The Lost Art of Zen Chicken Sitting

Saint James Garden Blog

Shepard Thomas, son of Lisa Turner, has been known to chase chickens. (He feels bad about that.)

Today, however, he tried a different approach–the more meditative Chicken Sitting. The girls appeared to be gratified by the offering of unearthed tomato plants and bolted lettuce, and they sent an envoy to check out the feather Shepard was holding.

I believe that Shepard’s relationship with his coop friends improved mightily today. (Now if we could convince his sister to do the same . . .)

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We love our chicken shelters

The Farm at Woods Hill

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Our broiler shelters are made with very simple parts (we are happy to give explanations to anyone who wants specifics) and they are light and easy to move. Everyday we drag the shelters downhill so the chickens have a fresh place to roost at night. The chickens are free to come and go in their shelters all day and night within their electric netting.

IMG_2762IMG_2764 Building the shelters is a pretty fast project… 


As a finished shelter, they withstand the elements and keep our chickens happy and healthy.

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Fox on an Island


J got more chickens… 7 more to be exact. Now we have 9 wonderful chickens to chase around haha. This round are just 4 weeks old, and my goodness are they ever ugly. I say that with love of course! Just like awkward pre-teens… The original plan was to get them when they were 8 weeks of age but the mother seems to have gotten over the idea of mothering and began to compete with them for food, so the woman raising them asked us to take them early. Bubble and Squeak are not sure what to think of this development, but hopefully they will become friends quickly. For anyone who is curious, these chickens are all to be pets and for egg collection only. Not meat.


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Chickies, Duckies and Turkeys…Oh my!

Big Sky + You + I

So we finally got some chickens!

…and then some more little chickies

…and some duckies

…and some more chicks and duckies

…and we even ordered some turkeys (which haven’t arrived yet, thankfully, since we’re running out of room!)


It all happened so fast that I didn’t have much time to think it through. Every time we went to The Feed Bin, our local feed store, to pick up an order of birds that just came in, there were always extras. Sweet little extra babies that needed a home…and we knew we had the perfect one for them! I mean, what chicken wouldn’t want to wake up to this mountain view?


We were like giddy little kids in a candy store pointing to all different shapes colors and sizes of birds saying, “Let’s take one of these, and 4 of those. Oh and look at that one right there! It has fuzzy little…

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Herbs for Hens

Village Life New Zealand

I had read Linda Woodrow’s book, The Permaculture Home Garden before returning back to the village block and distinctly remembered her advise to include a range of herbs in the chook bucket so they could self medicate.

Over the years since I have included a wide range of herbs in my chooks diet and have never had any problems with their health. Predominantly the herbs I have used are thyme, rosemary, oregano, fennel, tarragon, parsley, basil, coriander … the list goes on.

From references I have learnt that herbs often accumulate micro-nutrients. Linda lists these in relation to use in the compost as mulch, and specifically mentions yarrow and thyme being beneficial for chickens to “dose themselves against intestinal worms”. There is also a cautionary note about using some herbs like comfrey which contains an alkaloid called pyrrolizidine and could be unhealthy in large doses to chickens.

I also use…

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