For many years I have wanted to own chooks, but for one reason or another I wasn’t able to. However for the last 3 or so years we have had two pairs of clucky girls. Our current pair of chooks (Mignon and Chasseur) has been with us for almost 2 years, foraging for insects and food scraps amongst the straw and tree litter within the confines of their cage. The work they have done on the soil in their yard is impressive, to say the least. Originally a heavy red clay, the top soil has been scratched and fertilised, composted and turned daily by our dynamic dinosaur descendants and is now a friable dark soil, thriving with life. The trees and shrubs within their cage provide them with shade and shelter and in turn they are fed and watered with high quality nutrients.
When I go to their part of the garden their cluck-clucking greets me as I walk the path to their gate. It is comforting and friendly as they run up to see what delightful scrap offerings I have brought. They are so excited by what some would consider waste. They are amazing at consuming all manner of weeds, fruit scraps, stale bread, vegetable peelings and off cuts, turning carbohydrates into protein for human consumption.
When the summer veggies are finished and the beds need reviving, I send in the chooks to do their thing for a couple of days. Two days on the veggie bed and they have turned, pecked, cleared and fertilised the bed ready for a new crop.
The eggs they provide are sustenance for us, as well as our extended family, on a regular basis. Starting a day off with scrambled eggs, home grown spinach and tomatoes is always appealing.
I am a big fan of chooks. Friendly, useful, productive – who wouldn’t want a couple?