Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The city chicks free range

July 3, 2011 002

The city chicks love to free range (and they love to hide in the purple hull peas too.  Can you see all four chicks above?)

Free ranging is good for the chicks because they get more of the nutrients that they need from the bugs and green stuff all around them.  It’s good for us too because it means better tasting eggs and less bugs.  But free ranging in the city can be a bit tricky.

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Our city neighbors might not appreciate a chicken or two that flew the fence and got into their yards.  Then there is the whole predator thing.  We have a few hawks that like to scope out our place.  This weekend when the chicks were out, one hawk came and sat in a tree right in our back yard and swooped down over us.  We happened to be standing next to the city chicks because we heard the hawks calling as they came toward our place.  I don’t even want to think about what could have happened had we not heard them.July 4, 2011 024

Since the city chicks can only forage when we are outside, we have come up with a solution to help keep them busy during the day.  The girls love our yard waste compost pile.  This is where they spend a lot of their free ranging time.  So every morning when we put the girls back into their run so we can go inside the house, we put a few shovels full of the yard compost into their run.

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We throw in some black oil sunflower seeds and they will spend the morning scratching away at the yard waste and looking for bugs as well as sunflower seeds. 

Wait…this gets even better…

As the girls are busy working through the leaves and plants, they are breaking down the leaves and adding to it with their droppings.  When we clean the run out, we add all of the now broken down leaves and chicken droppings (yucky but useful) to our compost bin.  Next year, it will be added to the garden.

Eggs and compost from our city chicks! I love it when you get a two-for-one deal like that!  ~smile~


  1. Shannan DeshazerJuly 6, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    that is such a fantastic idea!! I'm a "city" farmer too and even though I don't have chickies yet, I'm hoping to have them next year and that is a great idea!

  2. Thanks, Shannan. It's about the only way we feel we can keep them safe right now. We are loving having chickens in the city. I have been surprised at how much we all have enjoyed them. So much so that I feel highly protective of them esp. with the hawks flying around. I hope you all get your chicks next year too!


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