Lismore 'chook tractor' for Rudd
THE chickens have come home to roost in Canberra after Therese Rein, wife of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, had a ‘chook tractor' and half-a-dozen hensdelivered to The Lodge last week.
The chook tractor – a small, lightweight, movable chicken coop that can be repositioned around the yard – was made popular by Kyogle permaculture author Linda Woodrow.
“You're kidding,” was Ms Woodrow's first response when told there was now a chook tractor on the lawn at The Lodge.
Ms Woodrow published the plans for the chook tractor in her 1996 book, The Permaculture Home Garden, which has been continuously in print ever since.
The tractor was part of a permaculture design concept for intensive gardening in small spaces.
The idea for the tractor came after Ms Woodrow observed how fertile the land was where chickens had been living.
The concept works by planting directly into the earth where the tractor has been once it has been moved to a new position.
Its use means no tilling or fertilising is required because the chooks have done it already.
Ms Woodrow said she was not surprised to hear the Rudd-Rein household had embraced permaculture.
“Politicians follow cultural change,” she said.
Ms Rein introduced the hens to The Lodge as part of her support for fresh food, healthy meals and self-sufficiency.
One of the hens has been named Pie by the PM's daughter, Jessica, taken from the movie Chicken Run.
The tractor is the first prime ministerial hen house in about 60 years.