Working Chickens, Part 7: Utilizing Your Flock


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When folks first get chickens, they often think of the obvious reasons for having them: meat and eggs. While these are both great reasons to keep chickens, your flock could be doing so much more for you. Here is a quick and easy list of ways you can get the most out of your chickens.

Chickens scratch and till.

It is natural for a chicken to scratch and till up the top layers of ground. It’s what they do! It’s how they find food. You can put your chickens on a garden bed that is full of weeds and spent plants, and they will prep it for the next planting season with ease.

Chickens make great garden food.

Chicken manure is hot. Not necessarily in temperature, but chemically. That just means that you have to let it compost for a certain amount of time before you can use it without chemically burning your plants. It is recommended that you compost your chicken manure for six months to a year. If you are using a deep mulch run, then you will have plenty of manure composting from year to year, and letting it set is not too much trouble.

If you are interested in the NPK values of chicken manure, check out this article over at Allotment and Gardens. Chickens and rabbits. my friends ... (That’s what we have here at Haven Homestead!)

Chickens can be good pest control.

Chickens will make short work of nearly any insect that moves. Our chickens even eat slugs! Here’s a great article from MOTHER EARTH NEWS about using chickens as a natural way to control pests.

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So, I have ordered 20 unsexed chicks so that I can raise my own later. What is the average percentage of hens to roosters by doing this? Also, do we need to keep the two different breeds away from each other?

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