The Permaculture Pop Icon
The Humble chicken is a Pop Icon. Today, she is one of the most successful species on earth. There are more chickens than the humans. And unlike most domesticated animals they continue thrive in the wild. As a result of our relationship with the chicken, there are now thousands of breeds of chickens. Chickens are almost as loved as cats and dogs. This success is a result of their resourceful and adaptable nature.
For a long time, chickens have been familiar with us. Whilst people may be blind to plants, but they’re not blind to furry creatures with faces. Early chickens sailed the world, traveling across the Pacific into America and beyond. Long before Europeans did. Most people know what a chicken looks like, what it eats and what it makes. In fact, more people could manage a chicken than any other farm animal. The chicken is a cheap and multifunctional tool for environmental living. It is a quick composter, a natural fertiliser producer and quick pest controller. This is how the little chicken en-graced itself it so many busy people’s lifestyle.
How did they become a Permaculture Pop Icon?
Permaculture is a tricky design concept. It is very hard to explain in a click-bite. Yet, most people can guess what goes in and what comes out of this handy little Icon. One of the basic tools for making a permaculture design is to find compatible placements for things.
When we know what goes in and what comes out, we can design for these needs. Ideally, we put an element right near the supplies it needs and we let it deliver the waste (like the golden gifts) where we can use and collect it.
The ins and outs of a simple Pop Icon
In hindsight, we can see how the example of the chicken really is clear and understandable. When we design smartly, we enable the chickens to deposit their fertiliser right where we need it. We are giving the chicken a comfortable home and grazing space that also gives the garden fertiliser, weed and pest control. The eggs are easy to collect, cool and clean.
Next Big Thing for this Pop Icon
The biggest challenge for the chicken is to become as well-loved as the cat. Unfortunately the chicken does have a major social indiscretion. She seems unable to be toilet trained. Could compost-able diapers for hand-bag chickens be the next fashion trend? If the chicken was to attain high popularity as a pet, an enormous amount of food waste would be reduced.
In fact, the chicken is poised to rise from the status of Pop Icon to an environmental Super-hero.