[permaculture] Help Chiken pen design

Claude William Genest genest at together.net
Mon Jan 13 20:17:41 EST 2003

> Why do I need to have a concrete floor? Isn't bare earth enough?

Concrete is easy to clean, which you'll want to do once, twice maybe three
times a year. Concrete floor will help keep vermin out ( rats/mice), will
also help keep predators from digging in, and the chickens from scratching
their way out. But then again, yes, bare earth could suffice.

Or is there 
> an issue of keeping the
> poultry out of mud when it rains?

Not if you have a roof.
> On the other hand, how big must the pen be? eg how much space is necessary for
> each
> chicken? Is there any dependence on the species?

At least 2 sq.ft per bird, a little less for smaller breeds, hopefully quite
a bit more.

> If I understand it well, there must be two environments, a shelter and some
> open space right?

Correct. the open sapce is the "run" which if designed permaculturally will
itself be a garden worked and fertilized by the chickens.

> how big is the shelter and how big the open space?

How many chickens ? I let my chickens run around all over the place.

> How can I get the eggs without entering the pen all the times?

You slant their roosts towards a collection box. Never works for me. What's
so bad about going in ? Just make a big, person-sized door.

Don't confuse the ease of having a few chickens with the hassles of having
many. really, a few ( I'd say up to a dozen or so) is really a piece of cake
and doesn't require any great preparations. I have coached several of my
friends and neighbors in this and they have all loved their experiences.
The best PC advice I can offer : "start small and make lots of little
mistakes". As long as they have food, water, shelter and protection, you
can't go very far wrong...
>> What part of Spain do you live in?
> Wow!, where did I mention that I live in Spain? ... Anyway I live in
> Barcelona,
> not quite the land of Flamenco though.
> Thanks and all the best
> Antonio
>> LL
>> onetime Flamenco (older traditional styles) afficianado
>> --
>> L.F.London
>> lfl at intrex.net
>> http://market-farming.com
>> http://www.ibiblio.org/ecolandtech/pcwiki/index.php/london
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