South Texas Gardener: The benefits of adding chickens to your garden

Adding chickens to your garden could bring your plants benefits.

CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - Adding chickens to your garden could bring some benefits.  Gabriel Vega joined us on 3 News First Edition to explain those benefits which he says includes compost.

Vega said gardeners can reuse the chicken manure in a compost pile to create compost rich in bacteria that will both build up your soil and provide a habitat that herbaceous plants thrive in.  Chicken manure can be stored in five gallon leach prove buckets until you have enough browns or carbons to make a compost pile or just start adding them in once the compost pile has ben established.

Free fertilizer.
1 chicken can fertilize up to 50 sqft of garden in about a month. Chicken manure is 1.5% nitrogen and in about 75 days 1 chicken has the potential to fertilize 100 sqft of farm land.

Great tillers.
Chickens are great at clearing a patch of space for a garden site. They naturally are inclined to scratch around looking for anything they can eat. This process can be utilized into valuable labor when you allow them to inhabit a area until you have reached the desired affect. Avoid leaving them there to long so they are not standing in there on manure. This method will give you both less work in the garden and fertilize your site at the same time.

Walking garbage disposals.
Chickens can easily eat up to 1/4th to 1/3 pounds of food a day. Whether thats chicken feed or scraps you are throwing out. According to some consensus 17% of our garbage is food. Well instead of having it end up in a land fill we can instead feed it to your chickens. Reducing a burden on our land fills, providing nutrition for the birds and cutting down on a chicken feed bill. In turn the birds get more energy to produce eggs and fertilizer.

Things not to feed chickens:
Chocolate
Avocado skin or pit. (Id avoid feeding them this entirely.)
Moldy foods. May contain mold not beneficial to the bird. And its hard to tell by site which fungus you are looking at so its better to avoid them.
Uncooked beans of any kind. Poison to chicken. Only fully cooked beans are safe. Pressure cookers wont get hot enough to fix the issue, so cook beans in a roaring boil.
Green potatoes or unripened green tomatoes.

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