Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Gardening with chickens

My chickens make their summer home in my garden. It used to be a very nice garden, with a small lawn, 
a variety of perennials, a raised bed of irises, lots of tulips and daffodils in the spring...

Whose stupid idea was it to let the chickens live there anyway?

They have decimated every sprout and plant in sight...


...except for the Russian Sage (the purple stuff) and that vine up there that they can't reach.



I'm not sure what it is about the Russian Sage that they dislike.


It smells lovely and makes quite a nice backdrop for photographs.


Perhaps they've read too many recipes for sage-rubbed chicken.


Minnie: I can't eat this stuff – it's foul. 
I smell a communist plot. 



24 comments:

  1. The sage DOES make a beautiful backdrop for their photos. The photos are lovely!

    Any chance they would eat cactus if given the chance?

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  2. Yes, I wonder what it is about the sage that they don't enjoy, too! Hey, at least you don't have any bugs in your garden, right?

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  3. Sage rubbed Chicken..that's funny. But they are really some good looking chicks.

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  4. I've heard of butterfly gardens and hummingbird gardens, but this is the first chicken garden I've heard of. The girls look like they are very serious about their gardening chores.

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  5. Estella from Co.8/9/11, 6:41 AM

    Linda, WHAT can I say, you're pictures are just a joy to look at each morning. I really never thought I'd enjoy looking at chicken photos, BUT, you my friend capture (?) the spirit, the life, I can't pin point it, but whatever it it you GOT IT. I think you could photo a grain of sand and it would come to life. Hugs to the kids for me.

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  6. HA!! sage in poultry dressing is very tasty ;-)

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  7. Those darned Commie Reds are at it again. Out to destroy the chicken world.

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  8. My parents had a large chicken coop when I was growing up. Then Dad got the really, really great idea of to put the garden in the coop and make a 'run' around the outside. So he he fenced around the old coop, coming out about 5' all around. The garden was magnificent and NO BUGS as the chickens in the 'run' kept the out of the garden. Then at the end of the gardening season, they opened the gate and let the chickens have the rest of the garden.

    Instant fertilizer so they didn't have to use chemicals, they didn't need bug spray... it really was a great idea!

    ~ Raymona (aka WasSoggyInSeattle - now SweatingInTexas) one of your lurkers!

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  9. Hmmm... and what do the chickens think about the garden? I bet they think it is very nice as it is!! Perhaps you'd be kind enough to put some annuals out so they would have some fresh greens and pretty flowers to munch on that don't taste like sage!

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  10. Nancy in NC8/9/11, 7:27 AM

    Wow! I never thought I'd see pretty pictures of chickens! You still amaze Carson...

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  11. They are beautiful birds. Free range and all, they don't know how good they've got it. I guess if you planted lots of herbs like parsley and marjoram it would enhance the flavor of their eggs. No worms, no bugs and no flowers. A garden you say?
    Best always, Sandra

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  12. Chickens are definitely tough on gardens! I rue the day when mine find my veggie garden...as soon as they do every. stinkin. tomato, cantelope, cucumber and watermelon has peck holes in it!

    So THAT'S what the purple stuff is! I see Russian sage all over the place around here and would love to have tons of it but never knew what it was! Now on my list of must be planted for next spring.

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  13. Those are the best shots of your chickens! Love them!! I love Russian Sage. At least it looks healthy in our severe drought. It is the only thing looking alive...

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  14. Your girls are beautiful.
    Watching chickens do there thing is fascinating. Thanks for sharing yours!

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  15. On the up side, I bet your garden has no bugs.

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  16. You know... If I had to choose ... Flowers or chickens in Carson's garden, flowers or chickens in Carson's garden.... hmmm... it just wouldn't be such a difficult choice for me.
    :-)
    The girls are looking really good!

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  17. These photos are so beautiful. Chickens are next on my list & wondered if yours ever fly over the fence? I have 5 acres & want mine to free range as much as possible but my neighbor has a dog that loves to kill such things & I worry they will fly over the 4' fence into their yard.

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  18. Well, the girls are happy. That counts for something, doesn't it?
    Maybe you could make a Russian sage "living fence" and plants things inside the border.

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  19. Love the chicken dialog. Hee, a chicken characterizing something as "foul". Pun intended?
    Before you got the chicks, I was just had donkey envy, now I have chicken envy, too.

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  20. I call them migrant workers and since our henhouse is on wheels, I have suggested to Handyman, that we pull the house up to the garden fence in the fall and let them go at it...We also had a hen hatch chicks, in a baby pool in our garage, so she would take them out to the flower bed each day. It is a favorite memory of all of us. When we would pull up in the car, they would all come out of the "jungle" of flowers to greet us. Still miss that...

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  21. Hmmm ... my only knowledge of chickens is what you've taught me and your pictures, as always, are gorgeous! But I know a wee bit more about gardening.

    One option seems to be making sure the girls have plenty of grass so that they'll leave the plants alone -- not really a practical solution at 7MSN.

    Since they don't like Russian sage, next spring you might try some other fragrant plants like catmint (nepeta), salvia, rosemary, lavender, caryopteris, and feverfew. They're pretty hardy, reasonably drought tolerant, and you might find something else that doesn't appeal to your gourmands. Good luck!

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  22. The sage is really pretty and does make a nice backdrop. Maybe you can fool them and put another garden in on the other side of the house for humans.

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  23. The deer around here don't eat sage either.

    I imagine you miss your plants, but really they aren't nearly as entertaining as the girls.

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  24. Dear 7MSN blog and contributors of all species: thank you for existing. About two hours ago I did something really stupid: decided to read a page full of scary stories. Right before bed. While home alone. During a rainstorm which has now turned to thunder.

    Chicken faces against a backdrop of Russian sage are the first thing that's made it more, rather than less, likely that I'll sleep tonight. They're a sure sign that there's a lot right in the world.

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