Posted by Gordon | Posted in News | Posted on 21-05-2011

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If you’re going to have a vegetable garden.  You have to have chickens.   That’s the unwritten rule.  What good is it to go outside and work the earth if you don’t hear a rooster crow? Our chickens came before the garden.  That is because I really do like to hear him announce the rising sun every five minutes – 24 hours a day.  I’m beginning to suspect that he is announcing something else.

We actually have three roosters.  Two Silver Spangled Hamburgs and a beautiful Buttercup to go with the three Buttercup hens.  Add to this the two Partridge Rocks we have as brood hens and the 21 Hamburg hens and  you have a good idea what our hen house looks like.  Most gardeners could care less what kinds of chickens we have as long as we get the fertilizer.  And we do get the fertilizer.  We also get the eggs.  26 hens will give you about 1 egg per hen per 30 hours.  That is a lot of eggs.  We have the Hamburgs because they are small and take less feed to maintain. They are called the “Dutch everyday layers”.  NEED I SAY MORE?


today's eggs

Today’s Eggs – notice the two brown (Partridge Rock) and two beige (Buttercup) eggs.


The chickens were originally intended to be free range but the foraging habits of chickens preclude their presents in the garden if one expect to get anything for their own consumption.  We also have a healthy population of hawks (both Red-tailed and Cooper’s) that will pay them too much attention.  As a result, I have constructed a “chicken palace” which includes a wired roof and wired floor (in the coop and porch areas).  This precaution discourages both raccoon and hawk predation but does nothing to halt the egg consumption of our numerous “chicken” snakes.  Today I removed a 5 footer that was trying to swallow one of the ceramic eggs I have in the nest to encourage the hens to lay where I want them to.  It answered the mystery of a missing ceramic egg from last month.



Fenced Run


The Chicken House

The Palace





Run and Coop

Run and Coop


When it was decided to have a communal garden, it was only natural to have a communal chicken coop so we all share in the maintenance and care of the chickens as well as enjoy the abundant  fresh eggs they provide.


Links to get you started on chickens:

This could go on all day… just google chickens and stand back.





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