Nothing quite compares to the (admittedly egg-spensive) joy of raising your own flock. But as proud keepers of our feathery friends, it’s essential we look after Mother Earth, too. That’s where sustainable chicken keeping and eco-friendly animal husbandry come in! Ready for some top tips on green coop keeping for a healthier, happier poultry haven that contributes positively to our planet? Let’s dive in!
1. Choose Sustainable Materials for Your Coop
Give our lovely planet a big hug by opting for sustainable building materials. Some eco-friendly choices include:
- Recycled or reclaimed wood
- Compressed straw panels
- Recycled plastic
It’s not just the coop you need to consider, either. Enrichment toys and treats can also be made with repurposing, reusing and recycling in mind.
On our social media, we recommended creating your own hen pecking treats using a toilet or kitchen roll inner tube smeared with virgin coconut oil and rolled in seeds, herbs, spices and nuts as a hanging enclosure treat. Check out page 6 below!
Perches can be made from recycled timber. Old tyres can be used for climbing and for insulating drinkers in the winter.
Our ECOnourish tubes are totally recyclable and eco-friendly as it is, but why not make them even more purposeful by turning them into a handy larvae feeder? Drill or punch holes into the tube and suspend them in the run with sisal rope. Hey presto, longer-lasting larvae and entertained chooks!
Our Brand Ambassador Charlie over at @eggs_and_fluff did just that!
2. Insulate and Ventilate for Maximum Cosiness (and Sustainability!)
Optimise coop insulation and ventilation! It keeps your hens warm and cosy while using less energy. Install vents above roosting areas and windows in the coop, but avoid drafts. Did you know British Hen Welfare Trust recommends at least 1 sq ft of space per bird to ensure proper ventilation and avoid dampness? Don’t scrimp on space for your darling hens!
3. Go Organic with Chicken Feed!
Nourish your clucky ladies with sumptuous, organic feed. Because of DEFRA laws, there’s not really any such thing as environmentally friendly, sustainable, complete chicken feed. But, if you want to do your best and can afford it, try to feed organic where possible. Check out Marriages Feed Store and The Smallholder Range for tasty, UK-based organic options!
4. A Kitchen Garden for Your Chicken – How Delightful!
Do you fancy yourself a garden-growing guru? In the UK, it’s illegal to feed chickens kitchen scraps. But you can grow them all the veggies they can eat if they don’t make it into your kitchen! Try planting nutritious herbs and veggies for your chickens! Offer them delicious treats like kale, spinach, and lavender. A fecund feast awaits! Head over to BHWT for great advice on optimal plant choices for your UK hens.
5. Cleaning? Go Green!
Harness the power of eco-friendly cleaning products to keep your coop spick and span (and green!). Flyte so Fancy, George’s Chicken Remedies and Nettex Poultry have got your back for UK-based eco-friendly cleaning supplies.
6. Poop Patrol: Manage Your Waste Wisely
Transform that pesky chicken poop into something glorious – fertiliser! Your garden will thank you, and so will the environment!
While chicken poop does make excellent nutritious fertiliser, it’s essential that you compost it first. It’s too high in nitrogen before composting and would burn plant roots and potentially attract vermin. By composting the manure, you effectively cool it by reducing the nitrogen content. Explore BHWT’s guide on composting chicken waste to kick-start your eco-friendly poop journey!
7. Water Your Chickens Sustainably
Water – a precious resource we all need! And saving every drop is a part of our eco-friendly lifestyle. We all know that discerning chickens will often turn their beaks up at a freshly filled water station and drink directly from muddy puddles and stagnant water collections in the garden. Who doesn’t love some pungent water that’s settled in an upturned plant pot, after all?
However, when they aren’t recycling rainwater themselves, consider these sustainable chicken-keeping water-saving tips:https://www.omlet.co.uk/shop/chicken_keeping/feeders_and_drinkers/
- Use a rainwater collection system
- Employ gravity-fed waterers
- Water plants in your garden with chicken water leftovers
- Invest in nifty watering gadgets from Omlet to give your chickens water-saving hydration.
8. Community – Let’s Cluck Together!
Get involved in the green chicken-keeping community! Foster eco-friendliness among keepers, and help each other achieve self-sufficient nirvana! Explore Poultry Club of Great Britain and BHWT for UK-based community groups and events. We’d also love to hear from you on social media – we have an active following of chicken keepers who love our product’s eco-friendly credentials and will always be on the lookout for more eco-friendly ideas. You can follow us on Instagram (@econourish.superfood) and Facebook (@econourish
9. Keep Hen Learning – Knowledge is Power!
10. Feed them live Black Soldier Fly Larvae!
A blog on eco-friendly chicken keeping would never be complete without a mention of our special little grub – the Black Soldier Fly larvae. These wriggly little bugs are a great source of protein, vitamins and minerals for your hens. But, they’re extra special for their sustainability benefits. The larvae turn would-be waste into nutritious hen feed by consuming every last bit of it. They’re voracious eaters, and they do a great job of not only reducing greenhouse gas emissions by gobbling up brewery waste, they also produce a very special fertiliser that can be used to grow more crops. You can order them for home delivery straight from our website. Head to www.econourish.co.uk/shop to get your hands on some of nature’s bioconverting miracles.
So! You’re now equipped with our top 10 tips for sustainable chicken keeping. Your hens are ready to thrive in an eco-friendly haven! After all, who doesn’t love happy hens and a healthy Earth? May your feathery flock cluck loud and proud as you embrace green coop-keeping in the UK.
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