Saturday, August 29, 2020

Corona garden renovations and chicken partnerships


 

People want nice chickens going bokbok in the backyard but find they are ravenous destroyers.

The chickens usually don't get enough room so they end up in a wasteland where they have eaten everything and just have straw shoveled in or even worse live on concrete and get poop shoveled out.

For various reasons I had this classic of garden design to work with over the corona lockdown. A permaculture garden design wants to examine the aspects involved. What they produce and require:

Chickens eat green stuff and bugs.

Chickens lay eggs. They come from a jungle and want nice sheltered spots to hang out in.

Chickens scratch and poop. They kick straw behind them.

There may be a lot of predators around. Cats, foxes, hawks. Other birds come in and nick their food.

Woody plants about 2 years can get big enough to survive chicken attentions.

Anything else, such as annual grasses and bird feeds, needs chicken proof fencing.


So basically it all comes down to fence sections off so you can rotate the chickens in different areas and stack over time. Giving the plants time to regenerate and grow. These can be for human annual veges or primarily for the chickens, grains and greens.

Establishing perennials to give shelter. These need short term, 2 year or so, fenced areas to grow. Tough, chicken medicine and ornamental plants such as salvia, lavender and wormwood, mulberry.

Was luckily able to make these with various material already at hand. In non corona era would probably go buy-swap-sell or get a few more bits from the hardware store, eg starpickets.


In the non fenced sections the chickens will have straw to kick around and poop in and they will gradually kick it into the fenced growing areas. or at least making it near and easy for humans to mulch or compost for later addition to productive gardens.


Also tractoring them a few of the time out in the front lawn. Using them to dig up the runner grass so we can add more productive gardens out there.



Still a few years to see it come to shape. Once can remove fencing and let the chickens free range more in a chicken jungle optimised for their comfort. The annuals veges and other chicken forage plants can be still easily fenced with rotating 6 month time spans until next configuration. Rotating between vege garden, chicken clean out, growing new baby plants, chicken food etc


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