Just like Billy but completely different

  • Just like Billy but completely different

    Posted by GardenGrub on September 14, 2022 at 9:58 pm

    Howdy! Stumbled upon Perma Pastures YT channel a few months ago when I was searching for Texas permaculture videos. And, while I was sad to hear Billy was just visiting his old place and no longer living in Texas, I’ve been fan ever since.

    A little while ago, @Billy put up a video on his no cost chicken raising. And I was thinking… “that’s exactly how I do it except my way is different”. In my case, I’m presently only raising laying hens so no meat birds. I also don’t have a chicken tractor, my birds free range. (The free ranging thing wasn’t my idea, it all started with one very smart pullet who figured out how to get out of the run and then trained the rest of the flock.) And I do still feed a very little feed but not much. Here’s what we do:

    * First, as mentioned above, our gals free range. That allows them to forage for greens and bugs.
    * Second, we keep dairy sheep. Every day I muck out the sheep pens (we put them in a barn overnight) and add to a huge compost pile that the chickens forage in for bugs and whatnot (biota as Billy more accurately calls it).
    * Third, our 14 layers share 1 cup of feed 2x a day. In that feed they do get scrambled eggs in the morning (I know, that violates Billy’s don’t feed chicken to chicken rule), kelp meal and kefir I make from sheep milk. If there’s any left overs from dinner the night before, those go in as well. And I save and pulverize spent egg shells and feed that back to them.

    As for free ranging, we do have tons of hawks and falcons plus coyotes. Hawks had been our biggest problem but what we found is that in just 3 generations, the hens have passed knowledge and they all now know how to avoid the hawks.

    And the compost pile is not turned over hardly ever but over time, if you dig down, you can find plenty of good compost.

    We get more eggs than we can eat so my neighbors are pretty happy to relieve me of extras and don’t mind when my hens go poop in their yard.

    So there you go. Just like how Billy does it ‘cept completely different.

    Picture of a few of my hens foraging in the sheep litter compost pile below.
    Billy replied 1 year, 2 months ago 2 Members · 1 Reply
  • 1 Reply
  • Billy

    Community Leader
    September 15, 2022 at 11:03 am

    It seems like a pretty awesome system to me! Well done my friend!

Log in to reply.