Chickens in Permaculture

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by shortgrass, Jun 12, 2015.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Does the feces come of the same operation? If being brought in you are starting to operate like typical US production systems where energy and nutrients are moved about causing areas of concentration. The not properly redispersing gets you into a realm I would not classify as permaculture.
     
  2. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    Well yes, it's all the same "operation".... The whole ranch encompasses about 4 sq miles... The sheep pastures are about a mile north of this field. Don't really want good compost sitting in a pasture, and our crops are *mostly organic (i say mostly because of issues of pesticide drift from the neighbor, and the wheat is not organic.) The corn and hay are....this wheat field will be a corn field next year... So yes, its the same operation...but it had to be hauled out of the barn and to the field lol... Its not really " typical" procedure for most US farms... I am trying to UNDO what my typical parents and grandparents did to this beautiful ground ;)

    Either way, if there was a huge flood that came and washed all my sheep poo down the hill into the corn for me, it would be very helpful lol, but planting corn in a pasture is going to take a LOT more poo than that haha :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2015
  3. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    Self- sustaining... Permaculture IS such a broad term, just like "organic" has become lol... I just figured it was incorporating what grows naturally in your clime and improving tith of soil to reduce water needs, without chemicals or conventional till... I guess the goal "here" is to be completely independent of the need for even going to the store...I'm thinking "colony" or "compound" like living. Completely self sufficient. I don't have any milk cows. :( I go to the store for milk. I'm looking into goats; I don't care for milking cows ;).. Lol I consider that a form of "permaculture". ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2015
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    From my perspective you deviate from pernaculture when you start transporting nutrients any distance from the ground they are derived, even if from within the same operation if the operation is large. Four square miles will meet the criteria for most as a large scale operation. If the components of the operation are more thoroughly integrated spatially where distances materials are small then the permaculture description would be more applicable.
     
  5. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    There's a way bigger picture here than typical every day "permaculture" hobby.... This is reclaiming what has been damaged by 60 years of poor landanagement and chemical application. ... The use of permaculture is what has returned 75% of this back to its original glory. Untouched pastures for miles...except for a herd of cows and a couple lambing barns that don't belong there lol... Restoring also means moving things that don't apply or interfere with the course of "nature".

    In essence, the compost that you take from your kitchen and then scoop compost around the tomato, that is already moving it. The tomato staying on the plant, where it grew, where it seeded itself, where it will die and become fertilizer, is not the definition of permaculture. That is what I would call " naturalizing".

    Permaculture is using what is already there to repair or sustain itself without need for anything else. By loading big logs with soil that you dug up, THAT is not what it is. You have to move the logs AND dig the soil. By that definition I would gather that using everything to its fullest potential is the key.

    Picture this: 2500 acres, 1700 of pasture and wetland. The rest plowed into circles and my grandparents poisoned the soil and now i have to fix it..it takes YEARS to undo chemucal damage, and we have to live too... I'd love to see all of it returned to its former glory..Bison, antelope, prairie chickens.... Prarie dogs. That's what belongs here. So I don't have bison or antelope. I have cattle and sheep. They are free range...but I have to provide a tank because the water will dry up by August. Does that mean that my cattle will die? No! I provide water. If I removed the water I would have to remove the cattle. Then it would be back to "natural". Permaculture is incorporating a DESIGN of sustainability with thought of the 29th century woes...

    I have to raise crops. No choice there. But I don't have to use chemicals and moving poop one mile to the south to help get poop out of a pasture and into a cornfield is exactly what permaculture is about. Not wasting anything. If I had it my way, the barns wouldnt be there. The sheep would lamb out in the pasture like the cattle and if coyotes get them, that's what nature intended lol... Prairie chickens. All I want is free happy chickens haha ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2015
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  6. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    I do have to say though, it is refreshing to see that I'm not alone in my wee struggle to escape the grips of BIG AG lol... I am usually considered a freak for going against the grain and doing things the "hard" way lol.... Only a nut would want a farm without farming it right? ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2015
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    What crops are you raising?
    Are you using any cover crops to increase friability and nutrient availability?
    Are you rotating your sheep and cattle pastures?
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Distance in paramount. Most CAFO's move some nutrients locked into waste back into fields but distrubition is far from getting a complete cycle for all affected lands. I am not into the poetry of permaculture, but rather the mechanics. You description thus far does not appear to be a scaled up version of permaculture although the concepts you are attempting.
     
  9. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    We grow Alfalfa, wheat, corn, pinto beans, millet, sorghum, and oats... The grain crops are mostly dry land so they get rotated as such...winter wheat, a year of recharge then summer oats etc...corn is organic so we can only rotate with hay right now, sources for organic wheat and bean is very hard to come by and risk of pollen drift is too much right now to stock our own seed :(

    A lot of it is turning CRP, I'm letting the wetlands around Gulley's return to native grasses... Letting the Amaranth grow where it will and swathing it... I'm experimenting with some Buckwheat and rye but that's more for gardening than the crops...experimenting is pricey lol ;)

    And yes, pasture rotation is a MUST. Sheep don't go where cattle go, and there's a summer range and a fall range, then they come home for winter. Bout 4 months at each.


    Well it IS attempting haha ;) restoration takes more than just a year of compost or a bunch of logs when its this much space and this much damage. To fully incorporate it 100% at this point would cause my infrastructure to crumble. I have to take little bites... One field a year would be a major accomplishment but it takes a LOT of time and work to get back to the point to be able to sustain itself. THEN the true benefits of permaculture would be realized... :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2015
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  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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