Destroying the Herb Garden

Remember that wonderful herb garden I created to surround the chicken run? Everything I read about raising chickens in an all natural way involved using a lot of herbs. They are great for the immune system, deter pests and give off a great odor to cover up that chicken stink.

I pain stakingly hunted down heirloom, organic, non-GMO seeds for a variety of recommended herbs, spend the winter growing them indoors to give them a jump start for a spring planting outside and bought top of the line soil and compost to plant them in. It turned out beautiful and many of them bloomed. My favorite was the pineapple sage.

I started to pull off leave and flowers and fed them to the chickens inside the fence. They loved it. Every time a stem or leaf grew through the fence they’d make short work of it. This worked out for both of us.

Once we started free ranging the girls they became very interested in the garden. I’d let them munch on the herbs and then distract them when the plants had enough. Unfortunately, in the fall the plants didn’t bounce back. So, when I let them out to free range, I covered them by turning pots upside down on top of them.

Unfortunately, hubbies are not as careful. The girls were let out to free range and left on their own with no supervision. The herb garden turned into a dust bath! Disappointing, but even the deer started to eat up any remains during the winter. I was told to give up, but I’m not ready to. I’m going to clean up the mess, plant more herbs, and curl some chicken wire over them. It will allow the plants to grow 4-6 inches tall before the tops pop through the wire accessible to the chickens or the deer. Wish me luck.

If you want to see the mess the hens made out of the garden, you can see it on their YouTube channel:

 

A Chicken Herb Garden

Herb garden on run (Medium)

It took a long time but I finally got it done!

I was inspired by the Fresh Eggs Daily blog on using herbs to improve your chicken’s health, and I planted an herb garden around their run. I started the plants inside from heirloom, organic, non-GMO seeds and transplanted them outside in a brick raised bed surrounding their space. Heck, I even tossed in a few tomato plants I had left over. It’s been very hot so I’m having to water the little things every morning and night.

According to everything I read, deer and rabbits don’t like to eat herbs and they also repel insects so theoretically…… nothing should eat them! At least I’m banking on it!

Chicks and lemon balm (Medium)

The chickens were fascinated with my planting and followed me through every step of the process. They really seemed to like the smell of the Lemon Balm. They were all fighting for a closer look at it! The objective is to have the herbs grow big enough that they poke through the sides of the fencing so they can nibble on it. Plus it will reduces the insect population.

I can’t wait for them to grow big enough to harvest for the kitchen!