"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Putting chickens to work

...is, I believe half the point of having chickens.  The other point is their eggs - and their flesh - not that RMan or I would ever be able to kill one...

But getting them to work effectively needs guidance :D

Since we have restricted them to the back area they have had a merry time destroying whatever they can.  That is a chicken's wont though, isn't it ;)
The previous poo pile worked - after a fashion
And once we had removed the black plastic cover from on top of our alpaca poo pile, creating havoc out in our alpaca poo area was one of their greatest delights.
But, as a chicken claw or two and soon the
alpaca poo was widely distributed where it
wasn't wanted
So, we had to step in and create some order out of their chaos.

Once again, the 3 mtr long alien Black Wattle "droppers" we have in the tractor shed came to our rescue.  ("Droppers" are so named because they are normally "dropped" in along a barbed wire fence to add some strength / stability to the long expanses of wire.)
Black wattle "droppers" to the rescue once again
Once again RMan used the garage entrance / door to square off the "frame" before screwing the pieces together.
One of the side frames before it was knocked
 into the ground
Then it was a case of knocking the longer end and middle supports into the ground, and filling the slots with pre-cut pieces of Black Wattle.  Thank goodness we have had a little rain recently - trying to knock anything into this ground in summer, when the soil is baked harder almost than concrete, is not possible.
You can see the far side "wall" is still short of some
"dropper" pieces - but 3 minutes later it was all sorted!
 Ha!  Take that chicks!
The one side was purposely left shorter than the other three.
Te shorter side is just the perfect height
 to use it for wheelbarrow emptying 
That was done so that we could collect the alpaca poo in the wheelbarrow, and then, using the shorter edge as a fulcrum, tip the contents of the wheelbarrow into the newly designated alpaca poo compost pile :)

This year there won't be a shortage of alpaca poo for the veggie beds and fruit trees.

It works a treat - and, because the poo is contained and the chickens aren't scattering the contents far and wide, the contents are keeping them much busier for longer :D   Not only that, but we have caught them sitting on top of the poo "fence" - no doubt providing them with a better view for surveying their kingdom.

A bored chicken gets up to all sorts of mischief!

Sorry it took so long to share, Mum - but there - now you have our solution ;)


Sue said...

Ha-I love it. I sure do miss chickens--they are the best entertainment (and sometimes a source of hair-pulling angst!)

Sol said...


Jayne Hill said...

That looks excellent, and I guess with all the turning and sorting the poo will become lovely garden compost even quicker?

Dani said...

Sue - I bless my beauties every day when I harvest their eggs :) Eating their flesh - RMan and I would battle to "kill" an animal - but I guess that is down to the fact that for us it would be abnormal as we have never had to do it. However, I cannot state that, should the need arise, we would not do it...

For all the size of their brains, they are extremely clever, scheming little creatures ;)

Dani said...

Thanks Sol :)

Dani said...

Jayne - Exactly :D And hopefully the chickens use the opportunity of ridding the pile of any weed seeds too...

possumqueensa said...

Those chickens have nothing to do all day except think of ways to drive you crazy!

Dani said...

pqsa - Couldn't agree with you more...! :D

Leigh said...

Yes! Love it! I have found that chickens make absolutely the best compost. It's amazing how their scratching and pecking around in it can turn it to garden gold so quickly.

Dani said...

Leigh - Yes, they do save a lot of manual labour. Only problem is "training" them to make the compost without scattering it far and wide. Hopefully this "fenced in" compost spot will help... ;)