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  1. I was raised on a farm in Iowa back in the 60 s. We alyaws had chickens and a garden. Down through my life I have alyaws had a garden of some sort. Once I was able to attain some land, I settled with a good husband that has the same likes and enjoys some of the same. Well we have a fairly large garden, and this year we decided to expand our chickens. I had been unable to do anything for 2 years due to an injury on my shoulder.This year we redid our gardens, we have 3 bed’s, 1-12X12 raised, 2-25X50 and 3-14 circular, all in different area’s of the yard. Our Chicken coops are at the north side of our yard 1-8X8 with 14X16 pen & 2-8X9 with an 10X10 pen, next to our large garden. The 8X8 is for layers. They’re in ’til around 12 noon and then the gate is opened and they go running for all their special areas. The other coop is for the strictly meat birds, and they don’t have the luxury of freedom, however everything that would normally have gone to compost goes to them.We are having a problem with the quack grass and other nasty grasses in out large garden, so we are going to spade the sod off, which will all go to the locked-ins. All the weed’s I have pulled and thrown in the 10X10 should be over flowing but you could not even tell that there was one weed thrown in there. We just might rearrange the fence for the locked-ins and let them in there and not need weed barrier next year!We did not have a fence around our large garden at first, and the freedom fighters almost totally wiped out all the garden. I would have not gotten one thing. We fenced it with 24 chicken wire and a small steel post every 10-15 . We eliminated total loss. After complete harvest we will rearrange the fence down and let the locked-in’s have a free for all. It will be like a Christmas to them.When we redo for next year after chicken tilling, we will till and lay down weed barrier to try to beat the grass. We will fence in the raised bed and circle bed next year as we have had some loss in those areas due to chickens. I will never give up the hens running free as they are so fun to watch and do such goofy things. This was my first year I ordered from Murray McMurray and we had only 4 chicks lost out of 100. From our old hatchery we would have expected 15-20 out of 100. I will only order my chicks from McMurray in the future. Never will I NOT have chickens and a garden again. Now for a few ducks and maybe some geese?

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