Benefits of Animals in the Garden

animals in the garden
For many gardeners, wild animals getting into the garden is one of the most detrimental things that could possibly happen. However, some gardening experts understand that animal control in gardening can be much more beneficial than animal elimination.

The Battle Between Man and Animals

Gardening and animals don’t mix for several reasons. If you are growing a garden for food purposes, animals will have all day to pick at your plants unless you are constantly shooing them away.

Over the years, different devices have been invented to keep animals from getting to the food that gardeners are trying to grow. Scarecrows, as their name implies, are intended to scare birds away from grain fields so that they will not eat the kernels; owl statues are also employed in many gardens for the same reason.

Animals Can Be Natural Pest Controllers

The battle between gardeners and animals doesn’t need to continue though. One gardener describes the way that animals have benefited his garden and his gardening experiences.

This gardener has a moderately sized group of chickens and ducks which he employees in his garden. And they are looked upon as employees; he explains that his ducks and chicks are not named or cuddled, although they are well cared for and numbered, since they might end up as food someday.

“These web-footed omnivores are tireless consumers of slugs, snails and a wide array of bothersome — and potentially dangerous — insects and grubs, including (but not limited to) mosquito pupae, Japanese beetle larvae, potato beetles and grasshoppers. In areas plagued by liver flukes, ducks can eliminate the problem by consuming the snails that are the intermediate host of this troublesome parasite of mammals. With the variety of diseases that mosquitoes can spread among avian and mammalian species, the duck’s ability to stop mosquitoes at the non-feeding pupa stage is significant.”

Animals Provide Compost

Animals are pests to a gardener when all that is focused on is their capacity to consume and their ability to give is overlooked. Animals can be extremely beneficial to gardening for their ability to produce manure which is superior and faster than any compost pile.

Compost consists of decomposed organic matter which usually means food scraps and decaying plant matter. When these are piled, stirred and allowed to sit for a long time, it will eventually decompose into a pile of black, smelly, organic matter that is rich in nutrients and chemicals that help plants grow properly.

Compost piles take a long time to grow however, and most gardeners could be benefited by allowing chickens to peck and dig through the compost piles for food and then simply use the chicken droppings as pre-decomposed compost. In addition, the straw that is needed to make roosts for chickens can be used as mulch for gardens; such mulch would also have the benefit of being infused with even more manure.

Animals Can Also Provide Natural Fertilizer

Ducks also serve a great purpose since water from their duck ponds can be used as a liquid fertilizer. As duck ponds get murky and dirty, they are filling with manure and other organic materials that will offer liquid nutrients to your garden plants that normal sprinkler parts could never supply.

If you’re wanting to attract helpful animals to your garden, you can find instructions here. Good luck and have fun with your new friends!

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