Chickens in the garden can spell disaster. They disrupt carefully mulched beds and destroy seedlings with their scratching. They also love to eat most of what is in your garden, so unless you are prepared to sacrifice your entire plants to your chickens, this can be very annoying.
The best way to use both your garden and chickens to benefit one another is to mix yard and garden waste such as leaves and plant clippings to the ground in their coop area. The chickens will blend in their droppings, work it all together and scratch it down into nutrient-rich fertilizer. The foraging chickens will also help keep the flea and tick population under control. Then remove the mixture and compost it in an area until it is well broken-down. For more on composting, reading more on our Composting Page. After composting, apply the mixture to your garden at the appropriate times.
In addition, tossing your chickens a few bits of produce from your garden as well as plants you may pull from your garden when they are done for the season, will gain you a lot of appreciation from your chicken family. By keeping the two separate, but managing them together, you will reap the advantage of the best from both.