Permaculture blog

Session 3: Creating a closed system with chickens

Published by Sam Page on 05 May 2012

Chickens are an essential permaculture element because they provide us with so many resources and enable us to create a 'closed system': food scraps, weeds and garden pests are consumed by the chickens and in return we get manure, eggs, feathers and meat.

This week we visited Ruth and Keith's impressive garden in West Overton. We spent time critiquing the many permaculture elements that were present in the garden before meeting their friendly, Rhode Island Red chickens.








We were then introduced to Sue Richards who raises rare breeds and seemed to know everything there is to know about keeping chickens - from the best coops, most appropriate breeds, how to deal with pest problems and even how to dispatch, gut and pluck the birds when the time comes...




Sue pointing out rare breeds to course participants..... 


    ...and their nutritious, muliticoloured free-range eggs







Although this delightful encounter convinced us that back garden chickens are integral to improving self-reliance, there was concern about the level of responsibility required - so we discussed the idea of setting up a chicken sharing scheme in Marlborough. We would love to hear from anyone else who would like to join in...