Chickens are the core of our garden and beneficial in many ways. They provide us with fresh eggs, control insects and weeds, fertilize our gardens, eat food scraps, help us loosen and turnover soil, but most of all our chooks provide companionship and a place of worth to the kids and their families.
Chooks are an enormous learning tool with all the natural instincts they display. Dust bathing, flying, foraging for food, hiding, nesting, perching, scratching in the dirt, stretching and walking, but most of all, our chooks love to jump on kids knees and get comfy for some cuddles.
Take a look at the compost our chooks have created. This is the result of 3 months of chicken coop flooring that has been turned into a fantastic amount of compost ready for the garden. The floor of our coop measures 2.5 x 3.5 meters.
Students food scraps feed the chickens, as well as a dedicated chicken patch containing kale, bok choi and green manure to feed the chooks daily. Our vegetable garden thrives with organic composted matter created through the chickens turning over the collected matter. By using all our available resources such as shredded paper, food scraps, we are able to reduce our carbon foot print and create a healthy, manageable system where the school, the chickens and the environment benefits.
To keep the chooks cool and entertained over the summer they are given a few special treats. Corn and pomegranate frozen into yogurt containers, frozen water with mint leaves is another favorite. Families and students of the school help by freezing any kitchen scraps they may have in containers and bring them along on warm days.
Keeping chickens is more than just about eggs, they teach us, they calm us, the help us and they delight us all.