ann D. Travers

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