Chicken behavior is curious.   They chase each other around for a bit of Ground Ivy even though they’ve been given a pile of it.  They’re still too young to let out to free-range (and it’s been so cold), so we give them greens to supplement their feed.  Comfrey and Nettle are also very good for chickens.

We’re down to three now –  pecking order (another curiosity) seems to have been at work in the case of poor Chickenheart.  The remaining chickens will be joined by two ducks we hope to pick up tomorrow.  That will complete our flock for now.

Bella (Buff), Batman (Rhode Island) and Robin (always curious about what's happening with the humans)

Bella (Buff), Batman (behind Bella)
and Robin (always curious about
what’s happening with the humans.)

These little beauties are part of our natural “arsenal” of pest control.  Chickens and ducks eat almost their weight in bugs, especially grasshoppers, in a day.  They will also provide natural fertilizer for our food garden as well as the best bonus of all, fresh eggs!

We use a variety of natural methods in our gardening – spinning plastic flowers to deter moles, composting and adding it to the soil, Nettle “tea” to add nutrients,  Willow “tea” to root cuttings, leaf mulch and Cayenne to deter bunnies.  We’re always willing to try a  new method – this year we’re trying feathers stuck in potatoes and placed in the garden to deter birds from the strawberries.

One of my standby methods has always been, plant enough for everyone, including the critters.  What are your favorite natural gardening techniques?