Last year, someone living in the area got some chickens, then told me all about how good they are for gardens. I suspect that she imagined they’d carefully pick their way through the plant rows, eating pesky bugs and leaving fertilizing poop, so I burst her bubble by saying, “They will eat your vegetables.”
Come to think of it, that woman hasn’t spoken to me since, lol.
Actually, they don’t stop with vegetables. When you set up a chicken run, expect *everything* to die inside of it. And if you want to use the poop as fertilizer, then you need to compost it first — otherwise it will burn the plants and kill them.
Chickens aren’t a romantic pet in the slightest.
On that note: chickens are mean.
Our flock has taken to bullying one in particular, and I’ve had to separate her from the rest. This is actually a really common problem, and if left unchecked they won’t stop until the poor chicken is dead. Our little dear had a bloody comb when I pulled her from the coop, and was absolutely terrified of the others.
Interestingly enough, having a rooster prevents bullying, because he will manage the hens and keep them on their best behavior. Unfortunately, we aren’t allowed to keep roosters in our area because of the noise. Personally, I don’t think that they are any worse than dogs, but that’s how it is.
Chickens are fun, though. They’re definitely worth it if you can put up with everything. Just don’t expect them to maintain your garden for you.