Choosing Chickens – #SolutionsWatch

by | Apr 14, 2021 | Solutions Watch | 28 comments

Today on #SolutionsWatch James talks to Jack Spirko of The Survival Podcast about how to choose the best chicken breed for your back yard or homestead and what such a seemingly simple choice can teach us about the principles of permaculture.

Watch on Archive / BitChute / Minds / Odysee / YouTube or Download the mp4


The Survival Podcast

Episode-2817- Choosing Chicken Breeds Based on Homestead Goals and Intrinsic Characteristics

Jack Spirko on Odysee

Jack’s Permaculture Recommendations:

Discover Permaculture with Geoff Lawton 

What is Permaculture? By Bill Mollison, David Holmgren

Grassed Life with Darby Simpson

Greg Judy Regenerative Rancher

The Lunatic Farmer – Joel Salatin

Forest Agriculture Nursery – Mark Shepard

Rob Bob’s Aquaponics & Backyard Farm


  1. But aren’t humans omnivors? Eating meat is part of our evolutionary history. Some individuals benefit from meat in their diet, in my opinion. I’ve tried to be vegan and I had nutritional deficiencies including thyroid problems from soy consumption.

    If animals, like chickens are raised with care and are killed in a painless way to feed another animal, make the person or animal who consumes the mean undeserving?

    I give back to my community in many ways and I eat meat and don’t feel undeserving. I try to avoid factory farmed meat. I don’t eat beef, but do consume chicken and fish now.

    I also feed my dog meat and she is deserving. She has a right to live too.

    I appreciate your perspective and it’s good to look at ethical considerations of meat eating since it does come from another life form.

  2. What sweet potato was he referring to??

    • CRM114: I also wondered what type of Japanese purple potato Spirko was referring. This may be it – Potatoes are easy to grow and can serve as a meal all by themselves. I eat potatoes and greens about three times a week.

      HRS: We raised Araucanas for a while, expressly for the colorful eggs. Here’s a list of chickens that produce them –

      I’ve found the most nutritious are duck eggs, but breaking the shell can be tough going until one gets the hang of it. Can’t be timid. Really have to bang those suckers on a hard edge. Even then, prying the shell halves apart can be a challenging.

      Great episode, James. Inspirational. Learned a lot. Thanks.

    • Quite possibly beni-haruka: that’s the variety most grown by the farmers I know here in Nagano…

  3. That was an acquisition in 2015 by Google for Odysee the photo sharing app. It was essentially purchased and swept into the Google+ monster. Different Odysee. Odysee the file/video online service is owned by LBRY.

  4. I give this #SOLUTIONSWATCH ***** Five Stars
    For me, “Choosing Chickens – #SolutionsWatch” is one of my favorites!
    Fascinating and pragmatic in so many varied aspects!
    It opens the mind’s door to creating a life which works best for the individual.
    Much more than plants and animals were covered in this episode…it inculcates a mindset with clever and pragmatic approaches to building a better future.
    Thanks guys.

    Eggs …Easter Eggs
    Some of the best eggs I have ever eaten were “Easter Eggs”. No, they weren’t hardboiled painted eggs.
    Back around 2005, my job had me working about an hour away from where I lived in the rural parts of the north Texas county. Along the country road was a house with some small acreage. It had a sign “Eggs For Sale”. I rang the doorbell one day and said that I wanted some eggs. The fella brought me a few dozen and showed them to me. They varied in color from brown, blue and green with tints in-between and some hints of pink. He had a special breed of chicken which made the colored eggs. I don’t know what he fed them or how they foraged, but the yolks were a bright yellow and the taste was superb. He was telling me about how the raccoons had broken into his henhouse several times and made for a bad situation.
    During the time I was in the area, I came back for more. He used recycled grocery store egg cartons. So I would bring my empty cartons.

    • Agreed – a five stars solution watch for sure! I encourage all to view it, conversation goes well beyond chickens here.

    • The shells of the araucana breeds are lovely. Among our mixed flock we have four araucana hens of different variety and their eggs are all the same pale blue-green!

      It’s amazing to me how temperament varies from breed to breed: the araucana is wary and shy, the first to see and hide from the hawk. Weeks ago, there were several hawks overhead, shrieking like a scene from Lord of the Rings (I suspect a nest had fledged since they were so vocal, accompanied by dramatic dives and swoops all around). Anyway, our chickens were terrified. Four hens were tucked beneath the one rooster! In spite of his fear, he stood ready and willing to do battle if necessary. I hung around until the hawks’ flying lessons ended.

