May 10, 2012

Dirt Pile = Happy Hens

My mother is subscribed to this blog. (She is a supportive Mom!) She emailed me yesterday suggesting that the all the chickens needed was their own dirt pile to scratch in and then they would leave my hugelkultur bed alone.

It seems like sound advice, however, after having kept chickens for a few years, I am not sure her theory really holds up and so responded with the obligatory "LOL".  Why would I indulge the misbehavior? She wrote back to let me know that I was being an irresponsible chicken keeper, in the only way a mother knows how....indirectly and layered with admonition.

However, as I near my fourth decade, I have learned that my mother usually does know what she is talking about--much to my teenage self's dismay. So to clear my conscience and keep the chooks happy, I dug up some of their run today so they had some dirt to scratch around.

The results are some very happy hens:

There was much chicken babbling and scratching and pecking.


  1. I periodically dig up some area for them. In fact, they now come running if they see me in their yard with a shovel! They were in heaven last year when I added a sprinkler line back there due to the ditch digging.

    1. I should have thought of it before. This is the first summer I am keeping them confined to a run in lieu of just fencing the it had not occurred to me. And yes, they love the shovel...and are always under my feet if I am digging and they are out and about!