Our garden was, at best, mediocre this growing season. I thought I did a good job of mulching the tomaoto, squash, and zuke plants, but when the inevitable dry spell of July took place, the plants suffered no matter how much Elaine and I watered them. Next year, I am resigned to have a deeper layer of mulch.
So, it's time to let the chickens into the garden and begin their process of fertilizing and scratching up weeds, insect larva, and the insects themselves. Elaine and I had thought we might let our Buff Orpingtons and Rhode Island Reds take turns at the garden; however, the truth is that the Reds are much better at their "job" than the Buffs.
This is the first time we have raised Buffs, and they are a delightful heritage breed: friendly, calm, and from what we understand great egg layers. Our Buffs and Reds are only 18 weeks old, so it is not time for them to lay yet.
But I doubt that few chicken breeds can beat Reds for sheer diligence and joy at "working" a garden. So what we have been doing is turning the Reds out into the garden and the Buffs into the tractor. Both flocks have time out of their respective runs, but they spend time at different jobs.