Top 3 Reasons Why Your Yard Needs Chickens

Backyard chickens provide more than eggs and entertainment, they are our partners in eco-friendly organic gardening. I’m constantly amazed at their place in the circle of life, and the below reasons further support the reasons why your yard needs chickens. Here are my top 3 reasons why your yard needs chickens.

1. Chickens Provide Organic Pest Control
Chickens provide natural pest control. When free ranging, chickens “scratch and peck”, foraging around for edible insects. This includes the nasty bugs like ticks and various types of invasive beetles. Chickens are great in the garden for this very reason, eating pests such as slugs, aphids, grasshoppers, potato beetles, among other garden pests. In fact, chickens can de-bug up to 120 square feet in a week! Insects aren’t the only critter a chicken will take on. Mice, small snakes, and toads also make tasty snacks.

2. Chickens Create Organic Fertilizer
Another reason why your yard needs chickens is because of their nutrient-rich droppings. The high nitrogen levels and presence of potassium and phosphorus make it a desired fertilizer for vegetable gardens. If you are planning to use chicken droppings as fertilizer, it should be composted 6-9 months first. This will prevent the high levels of nitrogen from  burning your plant, and give it a chance to mellow out.  (Shhh, tossing a poo here and there has never caused an issue in my garden.) 

3. Chickens are Great for Composting
While we are on the topic of compost, you can forget about throwing many kitchen food scraps in the garbage or compost pile. Your chickens will happily eat them, and when fed the right scraps, it provides a well-rounded diet for them. Chickens can eat a lot of different types of foods, from vegetables to meat. Contrary to popular belief, Chickens are not vegetarians, they are omnivores, which means they eat plants and meat. Common items saved for chickens in our house include carrot and cucumber shavings, broccoli stems, strawberry caps, and the dreaded container of spring mix that is past its prime. Chickens will eat items that may not look good to us anymore, but you don’t want to give chickens moldy food because of illness.

If you keep a compost pile, you’ll often find your chickens scratching and pecking at the heap, which turns over the layers needed to fully compost the organic matter. 

Red Chicken

What are your top 3 reasons why your yard needs chickens? Let me know in the comments below!

Read my next post about chickens here.

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