I'm curious if any of you keep chickens in your garden over the fall/winter season. And if so, have you noticed an improvement in soil fertility and/or a decrease in pest during your growing season. Our garden is fenced except for a gate that I must build soon. Then we're debating on whether to let some of our chickens forage over the remains of the garden for bugs and excess produce for a while this fall then again in late Winter/early Spring or just keep them there until time to plant in the Spring. We will also be utilizing ducks in the garden for slug control. Our ducks will mostly free range as they are awesome at foraging for their food and cleaning up any spilt or uneaten feeds (which helps keep rodents away!
So, we're looking at creating a temporary chicken house in the garden out of an unused dog pen and building a simple coop inside it. Our garden is heavily mulched "Ruth Stout" style with lots and lots of hay. This has been mostly great but we have had some slug and squash bug issues we're hoping the chickens and ducks can help us with and in turn reduce their feed bill a little more. We would love to hear opinions or ideas or your experience from any of you that have done this!