For those of you who wondered if we had poultry on our new place; this post is for you or them.In my previous blog I talked about the Earthships being built in the southern states, very popular in New Mexico, and Arizona for their ability to conserve energy, and grow food with greywater systems. Keith and I love the idea and will start experimenting with the technique this week as we design an Earthship or Chickenship as we have christened it, for our poultry.
Earthships for people are made from recycled tires filled with pounded dirt and covered with homemade cob. The end results are beautiful, cost effective, sustainable. comfortable and a great way to use up the garbage in our lives. Michael Reynolds is the guru behind their design.
When they come to put up the Grain Bin House (any day, any day) we will have them also dig out a spot in a sloped area to build the chickenship.
The birds are very excited about this new plan as it will be the first chickenship in Livingston County and perhaps in all of Illinois. We expect tons of media coverage, or at least one or two shares on Facebook.
The most important material needed for our chickenship is of course tires; fortunately there are a few here on The Poor Farm. Oh the treasures we have inherited with this place. Sorting them into similar sizes, widths and condition is one of my tasks this week.
Some tires are too worn or torn to be used and will have to be hauled away to be recycled again in playground mulch. After sorting and digging out the area, the chickenship will be partially built into a hillside for warmth in winter and coolness in summer. Tires will laid in a straight line and pounded full with dirt. Another layer of rubber circles is thenplaced on top and more soil pounded in and eventually you have a wall of tires.
The wall can then be finished with a plaster of homemade cob made of dirt, sand and clay. When dry it becomes mortar like in strength. The front will be glass or plexiglass and the entire structure is for winter or nighttime only; the rest of the time our birds will continue to run free-range. They are our primary source not only of eggs but of tick, fly and mosquito control. They deserve the best in housing we can afford.
Which is basically a pile of old tires.