There’s a fierce new gang at Groundswell – the chickens have arrived and are laying up a storm. We recently completed our mobile chicken coop, nicknamed the poultry palace, and wasted no time in filling it up with clucking friends. It took about two months and many skilled hands to finish our beautiful avian abode, but now she is sitting proud in the soccer field (the site of our future farm). Twenty six fowl joined us in total. They were previously being raised at Green Faerie Farm, the current home of our member DoubleSnake. Jim Montgomery, or DoubleSnake, is our main livestock maven at Groundswell and has been responsible for bringing us many of our new critters. He was the visionary and designer behind the poultry palace, and will be moving out to Groundswell full time in June.
The chickens are our first real food system here at our emerging ecovillage. In the long run, we are hoping to have many interwoven food systems, using our domestic animals as important parts of our whole agricultural scene. Thanks to DoubleSnake’s extensive animal husbandry experience, we hope to have many animals find their home here. Right now we have our chickens, alpacas, and goats as our farm animals (with dogs, cats, and chinchillas on the side). Our long term plans include sheep, pigs, rabbits, ducks, llamas, geese… we aim to have a diverse menagerie.
Providing our animals with a beautiful and nourished life is important to us – we want all of our animals to run up to us and our friends with happy expectations. That’s the beauty of the poultry palace. Many of us were joking during construction about how we could move into the structure and live happily in the “tiny home”. It could comfortably fit many times the amount of chickens we currently house there. In addition, it’s mobile nature and our electric poultry fencing allow us to give our chickens lots of space to roam and hunt down bugs and other food. It’s this extra pasturing that makes the yolks of our eggs almost an electric orange with all their nourishing nutrients.
All across the land you can hear the roosters crowing. It’s a lovely reminder that we are creating a sustainable future here – planting seeds of systems that will provide for us for many years to come. This is a big first step for us, and there are many more to come.