Brooding On

Organic Pest Control

The garden is in full swing!

This means, of course that it's prime season for my arch enemies, the squash bugs, and other garden pests. 

Luckily, though, we've got the organic gardener's best friend -- a chicken tractor!

Pictured at left, the chicken tractor gets moved daily from one 4'x8' plot of land to the next.  Currently, John has it slowly circling the garden.  The chickens love to eat any type of bug they can get their beaks on, so they are doing a pretty good job of keeping garden pests to a minimum. 

Last year, we kept the goats in the pen inside the yard quite a bit. We saw a couple of ticks on the goats, so John started moving the chicken tractor around the goat pen, and we never saw another one.

We quit using pesticides on our lawn several years ago.  Since then, the front yard has become basically overgrown with weeds.  The backyard, however, is mostly lush, green grass.  That's because not only are the chickens great at munching pests, they also love most weeds.  So, with each new patch of ground they encounter, they are munching weeds and fertilizing the grass -- not a bad deal at all!

Lots of folks keep chickens in a stationary pen.  I'm sure this has lots of benefits.  But, we love our chicken tractor because it always keeps the hens on fresh grass and does wonders for the yard and garden all at the same time!