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Introducing Easy DIY Chicken Coop Plans

“Who Else Wants the Easy Plans to Build an Attractive & Affordable Long Lasting ‘Predator-Safe’ Chicken Coop from Home That Your Backyard Chickens Love To Lay Eggs In…”

Buying your chicken coop new from the store will usually cost $500.00 upwards! and all you’ll often get is a flat-pack coop that you have to build yourself anyway, you just end up paying for overpriced materials, no fun!

Building your own chicken coop from home is by far the most cost effective solution, not to mention the most rewarding and fun, however…

you need to research and account for the right materials and measurements, nesting boxes, perches and entertainment, lighting, positioning, ventilation, waste collection and of course protection from the elements and deadly predators…

…but planning and doing it all yourself can seem just too overwhelming

Fortunately there’s an easy, cost-effective solution to build your own attractive, affordable & secure outdoor chicken coop from home in mere hours…

If you’re serious about keeping free range backyard chickens, be it out in the countryside, in the suburbs or in the city, you’re about to discover a goldmine…

Check out the Chicken Kit today!

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The Backyard Chicken Problem

When I was a kid, we raised chickens in our backyard. We enjoyed the healthy fresh eggs, and when a chicken stopped laying, it went into the stew pot.

This saved our family quite a bit on the food bill, and provided us with fertilizer for the garden, enhancing the production of fresh vegetables.

The chickens also eliminated much of the bug problem as they rooted out various garden pests.

Apparently, many of today’s backyard urban farmers are having difficulty eating a “pet”, and urban laws prevent on site burial even if a chicken dies. Gene Logsdon describes the issues in detail at

http://thecontraryfarmer.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/backlash-on-backyard-chickens/

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Recipe for Raising Chickens

We have read this book before, but since the chickens are coming soon, it was time to reread it. It’s a great little resource packed with good tips from an old time experienced chicken person, Minnie Rose Lovgreen. Her greatest point to be made was “The main thing is to keep them happy.” The booklet is subtitled, “Simple economical ways with eggs, chicks, broody hens, laying hens, and general chicken care”, and it nails those topics well. We recommend it! Additional info can be found at www.nwtrilliumpress.com.

Additional related topics:

Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens, 3rd Edition

The Chicken Health Handbook

Chicken Coops: 45 Building Plans for Housing Your Flock

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Chicken Tomato Vegetable Stew

My wife and I cook differently. She has a whole bunch of cookbooks, marked with family favorites, some for 5 generations. It’s all good stuff.

I’m the scientist in the kitchen. A cursory look in the pantry, grab a few things of whatever is available, add a bit of this and a bit of that, and hope it all comes out in the end.

Today’s Experiment:

I found some chicken strips in the freezer, so I heated up some oil in the skillet, and stir fried them.

Found two 8 oz. cans of diced tomatoes, one with chilies, one with lime and cilantro. Dumped them into a stockpot.

Grabbed two 16 oz. boxes of chicken broth, dumped them into the stock pot.

Dumped in a 3/4 cup of barley.

Added a tablespoon each of sea salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.

Chopped the chicken into 1/2 cubes, dumped them into the pot.

Boiled for 45 minutes, and added 1.5 cups of mixed frozen veggies (corn, carrots and green beans).

We have a keeper!

If the women don’t find you handsome, let them find you handy, especially in the kitchen (and clean up after yourself)!

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The 5 gallon chicken nest

In the past, we have made egg laying boxes for our chickens out of 5 gallon pails. Lay the pail on it’s side, and cut 3/4′s of the lid surface away, leaving the ring and about a 3″ lip. Screw two 2″ x 2″ 10″ long rails down the sides at the 5 and 7 o’clock positions (roughly) to keep the bucket from rolling. However, the good folks at Fowl Stuff have made a $16 snap on cover for your bucket that is ideal, and takes the work out of it.

