Posts tagged with ‘Vegetables’

 

Introducing the Peck-It-Clean Veggie Feeder for Chickens

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

We feed our chickens lots of loose greens, veggies, and garden scraps. They love them. But since chickens eat by pecking and tearing, loose foods like these can get tossed about in the coop, trampled in the run, and sometimes not eaten at all.

So we looked around for a device — something like a hay feeder for larger animals — that would hold loose veggies in place, providing enough resistance to allow chickens to eat more naturally and efficiently. We didn’t find anything, so we set about to create our own DIY veggie feeder, something that would be easy to make and would work in any coop or run.

The final product was so simple and so perfect for the job. It’s now our favorite thing in the coop (after the chickens, I’m obligated to say):

Chickens eating from Veggie Feeder

How it works

To see how it works, take a look as our flock makes quick work of a large zucchini in the veggie feeder. The video is at 20x speed, actually, so this one piece of fruit kept them active for a full 20 minutes:

Make your own, or get one from us

You can easily make your own veggie feeder if you have the supplies on hand (a grill/grate/grid or a section of heavy-gauge wire mesh with openings of around 1″ or 1.5″; a weather-proof elastic cord and toggle; and outdoor-rated zip/cable ties).

If not, order one of ours — the Peck-It-Clean™ Veggie Feeder for Chickens. It’s priced right, ships free and fast, looks nice in matching black, and goes up in minutes. And while it’s a handy accessory to have in your coop year round, it’s particularly useful for helping your chickens stay active and well nourished in the colder months.

Check it out, leave a comment or question below, and pass the idea along!

Po-boy & The Garlic: Or how to protect your vegetables with a secure garden enclosure

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

Here in the city, we don’t have to worry so much about our vegetable garden getting gobbled up by foragers like deer or rabbits. But we do have our own band of interlopers to contend with: squirrels, crows, and, in our case, a curious tomcat named Po-boy.

Po-boy is our neighbors’ cat. He’s adorable, and he’s perfectly welcome in our yard. He’s welcome to visit the chickens. . .

Cat at peace with backyard chickens

He’s welcome to climb the persimmon tree. . .

Po-boy climbs the persimmon tree by the chicken coop

But he’s no longer welcome to frolic in our garlic.  (more…)

Make It Your Own: Rob and Tansy’s Veggie Garden and Chicken Coop, Bendigo, Victoria (Australia)

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Rob and Tansy's Australian Garden Coop chicken coop from metric instructions
Spring is right around the corner. . . in Australia, anyway, where the season starts the first of September. In honor of that, I’m featuring the gorgeous garden and coop of Rob and Tansy K. of Bendigo, Victoria. They used the metric version of our plans to build The Garden Coop to house their chooks, modifying the size somewhat to fit atop an existing brick raised garden bed and to incorporate found and recycled materials. The result is not only a beautiful backyard chicken coop, but one with character and history right from the start. Read on for more, including a look at a regional magazine feature that showcased their creation. The rest of the post comes directly from Rob. . . . (more…)

How to build raised garden beds to fit The Garden Ark mobile chicken tractor

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

How to build a chicken coop that fits a raised garden bed.

One of the nice things about The Garden Ark mobile chicken coop is that you can move it around your yard or garden to focus your chickens’ grazing activity where you want it — just roll it across your lawn or place it atop your vegetable rows.

But what if you prefer to garden in raised beds? How can you incorporate The Garden Ark into your garden rotation so that your hens can graze, till, and help fertilize your garden before or after harvest?

In this tutorial, I show you how to build a raised vegetable bed that fits The Garden Ark design perfectly.  (more…)

New Book: Free-Range Chicken Gardens by Jessi Bloom

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, and while I’m admittedly biased in this case — that’s a real-life Garden Coop chicken coop in the background of the cover shot! — garden designer Jessi Bloom’s new book Free-Range Chicken Gardens is as lush and inspiring as the chicken paradise featured on the front.

The premise of the book is simple: how do you best integrate chickens into a backyard vegetable or permaculture garden. Bloom does a wonderful job of showing you how, drawing not only from her own experience as a garden designer and chicken keeper, but also from the experiences of a diverse group of chicken gardeners she profiles throughout the book.

Topics covered include all the basics of keeping backyard chickens plus how to create a plan for a chicken-friendly garden and what plants to include/avoid in your chickens’ day yard. The illustrations are clear. Kate Baldwin’s photos are gorgeous.

Seriously, if I were a chicken, I’d want to live in this book — or at least in one of the gardens featured in this book — one of which is the handiwork of horticulturalist Alana Meyer. Alana’s sumptuous Washington State garden adorns the book’s cover along with the chicken coop she built using The Garden Coop plans and her own two hands.

Have you read Jessi’s book? Follow her blog? Leave a quick comment and let us know what you think, what you’ve learned, and what you’ve been inspired to do with your garden and chickens.

Make It Your Own: Bree’s Garden Ark, Portland, Oregon

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

This Garden Ark chicken coop was built to fit perfectly over the raised gardening beds.

Bree built her Garden Ark mobile chicken tractor to fit perfectly atop the raised beds in her Portland, Oregon vegetable garden. And she trimmed the skid ends to work as handles. Here are some notes she shared about the project. . .

I have eight garden beds the same dimensions, and my plan is to move the ark along twice a year or thereabouts, fertilizing and composting in place. I tinkered with the dimensions slightly to have it match the footprint of the beds. And I reversed the egg door and double door sides so that the full panels would be on the south and west sides for better weather proofing and optimal chicken viewing.

The plans were great! Thanks so much for such detailed instructions. By the way, I found it much easier to work with the hardware cloth on the roll. I left it on the roll as I laid it out and stapled it, and then cut it after I’d secured enough to know it wasn’t going to start curling up on me. This was especially helpful for the longest stretch of cloth covering the front and top.

Finally, I’m proud to say that as a newly single mum, I did it all myself. Every bit. I had help moving it, and that was it. It really is possible for one woman who is reasonably handy to do this herself.

** UPDATE: I’ve since created this tutorial for building raised beds that are sized to fit The Garden Ark perfectly. Take a look! **

Thanks to Bree for sharing her ideas for building and personalizing The Garden Ark. If you’ve found this post helpful, let her know in the comments below.

Growing Gardens’ primer on double-digging and sheet mulching

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Great post at Growing Gardens’ blog on how they prepare vegetable beds for their garden installations. They use a combination of double-digging, a method that loosens the soil to a depth of about two feet while incorporating rich compost, and sheet mulching, which involves layering newspaper or cardboard with compost, leaves, straw, and the like.  

We’ve used both methods separately and together in our own veggie gardens with great results. What’s more, the abundance of composted chicken manure we get from our hens makes a super fertilizer to mix into a newly prepared bed. That’s right, it ain’t all about the eggs.