Poultry places


Josh Dolan came by today, with some plans for possible homes (and expansions to homes) for our chickens and eventually rabbits and ducks. This year, it looks like the main things we might do this year are add a second area for our chickens that's further up the slope and build the duck pond I keep talking about.

Josh designed and built the swale at the top of the hill with a bit of a pond, and we talked about expanding the pond further up the hill rather than breaking into the berm below it. There's a problem up there with algae being the only thing that's found a home in the swale, so we may have to figure out some way of getting the water aerated. (It's a long way from an electric outlet!)

Ducks don't actually need a pond to swim in, though they do need fresh water. However, we'd like to set up a place that fits their favorite lifestyle, and would like the pond to grow past the algae into a small ecology of its own.

We also talked about creating tractors for the chickens, movable cages that let the chickens eat in the garden without giving them the run of the garden. These are kind of a challenge because of our irregular terrain, even after the terracing. We may make some areas more regular, or we may develop designs for tractors that can tolerate less regular terrain. One of my favorite ideas was taking some old and wobbly cedar lawn furniture and using its frame as the base for a tractor.

We also talked a bit about greenhouses. Josh had a plan, suggested by a discussion in the Post-Petroleum Survival Guide and Cookbook, for a greenhouse that's strawbales on its northern side. It looks like it might make sense as both a greenhouse for growing food and as a shelter for chickens in the winter, especially if Angelika has chickens at the orchard.

Sadly, I need to call a tree service to take down a dying butternut at the side of the house, but that area - which is kind of the junk zone now - is going to get some major change in the next year or so. Our compost areas are going to grow, and Angelika's first few rabbit hutches may go there too. I also need to call someone about adding gutters to our new roof, and water catchment will be part of that conversation eventually.

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This page contains a single entry by Simon St.Laurent published on January 31, 2008 6:34 PM.

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