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Industrial Eggs Vs. Permaculture Eggs

What does it take to produce an industrial egg?

  1. Well, we need a battery chicken factory. It’s a horrible place that also produces volumes of contaminated waste. The factory is built of metal components, mined and manufactured.
  2. A power station to keep all these factories, the chickens, the mining, the metal smelter, and the component production running.
  3. To run the power station, we’ll need an oil rig supplying an oil refinery. We need trains to carry grains, tended with heavy tractors on large monoculture grain fields treated with biocides and fertilizers, which come in plastic packaging.
  4. There are boats taking fish from waters, the fish then having to be processed in yet another factory, to be turned into pellets for chicken (for their protein instead of ours).
  5. The feed has to be trucked to the battery chicken factory.
  6. What have we forgotten? Trucking to supermarkets, antibiotics…

“There are several paths open to us in design, and the least energy path is the one we seek, or evolve towards. There are two ways of producing and egg: the first has become the normal way in the western world, and the second is the way proposed by permaculture systems. Some ridiculous systems have been evolved in which people. machines, time and energy are expended in vast quantities on the chicken, perhaps with the aim of maximum product yield, regardless of costs. We can
short-cut these systems with great gains in personal and planetary health, and with a far greater variety of yields available for local ecologies. These illustrations also bring home the common sense nature of self-regulated systems.”
-Bill Mollison

Page 22: Permaculture A Designer’s Manual. The illustrations mentioned above are figures 2.3 and 2.4 Permaculture A Designer’s Manual which are now animated in the videos below.

What about the Permaculture Egg: 

  1. On the other hand, a permaculture egg comes from a healthy, low-energy environment.
  2. Some metal is required for things like roofing, guttering, a water tank, and wiring, but this is so minimal it could be possibly produced with renewable energy.
  3. The chickens will live in a forage food forest with all they require: hard seeds (legumes), protein-rich fruit (mulberry), greens (comfrey), insects and grit.
  4. Clean fresh water is caught from the roof and dispenses through the catchment tank.
  5. This arrangement allows them to lead healthier lives for longer and with less stress.
  6. This more natural existence produces more nutritious, chemical-free eggs permaculture eggs.


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Geoff Lawton

Geoff Lawton is a world renowned Permaculture consultant, designer and teacher. He first took his Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course in 1983 with Bill Mollison the founder of Permaculture. Geoff has undertaken thousands of jobs teaching, consulting, designing, administering and implementing, in 6 continents and close to 50 countries around the world. Clients have included private individuals, groups, communities, governments, aid organizations, non-government organisations and multinational companies under the not-for-profit organisation. In 1996 Geoff was accredited with the Permaculture Community Services Award by the Permaculture movement for services in Australia and around the world. Geoff's official website is Geoff's Facebook profile can be found here.

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