Saturday, January 28, 2012

Free Ranging...For Real...

If you were to look inside our chicken pen this winter, you'd wonder if the grass will grow again once it's spring!  I think the lack of snow cover this winter has actually hurt the grass.  The chickens are constantly scratching and pecking at the ground, looking for that elusive worm or grub, or kernel of corn that might've been missed.  Even though it's big...50' x 60', twenty four chickens are hard on it.  It's a mess!

So, I decided to let them out.  I let them out a few hours a day when the weather is nice.

And they're thrilled! 

They have the run of the yard...

And the flower beds...

They scratch away all the mulch they can, looking for food underneath...

They're actually cleaning up around my perennials.  Just so they don't uncover the roots too much that a hard freeze harms them...

And they have the run of the garden...

For now.

However...they'd better not get too used to it!  When spring comes and I'm planting my garden and mulching my perennial beds, they're out of luck!  Then, the ownership of the grounds goes back to me!  I really don't want to share my garden seeds and blossoms with them.  



  1. They're cute! I keep wanting to get chickens, but to be honest, I'm a little afraid of them. Ha!

  2. I've been letting all of our birds out since the weather got nice. Sure saves on feed. :)

  3. Good decision. Those little hens can take out a lot of bad bugs before their mean prison guard puts them back in confinement.

  4. Isn't it hard to get them to go back inside? I am with Beki, I am a little scared of being pecked by them! (Jill)

  5. Jill...just before dark, I put them in. Most of them run right in if the gate is open. Of course the fact that the dog is helping me, keeps them moving! :) A few of them let me pick them up and put them over the fence.

  6. OMG, look at your green grass in JANUARY!! I'm sure the girls are doing some good scratching around in the flower beds and garden for now, working up the soil and all, but tell them to enjoy it while they can! ;-)

  7. We've thought about getting chickens but I worry about what they would do the the yard, flowers and garden. Looks like yours may actually be helping.

  8. Our big flock is in the pasture during the day now, too, and I wish we could let the little one out (warring roosters!). We've had NO snow here to speak of. (N.E. Kansas)

  9. I do the same thing with my girls. They can't wait to get out. I have no problem with them going to bed, they just walk in the house. They are so much fun to watch and yes your green grass is pretty. I have too much bermuda grass its all dead looking.

  10. They do look happy right now! Good that they can help you clean up.

  11. Happy chickens, happy eggs!



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