Working with the Regenerative Agriculture Alliance in Minnesota, Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin is the architect and engineer behind the regenerative poultry system, one of many farm operations at the 100-acre farm in Northfield, through the Main Street Project. His approach to regenerative agriculture involves a biodiverse system of symbiotically connected livestock and perennials, with no chemical inputs, building soil, cleaning water and delivering economic benefits to the community.
Chickens in a small-scale food production system, whether that’s a suburban backyard or a bit of acreage, are valuable first for the services they provide. In nature, scavenging omnivorous birds form a symbiosis with large mammals.
An important new paper, published in the journal Royal Society Open Science (RSOS), makes a convincing case that modern broiler chickens are a “distinct and characteristic new morphospecies ….[that] symbolizes the unprecedented human reconfiguration of the Earth’s biosphere.”
So I have something to tell you all. With much hesitation and trepidation, but with encouragement from my wife and my good buddy Bill, I bring you the story of why I have blood on my hands. Two nights ago I had to kill a possum. I did not do it because I wanted to, or because I thought it would be fun, but because I was defending my chickens.
This week’s entry in the How to Live Sustainably series: How to build a chicken run in 157 easy steps. Note that everyone is different, and not every step might apply to your situation.