Paul Gautschi/Garden of Eden chickens?

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by MomMommyMamma, Jul 29, 2015.

  1. MomMommyMamma

    MomMommyMamma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I recently watched the Back to the Garden of Eden film. Very interesting. One thing that really got my attention was his chickens. From what I can gather, he throws all yard/garden waste in the pen. Also throws wood ash in. Claims there's no smell and the dirt in the pen appeared to be beautiful, light, non-compacted compost that he then uses in his garden. We live in a VERY wet area (West Virginia). It rains every month of the year here. I'm wondering if anyone else uses this method of scraps to chickens equals compost in a wet area?
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    I can tell you that I try to keep a mulch on my garden year round. My first garden was in a heavy clay area, wet, invaded by tree roots and too shady. One would think the mulch would make it even wetter, but not so. The mulch kept the frost from penetrating so deeply, allowed me to be in that spot planting weeks before my neighbors could get into their gardens. IMO, any time you cover bare soil with either plant material or mulch, you are doing a good thing. I hate to see naked soil! I am impressed with Paul's approach, and am working towards that with my new coop situation. I've built the new coop on newly cleared land, which is heavy clay subsoil (to enable me to use my best soil area for gardening. It will take me several years to turn that clay around the coop into acceptable soil. Tossing the used litter from the coop to the run is a good starting place. No reason not to use your compostable material. I love to add grass clippings, and leaves to the litter. Wood ash in moderation is a good thing also! Give it 2 years, and you'll have some real good stuff going on in your run!

    Hats off to you with your home schooling effort! Your children are receiving a wonderful advantage.
     
  3. SunshineAnShade

    SunshineAnShade Out Of The Brooder

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    Im so glad i came across this thread! I was reaching the best way to do deep litter method and came across back to Eden. I've only been able to watch half the video so far and plan to finish the rest. However i then started looking up the proper steps for BTE and came across a site that had FAQ for Paul specifically about his chickens.

    It asked things from what does he feed them, to what does he feel makes a perfect coop. In the answer it states he uses an old shed and wood chips for bedding. Wood chips for bedding!?! [​IMG] before i ever researched deep litter method, we were cutting down overgrown forsythia bushes and chipping them and i had it in mind to either compost it or use it for bedding. That is until i read to only use kiln dried shavings for the deep litter because too much moisture could promote mold.

    Here is a link to the FAQ page i found: http://www.l2survive.com/garden/back-to-eden-garden/back-to-eden-garden-faq/
    The coop question is about halfway down.

    I would love to know if any one has tried deep litter method using the Back to Eden method of wood chips (green parts and all)!
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2015
  4. aggiemae

    aggiemae Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use sand in the coop but I do this in my chicken yard to keep down the dust and the flies and as long as you keep adding new materials it keeps the chickens occupied too. The shreddings come from our trees and laurel that we have professionally trimmed once a year. The company chips everything right into the chicken yard.

    My neighbors that don't use poison or fertilized bring over lots of grass in spring and mowed up leaves in fall. No one here waters their grass so has slowed down some with the hot weather.but right now I have tons of weedy grass in my asparagus bed that I will pull and dump in at some point. I rake out a section mow and then, enough tp fills two 55 gallon tumblers. I add water now and them and tumble daily and in a few weeks into 15-20 (dry) gallons of compost.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2015
  5. SunshineAnShade

    SunshineAnShade Out Of The Brooder

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    I use sand in the coop but I do this in my chicken yard to keep down the dust and the flies and as long as you keep adding new materials it keeps the chickens occupied too. The shreddings come from our trees and laurel that we have professionally trimmed once a year. The company chips everything right into  the chicken yard. 




    I definitely plan to do this in their run. Right now i would say half the run is dirty and the other half is grass. I know once the chicks grow, i can say bye bye to the grass unless i put some screen boxes on top of a small section so they only eat the tips. Otherwise i have a 55 gallon container of chipped Forsythia waiting to be composted in the run. I've already started using it in my garden. I have a ton more that needs to be chipped still! Lol
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2015
  6. FridayYet

    FridayYet Innocent Bystander

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    I definitely do deep litter in the run, and I wish I had started in the garden as well.

    Cottonwood leaves, grass clippings, garden scraps, many weeds all go in the run and disappear pretty quickly into the litter. I love it, and so do the chickens. No smell, no flies, no mess.

    I live in a dry area and my run is covered for shade (used to be a carport) so I have to water it down frequently in the summer. Gives them cool soil to dig down to and get relief from the heat.
     
  7. islafarm

    islafarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I live in a wet and warm humid area and we use wood chips, shavings and leaves in the run. I compost my food and farm scraps with black soldier fly larvae and then that compost goes into the run too for my girls to dig through, aerate and mix with wood shaving / leaves before I put it in my garden. If there's good ventilation and the material is being moved daily by the chickens, maybe with occasional help from you too, then it should break down relatively quickly. With a large surface area with lots of exposure to the air and to the soil below it breaks down like it would on the forest floor: into a nice soft humus. I'd definitely encourage you [​IMG]
     
  8. Chicken girl 15

    Chicken girl 15 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm in upstate NY and throw all garden and yard waste as well as pine bedding and hay into the run. The girls mix everything very well. The coop is strictly pine horse bedding that as it needs cleaned just gets shoved into the run. I clean the nest boxes daily and the coop when needed gets scooped with a cat litter scoop. Nothing fancy or in depth. Come tilling season I will take the large stuff out and shovel the good stuff to the garden and start all over again. I feed them well they feed my garden and family well. Its a happy relationship.
     
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    Gotta love it. And, that is exactly why I got chickens. Bug patrol is also a huge factor for me. We've recently been afflicted with hawk predation. So, I'll be changing up my management style. Building a permanent run across the back and east side of the coop with bird netting over the top. I hate to moth ball my electronet, but... it will not be completely eliminated. I plan to use it around the garden, and can configure it to give an added extension to their permanent run.
     
  10. myfivegirls

    myfivegirls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've found you can use "aviary netting" - has 2" holes & made of a heavy duty material compared to the regular bird netting. If you set up your permanent yard with "grass paddocks", you can still let them have grass, if you rotate them & let the grass regrown in between. I have a "compost area", with surrounding grass paddocks, and it works well. You may be able to do the same thing with your electronet just with gates going from the permanent yard & moving the electronet before it gets too worn down. Just an idea to consider.



    I too have watched many Back to Eden videos, especially the ones by l2surive's channel. I think it's incredible that Paul had enough garden produce to feed his chickens, but he also has fewer than what I have.
    I've been wanting to try using wood chips in the coop, but most are wooden floors. But, I'm in the process of building new "coops" / grow out or breeding pens, which will be dirt floor covered in thick layers of wood chips.
     

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