Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Vegie garden with a chicken dome

After longer planning than I care to admit we have started on a permaculture vegie garden. Inspired by Linda Woodrow author of the book The Permaculture Home Garden we have identified a suitable plot of land which seems to have good drainage, a north-easterly facing aspect and will be in close proximity to the new house when built. So we set about plotting and planning our 7 circle garden. We had decided on a single mandala system.

The theory behind the circle style garden is having the opportunity to place the moveable ‘chicken dome’ over the garden beds. Initially the chickens will scratch and clear the beds of any grass and weeds and also supply a thick layer of organic matter to fertilise the plants. Later, once the beds have been established the chickens can eat the remaining glut and those plants gone to seed, devour any chicken fodder planted and start the process again.
Wanting to re-use and recycle as much as we could, we fashioned the base of the chicken dome out of an old trampoline base. We had quickly learnt after moving the trampoline onto the property, to secure objects firmly to the ground during the windy season. This happened after arriving one weekend to find the old trampoline a twisted mess of its former self lodged squarely in the creek some 100 metres away. Using electrical conduit, shade cloth, a tarp, chicken wire and timber batons we were able to create a sturdy and extremely functional dome. One which could be moved around by one person.
The roost was secured from the roof. This design provides the chickens a level of safety from predators as does the double layering of chicken wire around the base. Linda Woodrow recommends using an old grass catcher from a lawn-mower as the laying box and to date it has worked a treat.


At the moment the girls (chickens) are rotated around the property in the chicken dome and free range during the afternoons and weekends. Their food sources are kitchen scraps, layer mash and whatever they can scratch out. I am looking forward to reducing the layer mash with our own vegie glut and purposely grown chicken fodder.

I can hardly contain my excitement about the prospect of selecting and picking our own produce.


  1. The ladies look happy. I'd love to have chooks at home but first need to build them a home. Lisa xo

    1. I can honestly spend hours just watching them. They are fun. Project idea perhaps?