Monday, May 10, 2010

Just Us Chickens!

Meet the latest addition to the garden, Cornbread (on the left), Taco on the right... a fine pair of BB Red Old English Batams (as near as I can tell). I know, I know I should have named them Charles and Diana but somehow Cornbread and Taco was all that came to mind when I saw them...besides the grandkids think I did a fine job. At 2 and 3 1/2 they know good names when they hear them!

Cornbread is a late riser so he doesn't crow until about 7am. I should say he starts crowing late morning then periodically throughout the day whenever he gets his feathers ruffled and starts feeling large and in charge.

Taco has a timid personality; clucks sweetly and produces eggs half her size every other day. I don't know how she does that but I salute her each time I gather her is all I can say.
This pair came in a chicken tractor so I move it and them around the yard.

A chicken tractor you say? Yes. A simple lightweight house or cage that I can lift a tad and push to a new location whenever the chickens have "scratched" or eaten their fill of weeds, grass and bugs. This chicken tractor business is great for establishing a new garden site or cleaning up the garden at the end of the growing season where the chickens do all the work of clearing out the weeds, work up the top layer of soil plus fertilize all in one step.

While we were in England three years ago we met the resident gardener, Henryk, where we stayed. He and his wife, Krystyna were from Poland. I found myself explaining all about chicken tractors. Mind you in my explanation there was a lot of hand motion and broken English and I was quite sure the young man thought I was just another crazy American gardener.

We stayed in touch with Henryk and and his wife Krystyna, even after they moved back to Poland and bought their own place. Last summer we had the opportunity to travel to Poland to visit them.

After we settled in, Henryk took me outside to explain (with a lot of hand motion and broken English) how he built a chicken tractor to clean up his back yard where the previous owners had thrown trash. After he removed the bulk of the rubbish, the chickens scratched out the weeds, small pieces of debris and broken glass in the back yard making the total clean-up complete. Plus they had fresh eggs to eat. Needless to say he was happy with the results and couldn't wait to tell me...I guess my charade type 'garden speak' is better than I thought!

No comments: