Southern Agrarianism and the culture of the Old South

Chicken Gardens?

I end up looking through a lot of gardening web sites and books. Something that I’ve been seeing lately are what people are calling “Chicken Gardens”. The idea is that you can have a garden and chickens free-ranging in that garden – and everything will turn out just fine. It’s an appealing idea, and it makes for some very attractive photos and articles in slick magazines, but I’m pretty sure that those photos were taken within the first day or two of having chickens in the garden. I may be wrong – but I don’t think so.

My main garden area is a raised bed garden. I didn’t think the chickens would fly up into the garden when they had a full acre of yard to run around in. Wrong.

I guess if you are very careful with what you plant, have only a couple of chickens, and take other precautions that (I assume) are in the book, then maybe – just maybe – it will work, and your garden won’t look like it just went through a shredder. Oh, and it will only take a few days before your hens decide they would rather lay their eggs someplace other than their regular nesting boxes. No, thank you. I think I’ll keep my chickens in their pen.

A popular book on Chicken Gardens. I have NOT read this book - I am "judging the book by its cover."

A popular book on Chicken Gardens. I have NOT read this book – I am “judging the book by its cover.”

All that remains of a once-beautiful broccoli plant, about three days after the chickens discovered it.

All that remains of a once-beautiful broccoli plant, about three days after the chickens discovered it.

3 Comments

  1. Judy On Big Turtle Creek

    I agree. It’s a nice idea and makes for a pretty book but in my experience “that dog don’t hunt.”

  2. becky

    nope………doesn’t work. my chickens are let out during the day to just roam , i had to put chicken wire around my garden beds to keep them from destroying them.

  3. Wyandotte

    My chickens are sly. They roam our yard and if I should be so careless as to let the gate blow open, the chickens immediately spot this, sneak in, and within a few minutes make short work of the place. They know that where there’s mulch, there’s sure to be worms & beetles underneath. So away they go with their claws. What can you do…

    I sure would love to read that book but don’t want to put the money out for it. Here are the amazon.com reviews of the book.

    http://www.amazon.com/Free-Range-Chicken-Gardens-Beautiful-Chicken-Friendly/product-reviews/1604692375/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?showViewpoints=1

    There appears to be at least some wisdom in the book, at least from some of the reviews, but, still, I’ll try and keep my chickens out of mine, thank you very much.

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