Keeping chickens in an Urban environment is something a lot of people would like to have, but when it comes to roosters – people baulk at the idea knowing their neighbors wont like it. After all, who can blame them when they’re trying to get some sleep? Roosters are known to crow loudly early morning so most people dismiss roosters from the Urban chicken coop.
But not Permaculture teacher Penny Pyett.
For every problem there is a solution.
In this case it was building a strawbale chicken coop with enough insulation to muffle the early morning crowing.
Penny’s chicken coop stands in the food forest garden looking like a rocket ship.
Four tall cement pillars allow access to a wheelbarrow to slide under the coop and any manure can be scraped through a large “nutrient hole” positioned centrally on the concrete slab. Penny advocates using lots of deep litter like straw mulch or wood shavings to absorb any chicken waste.
The main access doorway is split into two smaller wooden doors that can be shut securely or allow air to circulate. On either side of her coop sit two nesting boxes so any eggs laid can be easily retrieved. Any rooster crowing is muffled by the thick sound proofing of the strawbales. The bales also keep the coop cool in summer and warm in winter.
Chicken roosts are placed high in this coop up near the roofline but away from the walls so chicken nutrient at night does not mark the sides of the inner walls. The roof also collects all the rainwater needed to keep the chickens happy over summer.
In the morning, the doors are opened, the chickens are free to wander about in the extended food forest garden, picking off bugs and fertilizing the field. During daylight hours the roosters are allowed to crow outdoors. But come nighttime – its back into the insulated chicken coop and peace and quiet for the neighbours. Penny was keen to tell us that this particular chicken coop design meets all the needs of a chicken. They feel protected from predators and enjoy living in a beautiful strawbale chicken house that is also easy to clean and maintain. A terrific idea that not only looks aesthetically great and works very well too.
Penny’s insulated chicken coop will be featured in the Urban Permaculture DVD produced by Ecofilms.
Guest Post by Eco Films Australia – An independent production house based in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Australia.