Why Would I Want To Grow A Living Chicken Or Duck Coop With Bamboo?
One of the biggest challenges in permaculture agroforestry… or edible landscaping, is figuring out ways to make everything more sustainable, require less labor, and keep the loop closed while building fertility to grow more food, timber, plants, and trees.
Now, you don’t have to use bamboo to try growing your chicken or duck coop, but bamboo is fast-growing, has a robust root system that even the devil would have trouble digging through, and, depending on your bamboo and your grow zone, bamboo is evergreen. This gives you a place for your ducks and chickens to live year round that can grow as your flock grows, giving you more space for more ducks and chickens, with a minimal amount of labor each year.
To Hedge Or Not To Hedge My Bamboo? That Is A Real Question
Yes, indeed, bamboo can be pruned and shaped into a nice hedge that will give you an even plant to wrap hardware cloth or fencing around for an even “plant roof”. This will allow you to have control over how tall to make your living duck or chicken coop, even in a well-established bamboo grove.
Making Space For More Chickens & Ducks Without Moving Your Fencing or Hardware Cloth
Chickens will sleep in trees
If your flock includes chickens and you are already growing trees, you could either wait for a tree growing near your bamboo chicken house to put off branches that grow through the bamboo, propagate new trees within the confines of your bamboo chicken house if you’re not in a hurry and are willing to wait, or plant a tree among the bamboo of your living chicken coop.
Ducks, on the other hand, don’t seem able, or particularly willing, to camp out on tree branches, are not fond or good at climbing, and generally prefer to sleep on the ground. I have found though, that ducks do like hammocks. So, with the simple installation of a hammock and training your water birds to climb into it, you can add another level to your living duck house without having to remove the fencing or hardware cloth.
Installing The Hardware Cloth or Chicken Wire For Your Living Duck/Chicken Coop
If the space you have between the culms of your bamboo is large enough, the most visually pleasing option would be to run your hardware cloth or chicken wire along the inside surface of the bamboo culms, securing the hardware cloth or wire with zip ties around the culms of the bamboo, which do not regrow, as bamboo only puts off new shoots from its root system.
Using this method, from the outside of your living coop, the hardware cloth or chicken wire would be mostly hidden, especially if the type(s) of bamboo you are growing are commonly used to grow privacy screens.
Fertilizing The Bamboo For Your Living Duck/Chicken Coop
Welp. Since ducks and chickens have no control over when they decide to make waste, they will continue to do so throughout the night, especially if they are being fed, whether by you, or by eating whatever bugs or weeds are growing within the confines of their living duck/chicken coop.
Therefore, you must decide whether you’d like to “soften” the nutrient load by watering it down every couple of days, so that it doesn’t overload the bamboo, an unlikely prospect given the rate at which bamboo grows, or whether to simply throw a mulch on top to top it off every few days to prevent odors and maintain a fresh environment for your feathered edible landscape employees.
Types Of Bamboo Plants To Use For Your Living Coop
Stone Bamboo For An “Impenetrable” Living Wall
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