You can agree that having a chicken coop is great and having a garden is even better! What if you could combine both? Hmm… imagine the possibilities a chicken coop with a rooftop garden will bring to the table. Not only will your chickens have protection from predators, but so will your garden.
Let’s explore how you can protect your chickens while producing an organic roof garden with the use of a chicken coop.
Protecting your eggs while producing veggies
If you’re already have, or are looking to buy a chicken coop, it’s obvious to say that chickens will depend on you for safety and security. The main purpose of getting a chicken coop is to protect your chickens from nightly predators like voles, woodchucks, squirrels, gophers, rabbits, moles and other unwanted furry animals. Chickens coops also provide protection from bad weather such as rain, cold, and heat.
Once you take a look inside, chicken coops are a great place to have nest boxes and perches. Chicken use nest boxes to lay their eggs while they use perches for sleeping purposes. With the proper protection, your chickens will supply nutritious eggs and an abundant amount of manure.
Here are some basic tips you should use to insure the protection of your chickens:
- Make sure your coop is sturdy and well maintained
- Make sure that your chickens are roosting inside the coop at night
- Make sure to enclose the chicken coop
- Make sure to cover the run with an aviary net
- Make sure to clear the area surrounding the coop
- Make sure to place objects that make noise and reflect light to deter any potential threat
- Make sure to set up traps to defend against pesky varmints
- Make sure that you never leave any eggs inside of the coop
Now, what if you could get your veggies from the same place you got your eggs?
By adding a roof garden to your chicken coop, you will have an ideal place for a garden, especially if your backyard garden soil is has poor drainage, compacted or is of poor quality. Similar to an elevated garden bed, chicken coop roof gardens eliminates the need to kneel and bend. Having a roof garden on your chicken coop will make planting, tending and harvesting more convenient and enjoyable. As an added bonus, you will notice a decrease in pest and weeds.
Chicken manure is a home gardener’s best friend. Since you have a chicken coop, it make sense to use your chicken manure on the roof garden. Why pay for something you already have? This is an excellent resource that will help fertilize your garden. Chicken manure is great source of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. It can easily be compost and converted into fertilizer or “black gold” for your garden soil. Try using leaves, pine needles, straw and grass clippings to add more organic nutrients.
Here are some tips to get your chicken manure fertilizer ready:
- Collect the chicken manure from the chicken coop (green)
- Collect the bedding from your chicken coop (brown)
- Collect yard debris like plants, leaves, small sticks, and shredded paper (brown)
- Place two parts brown and one part green in a one cubic yard compost bin
- Water thoroughly and turn pile every three weeks
This process may take up to 12 months. Patience is a virtue. Your garden will reward you with bigger and healthier organic veggies as a result from using chicken manure fertilizer. Did you know that chicken manure has more nutrients than a cow, horse, sheep and steer manure?
Once you have properly compost your chicken manure, the organic fertilizer that you’ve created is ready for use. The fertilizer will increase the water holding capacity and provide nutrients for the veggies in your garden. You will be able to grow your favorite produce, flower, herbs or anything that you can think of in an organic manner in no time.
Here are some suggested shallow depth vegetables, fruits and herb that you can grow:
Carrots, Radishes, Beets, Parsnips, Spinach, Lettuce, Bok Choy, Fennel, Collard Greens, Kohlrabi, Arugula, Kale, Leeks, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Napa Cabbage, Brussel Sprouts, Jersusalem Artichoke, Onions, Potatoes, Tomatoes, Strawberries, Corn, Blueberries, Basil, Chives, Cilantro, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Tarragon, Thyme
Overall, having a chicken coop with a rooftop garden a great do-it-yourself or DIY project.
Before you get to working on this great project, consider the type of garden you will love top have. This way you can build according to the vegetables, fruits or herbs that you love. And as you can see, there’s a great selection to choose from. Hopefully, this gardening selection has gotten you to consider or reconsider adding a rooftop garden to your chicken coop.
With a large set of nesting boxes, adjustable legs to level the coop, and no run, the Rambler is designed to maximize egg production and minimize it’s backyard footprint.