Once again I am renaming the small garden area on the side of the house.


Back when Winifred, our sweet Belgian Malinois, was still with us, we called it Winnie’s Poop Garden. It was not a place where you wanted to spend your free time.

Last year, desperate for more vegetable growing space, I planted tomatoes and cucumbers there and dubbed it the Other Veggie Garden.


This year, the Palazzo di Pollo and the auxiliary chicken coop, the Eglu, now reside in that area. And since I was dividing what seemed like hundreds of hostas this spring, I began transplanting them into the shaded area beside the coops. Naturally, I added more hostas as I fell in love with them during visits to garden centers. I called it the Hosta Garden, but just as easily could have called it the Slug Garden, since the slugs and snails moved in to partake of the expansive hosta buffet—their fav.

Now that the baby chicks are old enough for some supervised walkabout time, I am calling this the Chicken Garden. This is where the big chickens and little chickens are currently engaged in their nightly meet-and-greet leading up to the merge of the two tribes.

Miss P adores the chickens. She would, in fact, love to eat the chickens. But being a smart cat, she understands they are off-limits and has ceased making predatory moves in their direction. It doesn't stop her from looking though.

Miss P adores the chickens. She would, in fact, love to eat the chickens. But being a smart cat, she understands they are off-limits and has ceased making predatory moves in their direction. It doesn't stop her from looking though.

You cannot just toss little chickens in with big chickens because they will be pecked on and could be injured. It is best for chickens to get to know each other a bit, work out their differences in relative safety and begin establishing the new pecking order prior to being thrust under the same roof. Using the Eglu as the temporary home for new chickens allows the chickens to see each other but not co-mingle until they are ready. This also allows us to ensure that the new chickens are disease- and pest-free before introducing them into the flock.

Now that the Polish and Easter egg chickens are about 11 weeks old, it’s just a matter of days before we attempt the big move. Until then, they peck and scratch in the Chicken Garden under close supervision.  After all, we don’t want a repeat of the incident that took Johnny Cash.


I SWEAR I am still gardening. I have the photos to prove it. More soon.


You can see the whole chicken photo album here. Click on the photo for a larger image. There are more photos in the albums from the photos sign at the top of this page.

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  • The things I didn’t (and still don’t) know about chickens would fill volumes. This is all so fascinating.
    You need to seek out slug resistant Hostas so you can look on them at the end of summer and smile. There are lists, but the rule of thumb (literally) is the touch test. You want the thickest, toughest leaves you can find. Most of the blue ones are fairly slug-resistant. Yes, I’m suggesting you rip out everything you just planted there & start over with better plants. Trust me, you’ll be happier in the long run.

  • MNGarden says:

    I love their fully head-dress.

  • Hey Robin, I tagged you for a Meme award. Please visit my blog today. Helen P.S. it was kinda hard to do, but rewarding.

  • Hi Robin,

    Hasn’t the slug population gone down since the crowned ones went on patrol? I thought most chickens ate and/or killed slugs and snails?

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  • admin says:

    Hi Annie,

    So many slugs, so little time!

    Actually, the chickens may have eaten a good number of slugs and snails, but the coop and hosta garden are right next to the woods. They just keep multiplying. Add that to the fact that the chickens are only allowed out when I can supervise them, which is only an hour or so a day, and it doesn’t really do the trick.

    MMG – I think I messaged you on Twitter that I’m going to take your advice on the hostas and rip out the variegated ones. I don’t like them anyway.


  • Great chicken/cat shot! Add a clever line and you’d have a wonderful greeting card.

  • All this chicken activity is fascinating, though it looks to me as though Miss P is far more likely to end up as chicken food than the chickens are to end up as cat food.

  • Painchaud says:

    Man I can’t wait to get chickens. And that last chicken looks like it would beat up the cat if it tried anything.

  • heather says:

    My cats feel the same way about my indoor bird. They’d love to eat him despite the household ban on eating anyone who lives with us and has a name.

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