Chooks and chickens

Having grown up with chickens roaming round the yard and the boisterous crowing of the roosters as part of the soundtrack of my childhood, it seemed only natural that we should have some of the feathery fowl.

Getting started was easy enough as my mother still keeps a motley crew of hens. Working through the technicalities has been a little more challenging.  Chickens are generally low maintenance, forage for a good portion of their food and offer a variety of valuable by-products including eggs, meat, earth moving, feathers, manure and body heat.

Assuming you have a rooster, their tendency to hatch out large numbers of babies means, for better or worse, the size of your flock can grow very quickly.

Fertigate with ducks

Fertigate with ducks

A simple and effective way to fertigate (fertilise while irrigating) fruit trees or other productive plantings using an old bath tub. Like all good permaculture solutions, this stacks functions by providing the ducks with a source of water to enjoy while collecting their nutrient, discharging it via gravity. It could also provide some thermal mass to help nearby plants during cold times...
  ducks  water  nutrient 

Constructing and working with a chookhouse gardening system

Combining chookhouse and glasshouse is one of the classic permaculture examples of stacking functions, closing loops and all that but not something I had ever come across. It makes sense on a lot of levels:
  • Why have 2 buildings when you can have one
  • Waste products from chickens are great inputs for plants (manure, heat, CO2...)
  • Chickens eat insects and plant material and are great for preparing soil for planting
  • Plants grow well in sheltered, warm environment
May 05, 2016


Having a rooster offers a number of benefits, if you can overlook the noisy crowing:
  • Helps encourage the chooks to start laying earlier
  • Provides some level of predator protection
  • Creates fertilised eggs if yo want to hatch baby chickens
October 01, 2014
Chicken garden

Chicken garden

We got the idea from an inspirational video and couldn't hold back.
By dividing the chicken run in half we tapped into the rich nutrient load. After adding some basic contour swale for easy watering and scattering a few seeds we quickly had a very productive piece of garden.
April 03, 2013


After 35 days sitting patiently on 8 eggs, our first time mother muscovy hatched 3 cute little babies.
Now if only we can out smart nature and keep them alive.
December 05, 2012


Keeping things interesting with 3 Muscovy ducks. Perfect addition to the food forest, the ducks trim the grass, mingle with the chickens and feed the fruit trees with their manure. They also appreciate the swales, especially after rain.
June 28, 2012
Chicken Prism

Chicken Prism

The latest development in our seemingly endless quest for perfect chicken containment, our version of the chicken tractor.
The chicken prism seems, so far, to be a fairly successful system. Good for converting grass to garden or invigorating existing garden while restricting the roaming and destructive nature of the birds.
April 07, 2012
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