Tag Archives forChickens

Beyond Eggs: How to Keep Chickens Happy in Confinement

​​​BEYOND EGGS:
How to Keep Chickens ​Happy ​​in Confinement

​Approximately a ​6 minute read | Part 3 of ​a Series

The best way to have healthy, happy chickens is to integrate them into a thriving, bustling ecosystem that benefits from their presence. T​he alternative is keeping them in an environment that cannot sustain them – as in the typical coop-and-run that starts out green and ends up bare and brown. 

In this article, I’ll share ideas for keeping chickens as busy and well fed in a deep litter system as they are when out foraging for themselves – while also contributing to the care of the garden or farm system that they are part of, rather than being a drain on it.

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Beyond Eggs – 8 Advantages of Deep Litter Housing for Chickens

​​​BEYOND EGGS:
​Eight Advantages of Deep Litter

​Approximately a ​​6 minute read | Part 2 of ​a Series

This article series is about managing your chicken flock effectively so that ALL of their outputs, not just the eggs, are put to good use in service of the ecosystem they live within – your garden or farm.

In Part 1 we looked through this lens at the pros and cons of allowing unlimited free range and of using mobile pens. 

Here, I’ll describe the advantages of deep litter and explain why​ we’re trialing a deep litter run with no outside foraging. 

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Beyond Eggs – Pros and Cons of Free Range and Mobile Pens

​​​BEYOND EGGS:
Pros and Cons of Free Range and Mobile Pens ​

​Approximately a ​7 to 8 minute read | Part 1 of ​a Series | Also published at Permaculture.Org

Well-managed chickens can provide eggs and meat as well as composting assistance, sanitation and pest reduction, soil amendment services, and entertainment.

But poorly managed chickens tend to focus all their talents and energy into very destructive pursuits, as you know if you’ve had your seedlings repeatedly dug up or your fruit trees efficiently de-mulched.

​How ​can we harness all that chickens have to offer, in ways that keep everybody happy, healthy and productive?

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Backyard Chickens, and the Interconnectedness of All Things – Part 3

​Backyard Chickens & the interconnectedness of ​everything - Part 3 

Part 3 of a Series ​Approximately a 6 ​minute read | Originally published ​19th October, 2018, on PermacultureNews.org

Large grey rooster

This article shares the funny antics of one of our roosters, whose stories include such things as nesting boxes, ​interested hens, and a falling wheelbarrow. 

It concludes on a more serious note, with the question,

"Can good husbandry, regenerative agriculture, and morally right living, be defined in terms of happiness and connection?"

If you are interested only in ​rooster adventures, this article will be fine to read by itself.

But if you missed the earlier articles in the series, and you’re interested in what backyard chickens have to do with the interconnectedness of all things, you’ll need to go back to the beginning of Part 1. Part 2, if you need it, is here.

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Backyard Chickens, and the Interconnectedness of All Things. Part 2

​Backyard Chickens, and the Interconnectedness of All Things - Part 2

Part 2 of a Series | ​Approximately a 6 ​minute read
Originally published ​10th October, 2018, on PermacultureNews.org


​This article is Part 2 of a Series that is mostly about chickens – not how to care for them, but how to appreciate them as being more complex and interesting than most of us give them credit for.

If you are interested only in chickens, and especially mother hens and chicks, this article will be fine to read by itself. But if you want to know more about where interconnectedness comes into the story, and why it’s important, you’ll need to go back and read the beginning of Part 1.

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Backyard Chickens, and the Interconnectedness of All Things. Part 1

​Backyard Chickens, and the Interconnectedness of All Things - Part 1

​Part 1 of a Series | Approximately a ​5 minute read.
​Originally published Oct 3rd, 2018, at PermacultureNews.org​.

This 3-Part Series ​starts off with our cultural lack of understanding about our place in the web of life, which is at the root of why our efforts to address ecological destruction aren’t working yet.

If you were mainly interested in chickens, stay with me – I’ll get onto backyard chickens in the second part of Part 1, and then I’ll stick almost entirely to chickens for the rest of the Series.

Please note, though, that this is not a “how to take care of chickens” Series (you can find those everywhere).

​This is about how to appreciate chickens as more than just egg-layers and garden-scratchers. And, by extension, how to appreciate any living thing beyond just its immediately apparent functions.

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5 Cut and Carry Goat Fodder Plants that Poultry, Pigs, Cattle and People can also eat

​5 Cut & Carry Goat Fodder plants that Chickens, Pigs, Cattle and People can also eat

(Approximately a 6 ​minute read)

Growing our own milk, eggs, and / or meat is a step in the right direction, but relying on the feed ​store to help us do it means we’re still relying on fossil fuel-based agriculture and supply systems.

Since our goal is to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, at the time of writing this article I was growing an increasing amount of our own goat feed, for our two milking goats.

To make it onto the list ​that you’re about to read, these plants had to be great for goat fodder, AND serve a variety of other functions as well.

(Please note that some of the plants listed here were also listed in “8 Abundant Fodder Forest Plants, and How to Use Them.”)

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8 Abundant Fodder Forest Plants, & How to Use Them

​8 Abundant "Fodder Forest" Plants & How to Use Them 

​​5 minute read | Also published at PermacultureNews.org

fence and green foliage

​This morning when I went to feed the animals, I thought I’d start with collecting some pigeon pea for ​the horses, and see what I could find for the pigs​ in the fodder forest while I was there.

Our fodder forest is a small beginning in my long-term goal to ​eliminate our dependence on fossil fuel-based agriculture.

This article lists 8 of my favorite multi-purpose fodder-and-food plants, and some of the ways I use them.

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