Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Chickenship

For those of you who wondered if we had poultry on our new place; this post is for you or them.
In my previous blog I talked about the Earthships being built in the southern states, very popular in New Mexico, and Arizona for their ability to conserve energy, and grow food with greywater systems.  Keith and I love the idea and will start experimenting with the technique this week as we design an Earthship or Chickenship as we have christened it,  for our poultry.

Earthships for people are made from recycled tires filled with pounded dirt and covered with homemade cob. The end results are beautiful, cost effective, sustainable. comfortable and a great way to use up the garbage in our lives.  Michael Reynolds is the guru behind their design.

Image result for michael reynolds earthship           Image result for michael reynolds earthship

When they come to put up the Grain Bin House (any day, any day) we will have them also dig out a spot in a sloped area to build the chickenship.

The birds are very excited about this new plan as it will be the first chickenship in Livingston County and perhaps in all of Illinois. We expect tons of media coverage, or at least one or two shares on Facebook.



The most important material needed for our chickenship is of course tires; fortunately there are a few here on The Poor Farm. Oh the treasures we have inherited with this place. Sorting them into similar sizes, widths and condition is one of my tasks this week.



 
Some tires are too worn or torn to be used and will have to be hauled away to be recycled again in playground mulch. After sorting and digging out the area, the chickenship will be partially built into a hillside for warmth in winter and coolness in summer.  Tires will laid in a straight line and pounded full with dirt. Another layer of rubber circles is thenplaced on top and more soil pounded in and eventually you have a wall of tires.
 
 
Image result for michael reynolds earthshipImage result for michael reynolds earthship
 
 
The wall can then be finished with a plaster of homemade cob made of dirt, sand and clay. When dry it becomes mortar like in strength. The front will be glass or plexiglass and the entire structure is for winter or nighttime only; the rest of the time our birds will continue to run free-range. They are our primary source not only of eggs but of tick, fly and mosquito control. They deserve the best in housing we can afford.
 
Which is basically a pile of old tires.

13 comments:

  1. Donna - Your chickenship sounds wonderful - can't wait to see it. Don't forget to add some lime to your cob - it helps it withstand rainstorms.

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    Replies
    1. Dani, I appreciate the lime hint. Have you built a similar shelter? Do you have a blog? Shall I stop typing and look for myself ?

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  2. Great idea! Looking forward to seeing the progress.

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    1. Hey there Art. Hope you two are well up north. We are looking forward to the progress as well. You and Joanne are welcome to come and help, I'll provide you with free pork in exchange...oh wait you already have that. Beef ? You need beef?

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  3. You never cease to Amaze. Can't wait to see the finished Chickenship.

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    Replies
    1. "Baby I'm Amazed at the way you "...go ahead Jax fill in the blank :)

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  4. Ummm i thought the trend was towards tractors that move around the pasture. This doesn't sound very mobile though my goodness does it sound fascinating. I cant wait for the hilarious posts during its construction.

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  5. I love the sound of the Chickenship. If you need to separate broody hens, would they then have their own Mothership?

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    1. Megan, you really got me laughing with that one!

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  6. It's so exciting to see someone forging ahead on he dreams/ideas we've had for ourselves... we actually drove down from Durango, Colorado (where Michael is from originally, and where there are several ship homes) to Taos to see the earthship community surrounding Michael's grand Phoenix earthship. (Paid exorbitantly IMO. just to walk thru their demo ship- it was a real dud as eye-candy, but did provide a video showing details and a decent but boring bathroom... it is one of the old early ones with only one layer of greenhouse). IF anyone wants to see these in person I highly suggest renting one, not just showing up there. Anyway, the idea is great and thankfully there is youtube to find out close up thru others' videos...
    The idea for grain bin homes is fairly new and is really starting to take off! I saw a 'kit' you can buy for building one - priced at $5700. Much more affordable than even the simplest earthship- and perfect to live in while spending 2 years building the earthship, lol.
    Anyway, you are pioneering a path many of us dream to follow one day, so thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's so exciting to see someone forging ahead on he dreams/ideas we've had for ourselves... we actually drove down from Durango, Colorado (where Michael is from originally, and where there are several ship homes) to Taos to see the earthship community surrounding Michael's grand Phoenix earthship. (Paid exorbitantly IMO. just to walk thru their demo ship- it was a real dud as eye-candy, but did provide a video showing details and a decent but boring bathroom... it is one of the old early ones with only one layer of greenhouse). IF anyone wants to see these in person I highly suggest renting one, not just showing up there. Anyway, the idea is great and thankfully there is youtube to find out close up thru others' videos...
    The idea for grain bin homes is fairly new and is really starting to take off! I saw a 'kit' you can buy for building one - priced at $5700. Much more affordable than even the simplest earthship- and perfect to live in while spending 2 years building the earthship, lol.
    Anyway, you are pioneering a path many of us dream to follow one day, so thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  8. It's so exciting to see someone forging ahead on he dreams/ideas we've had for ourselves... we actually drove down from Durango, Colorado (where Michael is from originally, and where there are several ship homes) to Taos to see the earthship community surrounding Michael's grand Phoenix earthship. (Paid exorbitantly IMO. just to walk thru their demo ship- it was a real dud as eye-candy, but did provide a video showing details and a decent but boring bathroom... it is one of the old early ones with only one layer of greenhouse). IF anyone wants to see these in person I highly suggest renting one, not just showing up there. Anyway, the idea is great and thankfully there is youtube to find out close up thru others' videos...
    The idea for grain bin homes is fairly new and is really starting to take off! I saw a 'kit' you can buy for building one - priced at $5700. Much more affordable than even the simplest earthship- and perfect to live in while spending 2 years building the earthship, lol.
    Anyway, you are pioneering a path many of us dream to follow one day, so thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete