It's a tiny, little one-bedroom place with an equally tiny yard. Imagine my surprise when 'Jethro' showed up with a small shed, which I later learned is actually a house... for chickens. I couldn't believe it.
In the midst of this neighborhood, populated with people like me who dearly love to sleep 'til noon, he shows up with a rooster who crows at dawn and a whole bunch of funny-looking hens.
According to Jethro, this is a hugely popular movement because they lay eggs, saving you a fortune on grocery bills. My argument was: a dozen eggs costs $1.99. Which of us has lost his marbles? (Trick question.)
So, anyway, I happen to know just enough to be dangerous about the circle of life and chickens with respect to gardens, though I'm not admitting any of this to him:
- They nibble on the tips of grasses. I suppose if you raise enough of them, you'd never have to mow.
- They control garden pests, happily munching on snails, slugs, earwigs and other insects.
- Aged chicken manure is ideal for vegetable gardens.
- Egg shells are particularly beneficial, providing calcium to help young seedlings grow big and strong.
* It's no fun having a sleep disorder and that's why the Turner Classic Movie Channel was invented. If you're one of the lucky ones and can sleep through the night, Tivo this wonderful movie, The Egg & I.