An old Orchard into a Chicken Run

orchard dell farm

I love chickens in orchards. There is something right about it. You know you are in the country. Its very English and re-assures you that despite everything, english country rural living is still possible and worth seeking out.

Chickens on grass produce better eggs. Chickens fed on established grass with a good mixed herbage and wild flower mix do best. This ground is well supplied with minerals and bugs of every description ensuring a varied mixed and healthy diet for the poultry.

The photo above shows the old orchard at the Dell Farm, taken in early March 2012. The mixed crocus come through in their thousands, but they are all but finished in this warm spring weather by the 2nd week in March, to be followed by daffodils of many varieties and snowflakes. Some of the older fruit trees are also planted with roses. We do not know the varieties of either yet, and the garden has been semi wild for all but lawn mowing for some years.

To the East boundary, with the formal gardens is an run of old climbing roses, once supported on a fenced run of purgola supports, now long colapsed the rose remain as a part boundary. We plan to re-instate the supports and replant the roses with traditional old varieties, all heavily scented. The Orchard will be a project for autumn (if I can resist buying varieties that long) There is a very old and respected fruit nursery south of Norwich still supplying rare old breeds of fruit trees, many especially associated with Norfolk and choosing what will go in will be a hotly debated issue I am certain. Choosing the chickens may be a lot simpler.

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