Animals chickens weeding

Published on November 30th, 2010 | by Rhonda Winter


Weeding by Chicken

chickens weeding

My spouse and I have been helping out on our friend’s organic farm in Carmel Valley, harvesting vegetables, planting cover crops, making compost, and getting everything ready for winter. While we are clearing out garden beds, instead of weeding by hand, we have been weeding by chicken, letting the resident poultry help us to cultivate the soil.


Chickens are very useful when it is time to dig up beds; not only do they eat noxious weeds, pests and withered plant matter, their pooping, foraging and pecking really improves the tilth and fertility of the soil. The farm chickens have even developed a special fondness for poison oak. They also work tirelessly, don’t complain, and are always happy to get their feet dirty.

chickens peck
dead tomatoesPeter clears the heirloom tomatoes that got withered by last week’s snowfall.
tomato chickensThe chickens are very eager to help cultivate the garden bed, even before any of the tomato plants have been removed.

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About the Author

was raised by wolves, and subsequently has difficulty interacting with other humans; she can also be found on and Twitter.

6 Responses to Weeding by Chicken

  1. Tara says:

    Love those hardworking chickens! Mine also like tomatoes, particularly the little orange cherry tomatoes. They pop the fruits like candy, squirting juices everywhere, and process the rest into compost overtime. No lazy gardeners should ever be without chicken helpers 🙂

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