The first garden bed in our new home was for the hens... though we do pinch some greens to add to dinner every now and again

I like having a lot of fresh green food for my birds so one of the first things I did when we moved to this new home was to create a chook ‘picking’ garden – full of the veggies and herbs they seem to love the best. Currently there’s an abundance of silverbeet, perpetual spinach, italian parsley and chinese cabbage.

They’re all fast growing plants, and deal well with my constant picking of leaves to please whichever of the chooks is lucky enough to score some that day. The garden is near the chook pens, and in a raised bed, so it’s really easy to stop on the way to giving them their grain – I don’t have to slow down my pace at all!  I also give them scraps and lawn clippings, and they have runs in which to pick at grass and  weeds. The chicks go feral vying for silverbeet leaves – if only my kids had the same enthusiasm for their greens…

The quality of the eggs they produce more than pay us back for the green thumbery I need to engage in to supply them with on ongoing supply of green feed. I’m always shocked when I see a shop-bought egg at other peoples houses – they don’t have the gorgeous golden colour in their yolks that ours do. We are so lucky to have happy, healthy hens in our backyard!

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