Partnering with Chooks in the Backyard

What to Bring

  • Pen and paper
  • The garden is on a slope. Please bring walking aids if you require them
  • Enclosed shoes should be worn

What to Wear

  • Please wear enclosed footwear and sun protection

Appropriate For

  • Gardeners, DIY builders, urban farmers, people who want to reduce their impact on the environment

Partnering with Chooks in the Backyard

About This Class

Class Schedule

  • Date : Sunday 22nd October 2017
  • Time: 1.00pm to 3:30pm
  • Address: Templestowe College, 7 Cypress Ave, Templestowe Lower, VIC 3107

What You Will Learn

  • How to utilise the behaviours and habits of chooks to do the hard gardening work for you
  • Types of DIY chook tractors, designs and materials required to make one
  • The role of chooks as partners in a sustainable garden / backyard farm

What You Get

  • A handout with notes
  • A tour of Templestowe College's permaculture garden and chook systems
  • Tea, coffee, biscuits (including gluten free)


Are you interested in finding out how to partner with chooks in your backyard to help create and manage a sustainable garden / backyard farm?

Join SGA and Drew Barr at Templestowe College to learn all about how chooks can be used to do hard maintenance work in the garden, in addition to giving you beautiful golden eggs.

Topics covered in this Master Class include:

  • Definitions of Free Range and what you can do in a back yard
    • Chook Tractorings - What is it and how to use one in your garden
    • Chook Tractors - Design options
    • Reclaimed materials needed to make  a chicken coop / tractor
    • Chook behaviour and habits and how to utilise them in the garden
    • What chooks eat and where they get it from
    • Chook feeding systems - fodder crops / slab culture / stick culture / sprouting grains
    • Using hay as a bedding medium
    • Managing weeds and running grasses with chooks
    • Using chooks to make fertiliser and compost
    • Predator protection


    Please wear enclosed footwear, sun protection and bring along a water bottle. As the permaculture garden is on undulating land, people with walking aids should consider bringing them to the class. 

    Masterclass Presenter : Drew Barr

    Drew has twin passions of earth building and food gardening. He learned wood work and building from his father, began growing veggies, keeping chooks and milking his cow at age 12, and worked as a mud brickie after leaving school.

    During a 30 year diversion, he achieved a Masters Degree in the History and Philosophy of Science and held senior sustainability roles in the corporate sector.

    Having discovered the importance of being unimportant, he now works with his wife Angie at Templestowe College, mentoring students, gardening, looking after animals, and building stuff.

    Cancellation and Refund Policy 

    No refunds will be given for non-attendance.

    If there are insufficient numbers for an event it may be cancelled or postponed. If this is the case, you will be notified and given the option of either a full refund or a transfer to a different SGA event of equivalent value.

    Refunds will be issued for cancellations IF you give at least 10 days notice prior to the start date. Refunds will be net of any WeTeachMe booking fees and a A$10 refund administration fee.

    No refunds will be issued for cancellations with less than 10 days notice unless the event is fully booked out, including the cancelled tickets. If these conditions are met, refunds will be net of any WeTeachMe booking fees and less a A$10 refund administration fee.

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