Chickens at the Tool Library
Chicken tractors are a great way to prep your garden space before you plant, as well as clean up your bed after your plants are done.
At the Tool Library, we have some visiting chickens, prepping our garden space for us. The chickens eat all the weeds in the bed – especially chick weed – they LOVE chick weed (that’s why its called chick weed). They eat the bugs in the ground and other weed seeds. The chickens also till the soil with their scratching at the soil to get bugs, and they poop on the bed, providing important nitrogen-rich fertilizer.
Once the chickens have picked this bed clean, we will throw down some straw that we plan to use as mulch, and let the chicks pick through that. You don’t even have to spread the straw, you can literally throw a whole bale in and the chickens will spread it for you. They will eat every single weed seed that is in that straw, as well.
After the chickens have thoroughly scratched the straw, we will remove them completely from the bed. Then, we will plant vegetables and flowers straight into the strawed bed. The straw acts as a mulch, smothering other weeds from emerging, and also keeping the ground moist underneath.
Next fall, after we have harvested everything we can from the plants in the bed, we will have the chickens tractor the bed again. They will eat anything green that is leftover, and they will pick out all the bugs.
The other benefit of chicken tractoring your garden is EGGS! We get fresh laid eggs from our chickens every day.
Urban chickens are useful workers and their eggs are very nutritious. Check your local zoning laws to see if you can implement a chicken tractor in your yard, as well!