Let the Birds Be Birds
Poultry have many qualities that are beneficial to maintaining a farm. Lets look at chickens for example. They like bugs. They like to scratch and take dust baths. Oh, and they poo. Yeah, we are grateful for all the poultry poo here at Rolling Hills Farm CSA.
These are wonderful qualities for gardening. In the fall, when all those delicious, GMO-free, heirloom fruits and vegetables have been harvested, we open the gates to the gardens and let the poultry in. They eat seeds. This reduces the weed population. They poo as they are wondering around. How generous of them to spread the fertilizer around for us. Then they decide they need a dust bath. Have you ever seen a chicken take a dust bath? They scratch out a little place in the dirt then they sit down and work the dirt into their feathers. Dirt and dust flying all over. It gently "tills" and aerates the garden. Chicken scratching doesn't stop at dust baths. The favorite food of a chicken is a bug. Any and all bugs. They scratch around eating bugs and their larvae. This reduces the presence of bugs that are harmful to the garden. Bugs that want, for example, to eat our cabbage, potatoes, or tomatillos. The poultry do a lot of work in the gardens for us, but they wouldn't know it because they are just being birds.