The Chickens Garden

Now that the growing season is over, it’s time to put the girls to work. Despite neglecting my pumpkin patch all summer, somehow I harvested a bumper crop of butternut squash, but I also grew a tangle of weeds, which fell over after the first hard frost and then become covered in fallen leaves. The garden needs a thorough cleanup. I could rake and dig, but instead I asked the girls to lend a hand.

Or, rather, lend their feet.


And their voracious appetites

I showed them to the patch, where they all eagerly set to, shredding the weeds into a fine dust and eating the grubs that had burrowed down to overwinter. Even Pearl, who is a tad overdressed for farm labor, went right to work.

The hens are not methodical, no double-digging in straight rows for them! Rather, they leave patches of perfect earth.

The girls will continue to have forays into the garden all winter long. There will be a break when there’s snow, but otherwise they’ll get this job done bit by bit. The pumpkin patch should be in good shape by the time it’s planting season again next year.



  1. Hard working gals they are! Is that Etheldred in photo 2? Pearl looks so busy you can’t see her head hardly at all, she looks like a fluffy tumbleweed! Did you bottle/can a portion of your bumper crop of Butternut squash? For myself I just eat all the fresh veggies I can then I just yearn for them until the next crop.

  2. Fluffy bottoms and scratching feet! I love watching hens gardening.

    I’ve just had squash soup for lunch – added a large spoonful of salt-free peanut butter and some Japenese 7-spice seasoning… it was delicious!


  3. I have found no better garden hand than a chicken! They are eager and willing, and let’s not forget how amusing it is to work alongside them. I can’t wait to show them what a good job they did next spring.

  4. They look so happy!! Do they make little clucking sounds while they’re scratching about?