Living garden art

October 19, 2009 § Leave a comment

Frida and Bessie stop pillaging to consult Stewart 19102009As part of Frida’s rehabilitation, we’ve been giving her access to the lawn, hedge and herb bed. It proved so popular (and surprisingly un-destructive) that we’ve started making a point of giving everyone some supervised lawn time.

It really is a gorgeous sight. Grazing the lawn is popular. But the girls seem especially keen on the sorrel and the self-sown winter purslane in my raised herb beds, so they’re both getting quite a thrashing.

Lily in scritch-heaven 19102009And then there is the utter bliss that is scritching through the piles of decaying hay along the hedge …

A few words of wisdom for those of you who are keen to try it with your own chooks:

  • Make sure the yard is secure before you let anyone out. (Obvious, I know.)
  • Ideally, try to let them out late in the afternoon, when they are calm and full – your garden will survive better if this is a treat rather than the best chance for a meal.
  • Have a container with some sort of treat – meat, mealworms fruit, grain, whatever – somewhere handy but out of sight so that you can easily get the girls to come to you in an emergency.
  • Cover anything vulnerable or poisonous. The girls will learn pretty quickly what is out of bounds (a scolding voice and a calm but firm push away from the item in question seems to do the trick for us) but you don’t want to be worrying about too many things at once.
  • Try not to let too many out at once. We find four to five pretty manageable, but it will depend on the birds in question.
  • Consider flock dynamics: if you have the top of the pecking order out with one of the bottom, it’s more likely to cause trouble than if you keep to similar status birds. (You don’t want anyone being chased. Keep it calm.)
  • Sit down nearby, and enjoy!

Peek-a-Boo! 19102009


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