Thursday, November 16, 2006

Wrecked Garden!!!

Now I have always loved my garden but currently...... I'm not so sure. I have fenced off all the bits I could but look, at my so called lawn!!! It is actually alot worse than the picture shows!!!

This is at the bottom of the garden, before the shed. The muddy bit at the top of this picture extends out some 2 ft now!!!! It was only about 1 ft.

this is a closer view and you can actually see just how bad it is now! Can you see my hobbit hiding in the corner. If you didn't know already you would be able to tell it was chickens because of the bare branches close to the ground. It is really funny watching them reach the leaves, they actually jump. Unfortunately a photo can't show you!!! It would certainly make you laugh!

Now the bed on the left was a big flower bed and had large plants of beautifully coloured sedums in which usually lasted all winter and where gorgeous. Plus many other plants and bushes that gave the garden something during the winter months. Apart from the buddlia there is not alot left!!

So my probelm is what on earth am I going to do? We are only in November and haven't even reached the wettest or coldest months! Do I build a run and keep them shut in all the time? I am definately not getting rid of them once you have their eggs you never want a shop bought one again!!!


Just so everyone realises that not everything I touch works..................................

I have been knitting this delightful cardi for my friends daughter for Christmas. I have knitted for years, usually fairly simple patterns but they have always turned out well! I have already had to undo both fronts on this as the pattern was wrong and when I went to sew up the sleeves they totally didn't fit!!!!!

It is a pattern my neighbour lent me and not a cheap one either! After the problems I have had I reckon it must be the pattern! But that doesn't help! I'm not actually the fastest knitter in the world and I have loads more to do by Christmas!!!!


mrsnesbitt said...

Libby, this happened to a friend of mine.
She was advised to give the hens some green leaves of some description, so she got some lettuces and they loved it!
It is quite some time since we had hens but I am sure Lottie will give you some advice.


allotment lady said...

Here I am.

Well - I give me chickens greens every day that I can - if not greens then apple cores etc. They have a pen about 20ft by about 12ft which has aubious in it which you have too.

They freerange over the whole garden - 3 bantams and 3 big hens. Depending on the weather, depends on the length of time in the garden.

They freerange from all day from dawn to dusk, with the pen door open so they go in and out of there as they please.

They have two dust bath areas in the pen, for shelter, sunbathing, hiding, sleeping, chilling out, which they all use and spend quite a bit of time socialising in them. They have logs and pots and things in their run to climb up, jump up etc.

So basically they can jump, run, climb, hide and scratch.

When they freerange they kick up the leaves and scratch around the flower beds - my beds are a bit wider/deepr than yours so that might make a difference. They have not eaten any of my plants with such gusto and never touch the sedums here or up the lottie. In fact they only thing they like is pots of parsley, and pots of mint. I even have day lilies growing in their pen. They took a shine to some rhubarb leaves, but I have plenty of those.

The only thing you could do is to net off any area you don't want them on.

I thought you had a pen for them, what size was/is it and what size area are they freeranging in and wrecking.

The other thing - if they find a bare patch of lawn or worn lawn they will scratch at it for worms - it is just a patch of soil for them. I put down wire netting or those wire shelving you get in cheap plastic greenhouses over bare patches and they don't touch them.

Another thing that I never ever do is to throw things on the grass for them to eat - it just enourages them to scratch - have you done that at any time? I make sure that absolutely any food the get is only given to them in their pen - that way they know that is the place they can find all the good stuff so scratch away in there.
Hope this helps

Libbys Blog said...

Thanks for that Lottie! I have got a pen but I always felt they should scratch around, but maybe not quite so much!!! The pen has the eglu and run in it but is probably about 12ft by 8ft. The part of the garden they have been wrecking must be about 20ft wide by about 20ft with the pond taking out a corner of that!!!
I only ever throw corn in the pen!! I'll get some greens and one of those bird things you use with bread and apples etc in. Then probably let them out only when I clean out the run!!!!!!!
Thanks again as always for your help!!

mrsnesbitt said...

Great, knew Lottie was the woman to answer this!