Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mongolian Permaculture: Day 23 – Chickens


Special Guest Entry today from Rick, here is an excerpt on the report we are preparing about the Mongolian Permaculture project:


Chickens were introduced by the Aid Agency in 2004, and only one person sill has chickens remaining.

The reason for this lack of transfer comes directly back to a lack of skills and knowledge of chicken management.

A class was conducted to skill up participants and prepare them for future delivery of chickens.

It was also clear that after observing the chicken house at Tosontsengel that a contract was needed with co-operative members: if they did not have a well designed and built system, than no chickens will be forthcoming.

Chickens will be particularly useful in an urban and suburban setting, as they can be kept in a small space and maintained close to the house. Fertilizer can be generated for small intensive gardens; far more sustainable than importing it from the countryside.

Chickens can supply protein, fertilizer and waste management. For example, in order to feed chickens cheaply, owners will give chickens any waste food to clean up, keeping pests such as rats to a minimum.

Chickens also create high-value produce in the form of eggs and meat, creating an income source whilst only occupying a small space. Eggs fetch 300MNT at market, and our eggs will have yellow yolks and so may well fetch a higher price.

Other niche markets may open up because of higher quality (eg. Restaurants and Hotels).

Chickens should be selectively bred in a similar manner to seed-saving. Traits to look for are:

  • Cold hardiness
  • Fast growth rate
  • Disease Resistant
  • Even temperment
  • Non-flightiness (means lower-fences required)
  • Mothering skills
  • Superior meat
  • Superior eggs
-Rick Coleman-

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