This year we’ve decided to get serious about raising some birds to eat.
We’ve got a dozen Pekin ducks. We also hope to have a mating pair of geese who’s goslings we can raise to eat.
To improve our experience, our costs, and the aesthetic of the backyard, we’ve done some work on the flockyard—filling it in and dividing it up.
In early March we locked up the birds, tilled in the entire yard and planted cover crop. Spring weather and bird-droppings gave us an incredibly lush field.
Then we used steel fence posts and free-cycled chain link fence to split the yard into thirds. Our egg layers now live on the left-side, our meat birds on the right, and in the middle will be an area for them to graze on alternating days. We thought about buying or building gates, but for now it’s just pulling the fencing one way or another.
We’re excited for this system and the aesthetics of the grass instead of mud and dirt. We’ll be able to fatten up birds we’ll be eating, without spending the money to feed all the birds too much. It also will help keep some greenery around for the birds, making it easier to give the grass a break.
I threw down some calendar and sunflowers around the areas too, to add some color and natural bird feed for the little wild birds that come around. I plan on throwing down some peas or pole beans, and amaranth around the fencing, and maybe some cucumber seeds down for the flocks snacking.
They seem to enjoy it.