Chickens on Allotments

Livestock and Wildlife on Allotments

Bees on Allotments
Harrod Horticultural
Suttons Seeds
Allotment websites

Most of us associate allotments with the growing of fruit, vegetables & flowers, yet they can also be used to keep small domestic livestock such as chickens, rabbits & pigeons. Permission to keep livestock usually rests with the authority in charge of the site.

 

Of course the local wildlife (welcome or not) don't wait for permission!

Dobies
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Even Greener
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Which wildlife are important to your garden?

Some people don’t take kindly to creepy crawlies living in their back garden, but sometimes they can bring a host of benefits. From bees being important pollinators of plants and fruiting tress, to ladybirds feasting on aphids, some creatures have an important role to play in your garden’s upkeep.  

Here, garden plants retailers Dobies look at why you should be more welcoming to certain wildlife.

Bees and butterflies

Bees and butterflies can help your back garden to flourish. As they are natural pollinators, they can help spread your flowers around the garden and encourage growth.

If you are trying to coax this wildlife into your garden, you’re advised to plant colourful flowers. Bees are attracted to these plants, as they source their energy from sugar-filled nectar and the pollen provides bees with protein and fat.

A great way to bring butterflies and bees into your back garden is to cluster your plants together. This will entice more bees to visit the area at the same time.  Also, plant flowers that bloom at different times of year to encourage your flying friends to come to your garden.

Keeping slugs and snails at bay

Some creatures simply aren’t welcome in your garden. For example, slugs and snails leave holes in leaves and feast on your fresh green shoots.

Attracting hedgehogs into your green space is a great way to block these pesky animals from ruling the roost. They are known to be a gardener’s best friend, as they feed on slugs, slugs and other insects. Simply leave food out for them to encourage them to enter your garden. This could include anything from minced meat to tinned dog and cat food.

Although many people believe that hedgehogs enjoy drinking milk, it’s best avoiding leaving this out for them. It can upset their stomach and lead to them becoming dehydrated. Another way to attract them is to leave areas of your garden to grow wild. Piles of leaves and overgrown grass will help to encourage hedgehogs to set up camp.

Beneficial insects

It’s important to note that not all insects are an annoyance. Some will help protect your plants from an infestation of smaller creatures.

One problem for many gardeners are aphids. Otherwise known as greenfly and blackfly, aphids suck saps from plants and excrete it as honeydew. This sticky substance then falls on the lower leaves of the plant which can be harmful to its growth. Photosynthesis becomes inhibited and the plant becomes deprived of energy. In extreme aphid attacks, the insects can fully smother the plant — causing it to become stunted and weak, which leads it to die.

Creatures that can protect you from these attacks include ladybirds, or ladybird beetles. It is the larvae from these bugs that are predators of soft-bodied insects such as aphids. Encourage ladybirds to visit your garden by providing them with a water source. Fill saucers with pebbles and water, this allows the insect to take a drink without falling in and drowning.

Damsel bugs are soft-bodies, winged insects that you are likely to want to have around. They feed on aphids, small caterpillars and other irritating small creatures — helping your crop thrive!

It’s also possible to encourage ducks and chickens to forage around the garden and consume the insects that they find. However, don’t expect your neat rows of fruit and vegetables to stay that way!

John Hannen

Sources

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/beneficial/beneficial-garden-animals.htm

https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/wildlife/inthewild/gardenhedgehogs

https://www.jacksgardenstore.com/blog/2010/04/why-are-bees-good-for-your-garden/

http://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/solve-problems/aphids/

https://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/garden/10-insects-you-should-actually-want-around-your-plants/slide/3

Here are some more great links for anyone who keeps, or is thinking of keeping chickens

Kindly provided by Robin Meade - Pet Safety Blogger

Should I Get Chickens? Pros, Cons and a To-Do Checklist for Hobby Farmers -

https://www.homeadvisor.com/r/should-you-get-chickens-for-your-hobby-farm/

How to Build a Chicken Coop -

https://thetinylife.com/how-to-build-a-chicken-coop/

Cleaning Out the Chicken House and Run -

https://keeping-chickens.me.uk/routine-jobs/cleaning-out/

Poultry Diseases and How to Prevent Them -

https://chickenbreedslist.com/poultry-diseases-and-how-to-prevent-them/

How to Give Your Chicken a Bath -

https://www.hobbyfarms.com/how-to-give-your-chicken-a-bath/

A Guide to Chicken Feed -

https://www.ecopeanut.com/chicken-feed/

7 Ways to Get Cleaner Eggs from Your Chickens -

https://blog.mcmurrayhatchery.com/2015/10/08/cleaner-eggs-from-your-chickens/

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Cute hedgehog on the allotments
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Last updated:  11/11/2019