[permaculture] new article: concerns about the way most people raise chickens

George Anna Clark esac at laneta.apc.org
Sat Aug 8 19:07:41 EDT 2009

Hi Paul,

loved your article, appreciate laughing while being informed. I keep 
wanting my chicken tractor to work but have also given up; thank you for 
nixing designs that haven't occurred to me yet.

The chickens are free pasturing and driving me crazy, but still not the 
priority on the farm. Under these conditions I often put chicks and 
their mom in the tractor for the first week (moving it daily) for more 
protection and better food supply.

I've decided on a pastured paddock system but with one chicken coop for 
sleeping and laying for better predator protection (snakes are a bigger 
problem than ferrets) and more convenient egg collection. Notice that 
you don't comment on this option. It requires a run to communicate 
between the pastures and the coop (or placing the coop in the middle of 
the paddocks, but that wouldn't work for my layout), and I could also 
connect the coop to the sheep/pig sheds, so they can spend a few hours 
controlling maggots- this has worked well with the sheep.. The sheep and 
pigs are on a rotating pasture system, but I have to enclose the sheep 
at night, otherwise they're prone to jump the portable electric fence. 
The pigs I can generally keep on pasture 24/7, but when they get in heat 
some will jump (literally, or go under it) the fence and an unfenced pig 
is a disaster--- lots of work and vegetation ruined in a very, very 
short time.

Regarding breeds, I like the naked neck chicken which looks ugly as sin 
but is regarded as a good dual purpose chicken, are good mothers and 
taste great. I'm glad I got over the ugliness.  
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naked_Neck       or google for more 
information. Mine lay white rather than brown eggs...

George Anna

paul wheaton wrote:
> For years I've tried to tell people about stuff that I think is a bit
> of a better way to raise chickens. But it all comes out sounding like
> crazy talk. So for the last few weeks I've been trying to write it as
> one gob that gets the point across. I think this now gets the point
> across!
> http://www.richsoil.com/chickens.jsp
> Please tell me what you think!
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