Re: [fukuoka_farming] Feathered friends, BARE GROUND, WEEDS & SLUGS
I agree re Chickens, BARE-GROUND... veges & weeds...
GREEN PLANTS (weeds & crops) are mostly all 'yummy' green food to chickens
I have previously surface-hoed a number of raised-bed rows & left leaf
litter & crop stubble & roots on the soil surface as a mulch. We then used
a 'chicken tractor' (chicken 'shed-sled'), steel wire cloche hoops, & mesh
over raised seed beds prior to planting of flowering bulbs, garlic bulbs...
& prior to seedling transplanting of spring lettuces, brassicas, carrots,
& other tempting slug foods..
We found that chickens scratching for food on such a caged raised bed do
need supplementary feeding with wheat etc...
It may not hurt things to leave a few plants in to see how well & where your
chickens scratch holes ... & what parts of the plants they attack ... or
Chickens eat worms that come too near the soil surface, ... but worms may
escape below or sideways outside the chicken tractor fenced area,
SLUGS & SNAIL are DONE FOR!.....
With the effective use of a 'chicken tractor' .....PRIOR TO PLANTING INTO
RAISED BEDS ...
WHAT ABOUT CHICKENS AFTER PLANTING????
But what do 'WE' (humans) call "WEEDS"????
... 'PLANTS IN THE WRONG PLACE'???....
A VERY HUMAN-CENTRED VIEW EH??!!
When in the process of uncovering & 'turning' a windrow compost heap,
CHICKENS are also very good to have around to catch escaping MICE. A local
community gardens CAT I once knew never got a 'look-in' on sharing mice
meals with those feathered garden friends. A chicken is a quick & aggressive
killer compared to a well fed cat that may play with it's quarry or 'food'.
If you do by practice uprooting any plants they are all very acceptable
"green food" to take to offer to chickens in their outside 'run' areas ...
Ducks & geese are good for grazing around 'established-sized' trees &
----- Original Message -----
From: "Larry Haftl" <larry@...>
Sent: Thursday, October 17, 2002 3:17 PM
Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Feathered friends
> Hello all,
> Do any of you have experience letting chickens, ducks, geese or other
> feathered friends free-range over raised beds where vegetables, herbs,
> etc. are currently growing?
> In more than one place I have read that ducks, and to a lesser extent
> chickens, will "eat the weeds and leave the vegetables alone." No
> one ever says how a duck or chicken knows what is a weed and what
> is not, but from limited personal experience I think they eat anyting
> green and, to them, tasty. I suspect that newly sprouted vegetable
> or herb plants would be just what they would be after. Some of the
> photos that accompany articles about using chicken tractors show
> blocks of pasture that had just been "mowed" the day before by a
> bunch of chickens (or ducks). I suspect there are greenskeepers on
> many golf courses that wish they could get their very expensive equipment
> to "mow" as cleanly as those chickens seemed to do. I can't help
> but think that if you turned a bunch of chickens or ducks loose on
> a raised bed currently growing desireable plants you would end up
> with something approaching a barren putting green. Am I wrong? Any
> Larry Haftl
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