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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