Quintessences Home Page

IMG 2245 Garden in Autumn ©ak2020

Belgian D'Uccle Millie Fleur & Porcelain Bantam Hens & Coturnix Quail  in an urban permaculture setting with a greenhouse, fish pond, outdoor aviary & forest garden. 

Belgian D'Uccle Millie Fleur & Porcelain Hens ©2021 AAKalensky, IMG 1813

Belgian D'Uccle Millie Fleur & Porcelain Bantam Hens  ©ak2021

Discover what works well for us using deep litter earth floor, worm garden towers, aquaponics, natural feed sources for nutritionally superior tasting eggs and the safest, most cost effective, commonsense practises for happy healthy chickens and owners.


When we first started landscaping our garden we levelled the backyard and built a 25’ x 14’ raised garden bed with large railroad ties and stairs leading up next to our stone wall. We had a smaller greenhouse on it but later decided to replace it with a large 8’x 20’ Palram Balance polycarbonate greenhouse with 2 large Garden Towers for worms and veggies, and a sunken 8’x 3’x 2.5’ deep pond. We dug down 1 1/2 feet and placed a 1/4” hardware cloth skirt with cement to stop predators. (1/4” keeps out mice as well ...so far so good but I wish we had put 1/2" hardware cloth right under the floor with garden earth on top. We also built a separate inset wooden door at the front so that air and light can flow through, and a pop door at the far end to let the birds go in and out of the aviary.

IMG 2262

Lilly, Millie and Dillie ©sk2021

This works nicely and the birds are safe during the day and free to roam around the greenhouse and aviary. We have a dirt floor which is ideal as a base using the deep litter method of simply turning the garden soil and watering it down. There is plenty of room to forage for bugs and worms and no need to constantly clean, replace or remove expensive litter. Last fall we emptied all our garden planters and soil buckets in to refresh and compost. By spring we will have fresh viable soil we can remove to replace into our planters. 

There are goldfish in the pond that eat duckweed, water hyacynths and bugs. We sank chew-proof hardware netting slightly under the water so that the birds don’t drown but can still have access to the surface and duckweed. The pond is the perfect place to start plants rooting and cultivate duckweed and water hyacynths. (high protein feed for the fish. chicks and quail) 

It serves as a heat sink through the winter providing moisture & heat to the atmosphere.

Lillie'sSelfie ©ak2021 IMG 2311

lillie's selfie ©lk2021

This little blog is for my family and friends in case they are wondering how to keep chickens. This is what works for us so I will leave all the more technical stuff to famous bloggers and chicken ladies such as 

Garden Betty,

The Chicken Chick,

Pavlova Fowl,The Holistic Hen

Backyard Chickens 

and all the other chicken & permaculture specialists. It’s a pleasure to read others’ advice and experience, so enjoy your research & explorations.

© Ann K 2021 All Rights Reserved