- What is your new food security plan?
- What are you growing at your back door you werent before?
- Have you got a House Cow or are you thinking of getting one?
Chickens are perfect for an apocalypse because not only will they provide you with delicious eggs and fertiliser for your garden, they will help you stave off boredom.
By NICK RITAR
Chickens are perfect for an apocalypse because not only will they provide you with delicious eggs — about 250 eggs per bird a year — and fertiliser for your garden, they will help you stave off boredom. Chickens are hilarious. When you’re feeling depressed about not being able to watch your favourite band perform live, the chickens will lift your spirits with the way they hunt and chase whatever enters their space. But first you will need a chicken coop. This structure has two parts.
The house protects them from the rain, wind and sun. The run is their main play area. You will need some chicken wire to build a fence around the run. It should be about 2m high with a floppy top leaning outward, so any fox or cat attempting to climb the fence will simply fall to the ground under its own body weight. Similarly, the wire should come all the way to the ground and at least 30cm across the surface of the ground on the outside of the fence, so any dog or fox trying to dig their way in will hit the mesh.
Wrap the wire around star pickets, and posts in each of the four corners. Allow 3sq m for each chicken inside; we don’t want a battery hen operation. Your chicken house can be made from anything that provides shelter. I’ve seen everything from old trampolines to Portaloos and old cars. For a simple house, join together a couple of pallets with star pickets, add some sturdy branches as a perch and whack on a piece of corrugated iron for the roof. Your chickens will compact the soil very quickly; to stop them skating in their own poo, lay down 20cm of straw or sawdust over the area to absorb the manure. This will smell much better and provide a home for worms that your chickens will delight in scratching out.
A final word: start with at least three chickens. Eventually one will die and you don’t want one to be lonely. Even chickens struggle with isolation.