While we are currently not getting any eggs from our hens, we are still making them work to earn their living. One way they earn their keep is by making us laugh. Another way they earn their keep is by turning down our garden for us for the winter.
There are two main ways I like to put my garden to bed for the winter:
- use a cover crop
- mulch it
I usually mulch mine, although I find a cover crop to be highly beneficial. This year I mulched my garden down, and released the chickens to knock help break up the soil and fertilize everything. They cleaned up the dropped veggies, and are helping to aerate the soil.
The area we fenced for them is slightly larger than my old garden, so they helped me to expand my garden. We simply place a bale of straw over the grass and the chickens get to work. They spread the straw and break up the sod.
The amount of feed we were giving the chickens decreased dramatically when we first gave the chickens the run of the garden. As the days get colder, and the garden is more picked over, we are seeing our feed bill increase again.
This is our way to do as Mike, the Gentleman Homesteader says, ” have our systems work harder than we do.”
Here’s a little un-editted video to show of some of the work our feathered (and semi-unfeathered) friends are doing for us.