I have spent the last couple of weeks trying to recover some of my garden back from the chickens. I tried several different methods, but finally came up with draping bird netting from posts in the back of the beds and holding it down. I moved most of my multitude of pots into the beds and then set up the netting. There have been a couple of break-ins, but for the most part it works.
There have been times in the last few weeks when the destruction wrought by the chickens has brought me to tears. If I had known how it would be, I probably would have made a different choice. I did find another home for two of the girls. Out in a more rural area with a family that was already keeping chickens and had lost a pair over the winter. It was a good place for them to go, but I still had emotional qualms about leaving them.
Despite my qualms, reducing the flock had improved conditions for all. I spend about 40% less time wrangling chickens out of where I don’t want them and 40% less time cleaning up chicken poop. Unfortunately, there’s not 40% less noise, because we did manage to keep the hen that thinks she wants to be a rooster. She’s very vocal.
Now, finally, after some tears were shed and some chickens re-homed, the garden is starting to recover a little. I have sprouts coming up all over that the chickens can’t reach. I planted potatoes, Red Thumb Fingerlings for the first time this year and have one plant that is already a couple feet tall.
My mom decided she was going to come for a visit. She went to lunch with a friend and dropped by afterwards. She doesn’t come over that often and I ran around like maniac trying to get things in the yard straightened up for her to see. She mostly wanted to see the chickens and how we keep them. Everybody was on their best behavior, even Spud made an appearance, basking in the sunlight where she could see him. We even had a couple of butterflies flitting about, looking for places to lay their eggs. The picture of domestic tranquility. Which it would not have been a couple of weeks ago. At that point is was the mostly covered in dirt patio. I can’t wait until everything starts blooming. It’ll look so much prettier then. Thinking of having a garden party.