Get ready to rethink what you know about chicken coops.
Permaculturists are transforming the way animals interact with the landscape by treating them not as additions to it, but rather as part of it.
This holistic reconstitution of the relationship between animals and the land is a response to the argument in many environmental circles that animal husbandry wastes energy and resources that could otherwise be used to produce plant-based food.
However, many permaculturists believe that using animals to produce food can actually boost efficiency. By using every output the animals yield - and that means everything from traditional outputs such as eggs, meat, and dairy products, to waste products, to behaviors - resources that would otherwise go to waste will instead be funneled into more productive uses.
Enter the chicken tractor.
The chicken tractor is a mobile chicken coop that spreads chickens' waste around a farm while tilling the soil. In other words, the chicken tractor treats chickens as a part of the overall farm system.
In permaculturist Geoff Lawton's version of the chicken tractor, chickens eat restaurant scraps, not grains, and their natural pecking and scratching behaviors turn those scraps into mulch. The result is high quality compost. And the moveable coop distributes that fresh forage compost across the landscape.
Talk about a symbiotic cycle!
Portable chicken tractors basically consist of everything fixed chicken coops do: chicken wire or hardware cloth, nest boxes or nesting area, a closed or open chicken run, and a good chicken coop design! You can put your backyard birds over your garden bed or spread it over new areas like Geoff does!
Want to learn more? You can read all about Geoff Lawton, his work in permaculture, and get some chicken tractor plans here.
READ MORE: 5 Ways Chickens Can Help Your Garden Grow
Here are step-by-step instructions to build your own DIY backyard chicken tractor coop! Who's ready for some self-sustainable backyard farming?!
Source: Fix.com Blog
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