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PEP1: Chickens  RSS feed

 
Curtis Budka
Lab Ant
Posts: 109
Location: Southern NH zone 5b
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Note: I'm no chicken expert and I certainly have not done everything listed here, but this list is based on my own experiences and what I've learned from others, particularly Paul.
Feel free to split up, move around, add/remove, change stuff.

White:
-read Paul's Raising Chicken's 2.0 article
-listen to both podcasts on chickens 003 - Chickens, 014 - Chicken Presentation
-design and build a portable coop that isn't a hassle to move, is effective, and reaches a level 10 on all of Paul's grading factors.
-respectfully harvest 10 birds (alexia allen videos here 1, 2)

Yellow/Orange:
-raise 20 chicks as meat birds to slaughter (with respectful harvest method) with no grain feeder, in paddock shift system
-raise 20 chicks as laying hens to slaughter (with respectful harvest method) with no grain feeder, in paddock shift system

Green:
-design a year-round fodder system that is effective even in Montana
-plot paddock systems for grazing around other farm systems for mutual benefits
-raise double the number of birds as the yellow/orange belt but through natural hatching by a broody hen, without an incubator
-manage breeding colonies to ensure genetic diversity, number of hens per rooster
-sell $300 in eggs, meat, feet, other value added products from chickens

Brown:
-raise double the number of birds as the green belt using the same methods
-sell $1,000 in eggs, meat, feet, other value added products from chickens

Black:
-raise double the number of birds as the brown belt using the same methods
-sell $8,000 in eggs, meat, feet, other value added products from chickens


 
Sue Rine
pollinator
Posts: 296
Location: New Zealand
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Did you mean raise laying chicks to slaughter or to point of lay?

Are you allowed, in the US, to slaughter animals and sell meat?
 
Curtis Budka
Lab Ant
Posts: 109
Location: Southern NH zone 5b
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Did you mean raise laying chicks to slaughter or to point of lay?


What I mean is raising them until they are no longer laying, which might be difficult because I've heard of 6-7 year old hens that still lay regularly (if they are provided with the best food source/living conditions a chicken could want)

Are you allowed, in the US, to slaughter animals and sell meat?

I know Joel Salatin harvests his broilers on the farm. I think there is something about having to pre-sell the bird when it is alive and offer the butchering as an included service. I'm pretty sure you have to bring animals such as pigs and cattle to a USDA facility and pay them to do it for you (to produce something you want to sell). Also, this probably varies from state to state too.

 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22170
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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I did a little research and it looks like the average meat eating person eats in one year:

30 chickens
1 turkey
half a pig
0.10 cows
20 fish
200 shellfish

I think I probably eat two eggs a day, every day, for breakfast. At least. And then eggs find their way into lunch and dinner too. . I think it is fair to say that a person might eat a thousand eggs in one year.

So for the green belt, let's say that a person needs to raise and harvest:

20 meat birds
10 layers (mostly roosters)
1 turkey
1000 eggs

So, for the white belt:

4 meat birds
2 layers
200 eggs


For the brown belt:

80 meat birds
40 layers
4 turkeys
4 geese
3000 chicken eggs
1000 duck eggs
mentor five people to getting their white belt

All systems must be paddock shift systems with a portable coop. For the white belt, a small amount of purchased, organic feed can be used. But for the later belts, all chicken feed must come from the land.


So, really this should be "PEP1: Poultry"






 
Michael Cox
Posts: 1659
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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Paul - there is more than one way to skin a cat.

If you specify "it must be a paddock shift system with a moveable pen" you preclude the possibility that there might be other systems out there better suited to an individuals circumstances/climate/feed supplies etc... By your suggestion you preclude a system that feeds the hens compost materials for example. While in many circumstances paddock shift might be most suitable there are also circumstances where fixed/semi-fixed coops in zone 1 might be more appropriate. You also preclude the possibility that someone may come up with a solution that is better than your suggested method.

Personally we live in an area with high fox pressure - we need a permanent fenced run with bomb proof, critter proof coop, but we support this by free ranging etc... secure yet flexible and suiting our needs.

I guess you probably understand what I'm getting at. In my day job I am a teacher - we face unnecessarily proscriptive markschemes all the time and one of the major complaints we have about how our student's work is marked is that if they don't get the precise answer written on the mark scheme they get no credit despite the work often being of exceptional standard. Case in point was a batch of IGCSE (middle school) papers that were awarded marks from E to B grades last year, we got the scripts back and the standard was so high that they simply didn't fit what the examiners were looking for - they were off the top of the chart in quality and could have been degree level essays.

Mike
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22170
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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you preclude the possibility that there might be other systems out there


I think a "better system" would be the thing that would take a person to "black belt".

So far, my experience has been that 96% of people have never raised a chicken, at all, let alone come up with something better.

Out of the 4% that have raised chickens, 99% have done something that I think is lessor than paddock shift. Of that last 1% - I suspect that they either have no interest in PEP1, or they might set up their own PEK1.

I think that the PEP1 stuff is about helping people with little to no experience build what I think is a good experience. I am not saying it is "THE BEST" but I am saying it is what I think is very good.

Further, the standards for PEP1 are set up for my land. Some people will find PEP1 to be of value thousands of miles away. Others will be in areas where they might find greater value in, say, PEF1, than in PEP1.

I don't think PEP1 is about teaching all possible homesteading and permaculture things to all people, but rather a subset of the stuff that I think is best for my property that gives a person a good start in about three years.

 
Seth Peterson
Posts: 94
Location: Berkeley, CA
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About that paddock system and Speaking of flexibility in different chicken systems and different situations. I will go to an extreme example.

I was in Haiti teaching permaculture last month. All the chickens were free range, and came home at night to roost in trees around the houses where their owners lived. And these chickens looked beautiful, shiny feathers, strong and hearty. Not hen pecked at all.

So, for them a paddock system would be a huge investment of time and money, yet give no return whatsoever.

So there must be away to whittle down to essential skills, elements and functions, without precluding other systems.

From the Heart of Berkeley,

Seth Peterson,
permaculture chef
 
Sue Rine
pollinator
Posts: 296
Location: New Zealand
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Were they able to collect eggs or just harvest them for meat?...or just use their services in bug control.
 
Seth Peterson
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Some of each, it varies from family to family.
 
Sue Rine
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Ok, so they must have been able to find their nests...at least some of the time.
 
Seth Peterson
Posts: 94
Location: Berkeley, CA
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Yes, some families were better at it, others not so much.
 
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