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Improving the Soil

One of the neat things about moving the chickens around on the pasture over the years has been watching the soil change as a result. The chickens loosen the soil as they dig around in and scratch it, as they bathe in it. They aerate it and, as a result, rainwater is better absorbed. It used to be that the pasture’s dirt was so hard-packed that rainwater would sit on the surface or would run off in areas where the ground isn’t level. That isn’t the case anymore; now the rainwater is actually absorbed and used by the soil instead of running off of it. The chickens also fertilize the soil with their waste. Even from the first time we put chickens on the pasture, we could tell the difference in the grass. That keeps improving with every season. Watching this natural way of improving the soil actually work is an inspiring thing. 

This is a picture of some of the hens taking dirt baths. The ladies can certainly dig! You can’t tell from this angle but when I walked up to water and feed them they were not easily visible because these holes are pretty deep. Good times for a chicken.