We all knew I’d end up with birds one day, right? Well, I’m getting to the point where I am feeling a need for chickens. Oddly, not for eggs or meat, but for garden help: digging, de-weeding, de-bugging, and fertilizing. And given how little of my kitchen-scrap compost actually makes it into the garden, I’d rather feed that to hens and have them manure the garden beds. I’m thinking about starting slow, with just a few Craigslist birds for a few weeks to turn the garden beds in the spring. Then soup.
Oh great font of chicken wisdom (that would be you, readers), what do you think? Am I nuts to think of chickens for such a short-term project? Would it be more hassle than weeding by hand and dealing with whatever’s overwintered in the mulch? What gear would 3 chooks need for a month or two in the garden? I’m envisioning some kind of shelter/coop and movable fence so I could set them on my various garden beds for a few days at a time. How many days would it take 3 birds to work over a 4’x8′ garden bed? Would mature hens lay any eggs in that time?
And yes, I am aware there may be no going back once I’ve experienced the wonder of backyard poultry. But I may also decide I like my footloose and fancy free lifestyle and never want livestock again, so I’m not ready to invest a ton of time or money in finding out.