Desert Birds & A bonus critter--Chickens, Ducks, Pigeons, Hyraxes?
Location: Makkah, Saudi Arabia
posted 1 year ago
As one of the few here trying to get an operating silvopasture farm in a hot/arid landscape, I was wondering what is out there regarding rotating poultry. We are past the point that I should have added animals, and since our climate seems to require doing everything backwards (sunken beds instead of raised beds, aquifer recharge instead of ponds, etc), I think we need our own subject for doing this.
I already have pigeons on my site, with an earth bag pigeon house we built. We haven't started intense management of it--in fact we didn't buy any pigeons. But we have 4 that have moved in and are living off the site. I think we could multiply that 100 fold with a bit of management and some more attention. I am under the impression that pigeons require the least labor out of all of these.
With chickens, i'm trying to figure out what kind of rotation I can do and also what kind of coop. With a standard coop, our hens would die from the heat, so it has to be something both well ventilated and well shaded, while being harvestable and mobile I am planning on starting a small flock once temps fall in October, and just trying some things out, but I am wondering what other peoples' experiences have been. Ours are going to eat fallen prosopis pods, pithecellobium pods, mooring pods, and fallen leaves as forage off our tree systems, and i expect to have to supplement it to start out with.
When I was in the Guatemalan desert i noticed a lot of people kept ducks, but they were mostly fed household scrap rather than foraging. Having a pool of water where I am seems almost nonsensical on a broad scale, but perhaps in a zone 2/zone1 border?
BONUS CRITTERS: The Arabian Hyrax.
I am also going to buy a few clutches of hyraxes, which in our context sell for about 125 dollars per head (for meat). They are native to our context and are tremendously hardy.
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