I have a flock of chickens that graze the upper slopes of my property between swales. Their manure migrates into the swales, feeding the trees on the downslope berm. They are moved weekly along this two acre stretch of property. The chickens benefit from fresh ground, insects, and vegetation. They are healthier and consume less feed in the process. The only negative is the work involved in setting up and taking down the electronet fencing each week.
Buff in Paddock
Here are some pictures showing what a plot looks like when I move them in, and what it looks like at the end of the week. Bear in mind that at this time there were only five chickens in the flock. There was another eight in a brooder next to the coop, but at the time of the pictures, they were too small to join the flock. I think it’s important to see how much consumption and destruction a small flock of chickens can do. This also puts into perspective how bad for the chickens it is to keep them in a small coop and run. It doesn’t take long for a flock to exhaust the resources in a given area leaving only disease and bare earth.
Can You See the Five Chickens?
Chicken Paddock (Clover, Alfalfa, Comfrey, Dandelion, Wintercress, Mulberry, Etc…. (5)
Chicken Paddock (Clover, Alfalfa, Comfrey, Dandelion, Wintercress, Mulberry, Etc…. (3)
This is a picture of what the paddock looked like after one week of use.
Chicken Paddock after one week
Now that is Chicken POWER!!!!
~ Phil Williams
Phil Williams is a permaculture consultant and designer and creator of the website foodproduction101.com. He is also the author of numerous books, most recently, Fire the Landscaper and Farmer Phil's Permaculture. His website provides useful, timely information for the experienced or beginning gardener, landscaper, or permaculturalist. Phil's personal goals are to build soil, restore and regenerate degraded landscapes, grow and raise an abundance of healthy food of great variety, design and install resilient permaculture gardens in the most efficient manner possible, and teach others along the way.