Time to keep them in!

By Scott | May 31, 2013 | Backyard Basics, Backyard Chickens, Chicken Coops, Health & Safety

time to keep them in backyard chicks

My chickens enjoy the free run in my garden.

Good day iChickeners! I hope you are enjoying the last weeks of spring as much as I am. I want to share a humorous, short story with you that serves as a reminder to me about what not to do.

Last week, I planted some beautiful onion bulbs in my raised garden beds.  They were coming up so well until our layer flock came cruising by. Yes, my free-run (or free-range) layers, being aggressive in dirt detail (or scratching) had the pleasure of sniping off the tops of my onion bulbs.

This experience has changed my approach to free-run vs. coop arrest for my flock.  Given that my coop is located in my large garden, it’s important that I protect all of my food sources to the best of my ability! Keeping your flock in their coop is not cruel or uncomfortable. My coop is very spacious, with great ventilation, abundant food and water, and wonderful light.

I’ve determined that I’ll keep my layers inside until the young onion seedlings get a good start.  I could also wait and let my birds enjoy the gardens after harvest has occurred and when the gardens have completed the growth cycle of the various foods I am growing for my family. I need to do something–can you imagine what these dirt-digging birds with their love of fresh greens would do to my fresh lettuce seedlings?  LOL.

Anyway, hope my eggs tomorrow do not taste like onion! Interestingly, our garlic beds, which have seedlings with a height of 24 cm, have been left untouched. That tells me that the maturity of the plants has a lot to do with a bird’s curiosity to bite, snip and chew.

What do you think? What are you doing with your birds? Is it time to keep them in your backyard? I appreciate your comments!

Until next time,