February 2017
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Video Walk-Thru of the New Chicken Yard Project

Today I take a tour of the new chicken yard I’m building. Last year I let the chickens into the garden area, and a hawk killed 5 of them. This winter, I’m redesigning the chicken yard to have better predator protection using some permaculture function-stacking.

The garden is being relocated to other areas of the property. I’m converting the part of the old garden area to a dedicated chicken paddock. The fence is now 6-8’ high in various places. I’m creating a horizontal web of wires about 8’ high that will allow the kiwi vines to spread out and grow along the wires. Once the kiwi vines climb all over the wires, it should be enough to keep aerial predators out.

When the vines are covered in foliage in summer, the chickens will have a nice shaded area to keep cool. Then in winter when the leaves are gone, the sun can get through to warm the girls. The kiwi vines will benefit from the increased area to spread their vines. They will also get increased fertility from the chickens dropping manure in the area. This is classic function-stacking.

I will be putting a movable fence in the middle of the area to divide it in half. I’ll do some paddock shifting, letting the chickens work one side while the other side has time to recover and regrow. I have already over-seeded the entire area with clover and other cover crops that the chickens like.
In the video, I also talk about relocating the aquaponics system with some improvements in mind. There will be more details about that later as I finalize the design and get started on that project.

Enjoy the tour:

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