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The Amazing Benefits of Ducks and Chickens in the Garden

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Keeping ducks or chickens around the garden is one of the most productive and healthy ways to boost crop production. They are easy to care for and manage, and they provide a lot of benefits that are ideal in a world of self-reliance and sustainability. In a post SHTF scenario, having chickens for food as well as garden management should be a top priority. Let’s look at some of the ways that they offer so much for so little along with some important drawbacks to consider.

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Ducks vs Chickens

Ducks and chickens both produce nutrient-rich eggs and a quality source of meat. They both attack insects, especially those that can wreak havoc on garden plants. However, chickens tend to be a bit more clumsy and destructive in the garden. They poke and prod, and their beaks can reach a couple of inches below the surface. This creates problems, especially for fragile plants and seedlings. However, chickens also aerate soil and can provide for excellent pest control in waste piles as well as around the perimeter of a garden. The key is to protect the perimeter and growing plants with chicken wire to minimize risk.

Ducks on the other hand are much more gentle with respect to their destructive capabilities. They tend to avoid eating plants and focus more on feasting on a wide-range of insects. Grubs, aphids, grasshoppers and locusts are just a few examples. The general consensus is that ducks have a fondness for strawberries and lettuce, but they don’t bother most other garden plants. In fact, ducks are becoming an important component of protecting rice fields as they wade through the water and eat anything in sight except the rice.

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Pesticides and Fertilizer

Pesticides are an essential component of any garden and farm, but they are loaded with toxic chemicals that pollute the groundwater and can also contaminate certain plants. Fertilizer is also not healthy for the environment as their byproducts can also reduce water quality and kill off certain organisms and water-dwelling creatures. Collectively, pesticides and commercial fertilizers have a horrible impact on the environment, and are responsible for destroying fish populations in rivers and streams. Some chemicals are also known to cause cancer.

Using ducks or chickens actually provides the same benefits without these risks. Their droppings provide nutrients that plants need while their bug-eating skills keep crops strong and healthy. As long as they eat, which shouldn’t be much of a problem if you have a normal garden with the usual array of bugs, then they will also fertilize as they go.

You can choose between ducks and chicken in terms of what works best for you, or you can have both as well. Look into the particulars regarding the care of each and then you can start to incorporate these feathered friends into your overall self-sufficiency strategy. Finally, bugs are loaded with nutrients that are beneficial to humans as well. Eating the eggs as well as meat from ducks and chickens that are fed on a natural, organic diet will also improve the amount of health benefits that you can receive. Therefore, this option presents you with a win-win situation all around, and you will be surprised at how easy it is to incorporate them into your planning.

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