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chickens and getting started with permaculture

 
florence krohn
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We had some friends with chickens and it fascinated me to see how the hens would return to the coop on their own at sundown everyday without fail. So here I am many years later (friends have long left the area) thinking: is this the norm for hens to act like that or was that just an exception?

Also, do you know of any permies in Canada (either BC or Alberta) that could help us establish a permaculture garden/farm and a rmh safely? We are also looking into wind turbines, solar power, and food forests. My daughter and I are not experts, and I'm more enthusiastic about all this than she is, but I think that's because she is concentrating on her work right now. However, I believe these things will all become basic necessities in the near future so I'm reading everything I can get my hands on about these topics but sometimes, I find the info a little overwhelming and would like to make contact with someone that would be available to clarify certain things and help us to get going. A picture, they say, is worth 1,000 words, but someone who knows what they're doing is, to me, worth more than a whole photo album.
 
Natalie McVander
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It depends on the breed of chicken.

The more domesticated the breed, the more easily trained they are.
For instance a Buff Orpington is a highly domesticated breed and easily trained to return to the coop at night.
But game birds, who are are genetically closer to wild birds will naturally fly into trees at night for protection.

This is the reason flocks of guinea fowl are practically impossible to keep in the yards.

If you raise domesticated breed chicks from a young age and keep them in the hen house, that is where they will feel safe and naturally go.
If you get older chickens, you must plan on 2 or 3 weeks of locking them into the hen house nightly, by chasing them in, until they learn that is their safety zone.
 
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