May 17, 2010 at 5:32 am #463484BlueWrenMember
Thanks FeyWind. That’s good news.I have already covered all the mandala growing areas, except the chook sites, with newspaper and thick mulch so hopefully when I get to them in future the grass will be somewhat dead. Do you find the dome is warm enough for the chooks in the winter? I’m wondering if I could add a raised portable open fronted shelter with perches for them to cosy up on, for the colder months.We do get some frost. Would be a pain when moving the dome but I do want my girls and boy to be comfortable.I collect them on May28th.:clap: Would love to see some pics when you have time.May 17, 2010 at 6:31 am #463485baringaparkMember
lol @ frost
My chooks perch in a tree at night, which now is bare of leaves. They will continue to do so right through winter, and we get down to minus 7 with major frosts here! I think wind chill is more of an issue for chooks?
Good luck with your mandala BLue Wren. I still believe they are worth the effort :tup:May 17, 2010 at 11:44 am #463486MumchookMember
Hi BlueWren (lovely name)…
Purple Pear Organics run a small commercial CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm based on the mandala system. Lots of domes and chooks and magnificent circles everywhere. Have a look at the amazing design on the mandala page below. They’re in the Hunter Valley, NSW, and website is here: http://www.purplepear.net.au/
ReeMay 17, 2010 at 12:24 pm #463487WombatMember
While we don’t run a mandala system we have 13 veggie beds approximately 1 m x 2 m and a chook tractor that fits that size bed exactly. The chooks spend two weeks on each bed, twice a year. It is a system that works for us.
NevMay 17, 2010 at 1:04 pm #463488BlueWrenMember
Baringapark and Mumchook Thankyou SO MUCH for your posts and encouragement. I’m so glad my chooks should be OK in the colder weather – my site is sheltered – and I loved the Purple Pear site and pics.Can’t wait until I can take pics like that.My garden i s exactly as one of their mandalas , mine is built around an old apricot tree.
As I type I can hear a fox barking nearby.Constructing the dome safely for my chooks is my main concern at present. Does anyone have any tips about security from foxes apart from what I have written in previous posts? I suppose they can burrow under an electric fence. Damn the English Gentry missing their fox hunting!:tdown:
I’ll have a go at adding some pics and an avatar.I know where the tutorials are so no excuse!May 18, 2010 at 12:43 am #463489MumchookMember
Hi again BlueWren, I forgot to mention fox proofing!
Neighbours of mine had a skirt of wire running out over the ground from their mandalas to about 40cm, weighted down with bricks and stones and lumps of concrete. Purple Pear dug a wire barrier into the ground around all of their circular garden beds which stuck up from the ground a few cms which the dome then sat within. They said that helped in regards to fox attacks however now their system has been in a few years, the wire is rotting and I’m not sure what they’re planning next.
I have rectangular beds like Nev with a rectangular chook tractor (I have a circular orchard though! 😉 ) but only keep a few chooks in there when I have work for them to do as the rest of the time they’re out with their mates free ranging and living in the main sheds.
Re the cold – chooks are pretty resilient but I would still be concerned about mine being in a dome in all weathers if unprotected by something else as well Same with blazing hot sun in Summer. Having said that, the chookies at PP seem to cope with both frosts, blustering winds and high Summer temps! Maybe I’m raising chookie-wussies here! 😆
By the way, Wombat, 13 beds is some backyard production you have going on there! Am impressed.
:clap: :clap: :clap:
And Bluewren, accompanying piccies are almost compulsory here at ALS!
:wave:May 18, 2010 at 12:53 am #463490Judi BKeymaster
BlueWren foxes don’t bark as such they yip, do you think what you are hearing is a proper bark? if so it may be wild dogs or a Barking Owl we have them here and they sound so much like a dog it gets all the dogs around here barking:lol:May 18, 2010 at 4:28 am #463491
Hi BlueWren, sorry it took sooooo long but here are some pics, we made concrete ring around all the beds which stops the chooks scratching out under the dome, keeps the grass out of the garden and makes it a lot easier all round (once they’re done)
One of the problems we encountered BC (before concrete) was the chooks would scratch about half a metre of dirt and mulch up against the wire which made it hard to move, not any more.
We also made the top out of an old c/van annex, made a pattern to fit one section, cut out eight of them and sewed them together (with an old industrial sewing machine that we bought from the local tip for $10)
I didn’t like the way the tubing crossed over at the top so I cut them in half and fitted the ends into a plate that I welded together.
We used bamboo for the perch and added a ladder, we raised the laying box and made it accessible from the outside also put a long handle on the water container so that it can be picked up from the door.
I used one and a half inch poly on the bottom which I drilled holes in for the uprights, also put in four anchor points around each bed.
A big mistake we made was planting trees too close, the roots are way too invasive.May 18, 2010 at 4:32 am #463492
another picMay 18, 2010 at 4:33 am #463493
egg boxMay 18, 2010 at 4:34 am #463494
BaseMay 18, 2010 at 4:35 am #463495
AnchorMay 18, 2010 at 4:37 am #463496
Higher PerchesMay 18, 2010 at 4:39 am #463497
egg boxMay 18, 2010 at 4:41 am #463498
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