Designing Chickens Into The Vegie Garden

Having chickens in your vegie garden can be a disaster. Most chicken owners would have experienced the heartbreaking disappointment of chickens getting into freshly planted garden beds, full of next season’s seedlings, and destroying the lot in a matter of hours.

However, managed the right way chickens can work with you in the vegie garden: to eliminate pests and weeds, fertilise, turn the soil and prepare it for your next planting. As Bill Mollison famously stated, ‘You don’t have a slug problem, you have a duck deficiency’, and the same goes for chickens with pests and weeds.

When designing chickens into your vegie garden, think about what a chicken’s needs and outputs are. They need shelter, food, water and company. They provide eggs, fertiliser, meat (if you are so inclined) and manure. They are great at eliminating pests, eating grass and other unwanted weeds, clearing areas ready for planting, and eating fallen fruit and spent plants.