Chickens and gardening: in some ways, these two hobbies are incredibly compatible. After all, chickens eat plant pests. Their droppings and litter can be converted into some truly fantastic compost. And there's a certain symmetry in making choices that allow you to produce eggs, fruits and vegetables on your own little family farm. Local food can hardly get any more local than if it comes from your own yard! But in many ways your chickens can be at odds with your garden. Yes, they eat plant pests... but they also eat beneficial bugs. They're not going to simply gobble your potato beetles and ignore your lacewings! Plus, they'll trample or eat your new seedlings and young plants, if you let them. Further, what they don't eat, they may scratch up, looking for grubs or wallowing holes for dust bathing. And while the composted manure will be fabulous, they're not going to confine droppings to the coop or the compost pile. They'll also poop on your sidewalk, your porch, your patio and your lawn furniture. [caption id="attachment_5691" align="alignnone" width="409"] This is not your bench. This is our roost. Got it?[/caption] This isn't to say you can't realize your vision of having chickens and gardening, of course. But this IS fair warning: make sure to plan your garden and/or your chickens accordingly.