Tonawanda News —
Chickens do best with heavily planted landscapes. The layers of the gardens allow them secure locations where they can hide from predators, get protection from the elements and forage for food.
A small area that has tall trees, shorter shrubs and trailing flowers is superior to an area that is vegetation-free but huge.
The book does a fair attempt covering all off the categories of chickens that are suitable for your gardens. Understanding meat, egg laying, dual purpose and bantam chickens will help you decide on what you are able to care for in your backyard. The book also covers what they believe to be the best free-range, family friendly, cold-hardy and heat-tolerant breeds of chickens.
The authors warn (as I did when I first got my chickens) the dangers of naming not only your chickens endearing and tongue-in-cheek names, but also your gardens and coops. “Examples of chicken coop names are Coop de Manion and Palais de Poulet (French for chicken palace.) More fun examples of chicken garden areas could be Hen Haven and Chicken Little Run.” Coop de Coogan sounds good!
I enjoyed the second half of the book more because it talked about both the gardens and chickens.
The perfect plantings for all your needs, growing good eats for chickens and people and other landscape considerations were covered.
The first half covered a lot of information about basic chicken care, like nest boxes, coop designs and food requirements. Since the book is called “Gardening with Free- Range Chickens For Dummies,” I should have known there was going to be some fundamental info in the beginning.
If you are familiar with “for dummies” books (who isn’t these days), you will recall that there are icons used in the book which include “tips,” “remember,” “warning” and “technical stuff.” I laughed when one of the warning icons said “Chickens can fly!” It’s true. They can fly and that is why having a solid perimeter fence is important, but I forget that we need to be warned about birds flying.