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Raising small animals in your backyard

Today’s podcast is about raising small animals in your back yard. We discuss chickens, goats, and rabbits, and the products they produce. Chickens provide eggs and meat, goats produce meat and milk products, rabbits produce meat, and goats and rabbits can produce clothing products (certain breeds provide wool). Even chicken feathers can be used if need be. Of course, do not forget to compost the manure and bedding for your garden. Goats are a natural way to prepare a overgrown field for future gardening (use pigs as a intermediate step), and chickens can keep the insect population down. Read more and listen to our podcast at http://www.green-trust.org/podcasts/.

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Water Hyacinth – Biofilter and Chicken Feed

I’ve had a few questions about what plants to put in the biofilters for the fish tanks. Trav uses water hyacinth (and duckweed) in the breeder tanks for bio-filtration, and when it gets too thick (and it does), it’s harvested for chicken feed. They love the plants. Apparently it’s too bitter for human consumption. Trav told me I could try it, but I’m not that hungry yet. We are moving fish indoors today into the new breeder tanks we set up.

Read more about BarrelPonics at http://www.fastonline.org

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The 5 Gallon Chicken Feeder and Waterer

Ok, first the feeder:

1 5 gal bucket.
1 lid for bucket.
1 24 inch plastic planter base (3″ – 4″ deep)

Drill 1″ holes all the way around the base of the bucket. Bolt the planter base to the bucket. 5 gal bucket will hold about 40 lbs of feed. Lid keeps debris and critters out of the bucket.

Now the waterer:

1 5 gal bucket.
1 lid for bucket.
1 24 inch plastic planter base (3″- 4″ deep)

At the top of the bucket, about 1.5″ below the rim, drill a hole about 1/2″ in diameter or a little less. Fill bucket with water and place lid on tightly (must be air tight). Turn bucket upside down (water will come out as you do this) and set it upside down in planter base.

Planter base (saucer) can be found at Walmart.com for about $6.

5 Gallon Bucket and Lid can be found at Lowes for about $4.

Here’s a slightly different version:

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Why Composting, and How to do it!

We have posted quite a bit about composting lately, and we have done that because we believe it’s so important. Valuable nutrients are being wasted by the ton in this country when folks consider everything as garbage that needs to be landfilled. This causes landfill space issues in addition to losing the nutrients being thrown away.

The breakdown of biological matter is called digestion. There are two types, aerobic (with air, better known as composting), and anaerobic (without air, used in producing biogas (methane)).

We cover methane gas production and usage (water and space heating, electrical generation and more) in other material at http://green-trust.org/freebooks/ and http://green-trust.org/products/.

In this article, we are going to concentrate on aerobic digestion, more commonly known as composting.

There are several methods for composting. Some are outdoor methods, where materials are piled, sometimes in a bin, or in a row, and nature is left to take it’s course. Some are more intentional, where the material is turned or rotated, speeding up the process.

There are indoor methods as well, including worm composting and mushroom composting.

Worm composting produces a high quality soil amendment (worm castings), a liquid fertilizer (worm tea), and of course, worms, which can be used as chicken or fish food, or sold to fishermen. The most common composting worm is Eisenia Fetida, or red worm.

Mushroom composting is another option, especially with woody yard waste, which does not normally compost well. The byproducts are mushroom compost, and of course, mushrooms, which are a healthy food crop that can be used for personal consumption or commercial resale.

The goal here is to produce high nutrient value soil amendments and fertilizer, improving the soil quality, and growing better plants without chemical additives.

Another method is grub composting. The grubs consume all the biological matter (including “uncompostables” like meat and human/pet poo), so instead of giving you compost, they give you high protein grubs, to be used as chicken or fish food. As fish and vegetable gardens (or aquaponics) do not use dirt as a growing medium (it’s a form of hydroponics), compost is not needed, but high quality fish food is.

For all the above methods, there are a variety of DIY options as well as commercial products available. We have built worm and grub bins using plastic storage tubs, barrels and buckets, compost bins using old pallets, and mushroom beds using woodchips and logs. The following links will lead you to DIY plans, as well as the packaged commercial solutions.

