Chickens are wonderful pets and fantastic garden friends. A few free ranging happy chickens help make gardens sing by scratching around and aerating the soils, eating up pests, and improving the soil with their manure. Here’s what our first two ‘girls’ (who we named after the South American fruit tree grumachama) had to say when they first moved in:
“Hi, Gruma and Charma here, nice to meet you! We’re the first two girls to move in to ‘Happy Earth.’ We’re silkies, gorgeously fluffy and very cute if we do say so ourselves. We’re from Kembla Grange, so it wasn’t a long trip to move here which was nice. Tell you what this backyard is incredible! Lush green ground covers as far as you can see, including heaps of chickweed, our favourite! We’re lucky we get to indulge in lots of fresh greens and veggie scraps along with our grains - we even get hand picked slugs on a plate of nasturtium leaf for extra protein!
And as for our house – it’s a five star eco chick retreat! Cosy sleeping quarters, a spacious area for scratching around in prunings and making compost, our own water tank for drinking water, and it’s all solar passive design and made from recycled hardwood timber. We’re safe from foxes and other undesirables with iron sheeting 30cm below the ground, and aviary wire enclosing all open sides. Evergreen fruit trees to the north and west, and a deciduous fig to the east provide extra protection from chilly winds, as well as warming winter sun and cooling shade in the summer.
We’re looking forward to some more company later down the track - two Australorps chooks and two Khaki Campbells ducks are set to join us over the next year. Sure they might lay more eggs, but they won’t be as cute as us!”