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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Gardening In Small Spaces Part III - Add Chickens

A bright cheery Sunflower you might think.
But its more!
It is a form of natural protection for the chickens who live behind the wire
and it is a source of food also for those chickens at the end of its life.
Izaac also has constructed a fowl yard in his tiny backyard for two hens. They have a coop and nest box and a fenced yard built in under his back stairs.
They have room for a dust bath and seasonal protection from various plants in summer and he can stack insulating hay bales along one side in the winter.
When he is gardening he lets them free range alongside him.

He is very particular about ensuring rodent control. He keeps their food separately in a vermin proof container and feeds them well before sunset and ensures all food is eaten so none is left around for mice or rats.
He originally fed a diet of mostly organic grain but found that their health suffered and has since switched to a layer pellet which is a balanced and complete food. This diet is supplemented with food preparation scraps from a local cafe where his girlfriend works and of course the hand sourced bugs and caterpillars from his precious vegetables.

He cleans out the area every second day and does a thorough clean with a change of straw etc every week to ten days.
Again, this material is all valuable for the garden and compost bins. He gets about a dozen eggs a week in summer which suits the two of them perfectly.
He has made the coop from recycled materials and to his own design; he can enter the yard and stand comfortably, the chickens are safe and secure and they have easy access to the nesting box.

I am so darn proud of what this young man achieves here and the beauty of the complete systems he has within his environment. He demonstrates that it is not only possible to garden meaningfully and productively in a few square metres, but that it is also possible to include animal husbandry to compliment the cycle. He is also exploring the idea of raising meat rabbits too. I have no doubt that if additional funds were available he would have an aquaculture system going too!

In a typical year he grows; rhubarb, carrots, broad beans, spinach, silverbeet, peas, herbs, eggplant, cabbage,lettuce, sunflowers, beetroot, kale, tomatoes, popcorn, sweet corn, zucchini, strawberries, chillies, capsicums/peppers, garlic, onion, chives, pumpkins, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, mixed Asian greens, mixed Italian greens, climbing beans......

His garden is low cost requiring a spade and a fork and a hose. Straw is purchased.
Borders and pen all made from recycled and sourced materials.
Thank you for sharing your garden Izaac. I think it should be featured in the open garden scheme.


  1. It's so cool to see what someone can do with determination even in a small space. Thanks for sharing.

  2. terrific and inspirational! Thank you for 3 great posts, Tanya.

  3. Another great post Tanya, I was going to comment yesterday and ask 'was there any room for chooks?'
    Obviously there is.........but do they have names?

    Izaac appears to have made good use of every square inch of his suburban back yard, such an inspiration.

    Is there room for a water collection system of some sort as that would cut down the water usage costs.

    I bet he can't wait to get some land of his own and then he could really 'go to town'.

    Well doen Izaac,

    Claire :}

  4. I really enjoyed watching these post about his garden. An inspiration!

  5. I have enjoyed these blogs on Izacs garden.
    Well done.


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