These topics are discussed at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/IndoorGardening/

Further reading:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Composting

http://whatbethat.com/%20mushroomhandbook/index.html

http://www.redwormcomposting.com/

http://green-trust.org/freebooks/

http://www.fastonline.org/content/view/15/29/

http://green-trust.org/products/

http://blacksoldierflyblog.com/

http://weblife.org/humanure/

http://web.extension.illinois.edu/homecompost/methods.html

CompostMania.com is a comprehensive online destination for all things composting, encouraging people to reduce their ecological footprint and reconnect with their local ecosystem through composting, organic gardening, and promoting the Earth’s natural lifecycle.

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GRUB COMPOSTING AND THE BIOPOD PLUS

If your goal is to provide your fish, chickens or bullfrogs with a low-impact, continuous supply of high quality protein with nothing more than discarded food scraps, you may want to consider raising a colony of beneficial insects or grubs.  While you can build a DIY system to house your colony, the most convenient and timesaving method for rearing this species is using a BioPod Plus – a proprietary device that incorporates 10 years of R&D into the design.  The BioPod™ Plus utilizes the Black Soldier Flies, Hermetia illucens which is a polyphagous* insect native to the Southeastern US, but has been naturalized in most temperate and tropical regions of the planet.  Unlike other species of flies, they are considered beneficial and are not a vector for pathogens that cause disease in humans. Similar to redworms, they are able to bioconvert food scraps into usable biomass, namely their durable grub bodies.  In comparison, grubs digest much faster than redworms; a BioPod Plus colony can consume up to 5 POUNDS of food scraps in only 12-36 hours, instead of weeks, as is the case with redworms.  Besides the weather-resistant, reusable pod, all you really need is a constant supply of mixed food scraps and some full shade.

GRUB COMPOSTING PODS ARE FUN, FAST & SAFE

Besides their amazing digestion rate, the mature grubs are very prolific.  A single egg case can hatch out 400-600 larvae, which are basically born hungry.  If fed, maturity is reached in 2-3 weeks through a series of growth stages called instars.** In the last phase, the grubs appear darker than the younger siblings, taking on a grey-brown coloration. The primary goal of these mature grubs is to crawl out of the active pile and find a safe place to settle down and pupate.  Our proprietary pods take advantage of this natural, auto-separation tendency and allow for the voluminous collection of plump grubs into the harvest bucket. Depending on the season, this protein rich grub will either hatch out into an adult in 1-2 weeks, or remain dormant until weather conditions are more favorable.  During the warmer months, you can raise many generations of grubs, producing a substantial quantity of live insect feed – that may be used fresh or frozen. The only real maintenance besides collecting grub tea from time to time, is an annual dumping of the compost and castings into your worm bin or compost pile, along with a thorough cleaning using a garden hose sprayer.

SUSTAINABILITY & SELF RELIANCE

Despite their pervasiveness in the environment, mankind uses only a small fraction of insect species for beneficial use.  Noteworthy examples include the honeybee, silkworm and praying mantis.  We are hoping that over the next decade, the raising of grubs becomes as commonplace as redworm colonies or compost bins.  Like solar panels, insect farming will allow you to become more self-sufficient (in this case by creating protein at home) using natural processes that don’t require constant purchases, but in fact, use a neglected waste stream.  If your food scraps are limited, get an old kiddie pool and start growing duckweed – the grubs will devour it faster than your stale bagels. By making a slightly boiled or dehydrated grub meal, you can virtually eliminate the expensive acquisition of high protein feed for your poultry or aquatic animals. For example, by following the ‘Golden Rule of Chicken Feed’ – where their diet consists of 1/3 grain, 1/3 green and 1/3 insects – your flock can be completely sustainable.  The grain component comes from seed plants landscaped on the sides of your own garden: millet, sorghum, milo, amaranth, sunflower, and open-pollinated corn. The greens are provided by healthy fields and converted lawns (you’re not still tending useless turf are you?). And the critters, which contain the coveted, high quality proteins, are provided in the form of black soldier fly grubs raised by you in your very own grub composter. Simple, elegant, natural.

  
Learn more and get your own Biopod Plus at http://www.green-trust.org/wordpress/2011/08/16/the-ultimate-in-composting-has-arrived/

* eats a variety of foods (fats, proteins, carbohydrates)
** growth stages involving molting

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