Ex-battery hens in Melbourne?
We're just establishing a Linda Woodrow-type vegie garden, and are soon looking to get some chickens. The plan is that they would spend some of their time digging up our garden beds, and the rest of the time could wander around free range in the paddocks. We're in the process of arranging to get our local Safeway to give us some of the residual vegetables that they chuck out to feed them.
We were hoping that some of our chooks could be rescued ex-battery hens, and some not (we were thinking the latter could teach the former how to scratch and be chooks). Can anyone advise where one can rescue some ex-battery hens? We're in Monbulk (Dandenong Ranges), Victoria. Looks like Queensland has an active ex-battery hen adoption program, but from what I've read out on the internet, your best bet in Victoria is to go find a market where the battery farms are selling their chooks. I'm not at all sure how to find such a market, however.
Any ideas would be much appreciated!
Hi Marta - I don't know the answer to your question, but I thought you might like to know that there is a group of us using the Woodrow system who post in a group called Mandala Town. If you go to the Community Tab and look under Groups you'll find us there. Plenty of accumulated wisdom to share.
Thanks! I'll definitely check that out.
What is the "Woodrow" system?
It's a system of circular garden beds maintained by chickens in a chicken dome. I was browsing the internet a few months ago and came across this site which talked about it: http://www.small-farm-permaculture-a...egetables.html. I then ordered the book, which is an excellent read!
The book is the Permaculture Home Garden. The system she outlines is basically a fancy mandala with chooks that rotate between the beds held in a dome, fruit trees planted by each bed with fruiting times planned to coincide with the chooks so they get to eat the spoiled ones, and compost piles in between each bed. It's a great basic recipe for a beginner new to Permaculture. It was my introduction to it. She writes so elegantly and inspiringly that I couldn't put the book down and it has literally changed my life.
Purple Pear has a commercial sized system at his place using her plan.
Linda's blog is here.
Last edited by eco4560; 10-07-2011 at 07:58 PM.
Hmm, thank you. I seem to be having a problem suddenly with my tractor. This might be our new solution.
Hi Marta, Just curious how you went with thhis search. I'm currently looking at getting some chickens in Mooroolbark (not far from you) and thought about doing a rescue too. If you found anything of interest would you mind passing on your information. Kind regards, Melissa
Must have been a time warp with this message, as I already replied to you by email Anyway, just for completeness (in case others are also wondering), we couldn't find any battery hens - there's a group in QLD which rescue chickens and put them up for adoption, but nothing similar here in Victoria. I think you need to basically do a drive around of the various poultry farms and see what you find, or attend the right farmer's market at the right time.
We just got our chooks next week, from a local free range farm in Macclesfield.
Good luck, and if you find anything yourself, please post for future reference!
I think it's worth finding traditional breeds. My friend got some ex-battery highlines and they make me a bit sad: debeaked, not a clue what to do 'outside', really, really thick.
They sure do lay a lot though! I imagine after a few years they've exhausted themselves. I know commercial outfits dispose of their hens very young.
My mum had a light Sussex who laid she till keeled over when she was 12. I can't imagine a highline doing that.
It's also worth going for dual-purpose breeds, so when they're 'past it' you can make a nice soup...
Last edited by pippimac; 18-09-2011 at 08:37 PM.
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