BACKYARD GARDENS – CHICKENS DUCKS AND COMPOST: HEALTHY GARDENS HEALTHY CHICKENS BETTER EGGS FOR YOU!….Having a great place for your garden and poultry flock is easy, you simply need some imagination to make a space they will love, you will love and a space that is great to look at.
These photos show my composting area. It sits on the south side of my duck and chicken barn. It is at the east end of my yard. My entire yard is fenced with chain link, the compost pit is the only space that is also hidden with plastic slats, this keeps my birds free from back alley stresses and keeps the compost food items from view; trying my best to be neighbor friendly.
On the south side of the barn next to the tall plastic cupboard I cut out a square hole and inserted a heavy metal duck door, that is where my ducks enter into their part of the barn.
The chickens enter in from the front with the same type of door as the ducks. Once inside the chickens and ducks cannot mingle, I partitioned off the interior with a wire wall and separate door, they can all see each other but cannot mingle, this keeps my chickens pen free from ducky splat.
From inside the duck area their access door is always open, they can come and go at will as do the chickens. I put a wire roof on the pen for this reason. It is the best way to do it, I never have to wake up early to let them out or be sure to tuck them in at night for safety reasons.
My yard is 150 feet long. The house sits lengthwise on the property. There is a wood deck as you walk out the back door/side door. From that point facing east is the back yard where I built my pen. It is 35 feet long and 25 feet wide. I built a division in the pen that runs from the start of the pen and curves up in front of the barn and meets up to the compost slated fence. This is my first chicken pen greenhouse scheme, I think it’s pretty cool! You can see the tomatoes they are doing excellent. On the left side against our old garage I had corn, red snap beans and cucumbers…key word “had” having the chickens and ducks run or “waddle” throughout offers them excellent forage and adds poultry compost. They spent a lot of time as little babies hiding under the tomato plants when they were not busy jumping for bean leaves.
I also built an entrance gate on the curve. This allows me to separate my flock or simply keep them on one side.
Originally this half of my backyard was my back yard garden. I brought in a load of horse manure and had a great garden but it was just a mud patch for the dogs to defile in the off season…in Alberta that means most of the year!
I decided to turn it into a chicken/duck pen and integrate a garden throughout. I brought in 3 yards of sand and spread it out on top to make my chicken/duck yard.
The strip that I fenced off to the left is still good garden dirt and now I use it as my garden greenhouse, the birds mingle throughout. I plan on building layered shelves against the garage wall for more garden space. I have a water barrel at the far end next to the bench that I sit on to watch and socialize with my flock. I built-in a separate entrance to my greenhouse, it is the white door with the kitty paw print sign. I enter through that greenhouse door or the bigger one with the “work force” sign. The larger work force gate is the one used when I take the wheel barrel to get compost. I have my entire yard designed with gardens that you will see in others pages and posts.
I made some perches with cinder bricks and 4by4. The chickens and ducks love to perch there. The entire pen is visible from my kitchen window, I have to say it’s a beautiful bounty of vegetables in summer thanks to my flock along with an interesting chatter of clucks and quackles all year-long.
Having built a partition fence with a gate in the front of my pen is working out better than I imagined and having built a third gate inside the pen is also a huge benefit.
By building this door I can keep the birds on either side. I separate the ducks and chickens when my pullets turn into cockerels (they always hump my ducks) or when I’ve decided EVERYBODY HAS RAVAGED TOO MANY TOMATOES!