      About farm-fresh eggs: they don’t hard-boil like store-bought eggs. Using the same method yields very soft whites which basically fall apart when peeled. Just last year I found the best solution which has worked each and every time. Never tried it for store bought eggs, but for fresh, this is the way to go!

      • Just re-read the method; I’ve never taken the step to cover them with ice water. Just cool them enough to touch with regular tap water and move along!

  5. “.. murder, butcher & consume other animals who’ve done absolutely nothing to deserve it…”

    Chickens would totally eat you if they were big enough 🙂 Its them or us Lol

    More seriously Humans are not herbivores.. if they were then vegans would not need supplements to avoid B vitamin deficiencies. Humans lack the digestive system that herbivores have to break down fibrous plant matter

    • True, chickens and domesticated turkeys are ass-holes!!! … I want to know when/where the next drum circle is…

  6. When I look at Permaculture, I think of a high form of intelligence. Not going against the grain, but working with it. This is so wise. Great interview and I learned a lot. I am a newbie to Permaculture specifically but this philosophy and practice is extremely intriguing and something I feel I will be applying to my life now and in the future. You could probably dissect a hundred ideas that were discussed here and make each into its own #SolutionsWatch. Thank you for this interview.

    • ‘..Why not farm E. Coli (and other races of bacteria in equitable ratios) to expel fatty acids, proteins, and carbohydrates..’

      I would suspect that it would be unwise.. kinda like I would not want to live only on edible algy. Just off the top of my head I worry about how much genetic material you would be eating vs animal cells… having it as a main diet might have suprises

  7. I ran a Hydroponics System in my Garage for about three years with a 210 Gallon Fish Tank and a 4 x 4 foot Grow Bed. I had plans for a second Grow Bed but I shut the thing down because of Mold on the walls and ceiling. Yep, it is easier to buy or trade with others than to raise my own food.
    As a Mechanic, I can repair the Farmers Tractor, and he will be happy to feed me.
    Thus, I say “Commerce” is the key to “Civilization”.

    We would quickly run out of food if we all resorted to hunting and gathering. Perhaps with intelligent Farming we could provide for a Family on 20 Acres. That is what my ancestors got back in about 1850 when European Farmers were being recruited to the USA, and even then my Grandfather’s Grandfather had a special skill as a Thatcher whereby he not only Thatched his own land, he Thatched for other land owners. I know not what he got in return, but you can bet that it wasn’t worthless Paper or Crypto Currency.
    Indeed, the Road Ahead does not look good if we continue to ignore the basic needs of all forms of life.
    Think of it this way; “You are what you eat”, and Bill Gates was raised on junk food!

  8. This episode was so interesting, I have so much to say on this so I won’t. Spirko Can always learn more about permaculture, I relate because I could talk to infinity about farming and I really do bore people to tears.
    I have a funny chicken April Fools Day story instead.
    My young nieces would always go for the eggs out of my parents chicken coop. They liked to keep tabs on how many, it was a bit of a thing, often bringing in 2 -3 eggs, never any more than 6. One April morning they were astounded to find 16 eggs, they could not have been happier, completely missing that a dozen of them had best before date stamped clearly in red.

    • The egg story…That’s cute.

      I bet you could type pages about permaculture…you’re hands-on.

  9. Really? You guys can’t just move out to the country and buy a couple acres? In the US land is cheaper the further you drift from the major cities.

  10. Jack Spirko is great! Likable guy, who sells permaculture better than anyone. He’s the first one who made me think about growing a tree or raising livestock(whatever, fill in the blank) as a monetary investment! Great guy, full of great information!


  11. southern Oregon farmers told they will be arrested if they use their own legally owned irrigation water by Fed agency. See video and Please share.

  12. bob387 says:
    “I had, at that point, already read The Secret Life of Plants (involving experiments with a lie-detector type setup and astonishing results). I have had my own, less-than-rigorous, confirmation of this phenomenon.”

    Back around 1978, I had my hands on someone’s micro-ohmmeter that measures small differences in electrical resistance. Really, I was (and still am) very uneducated about its technicalities and the subject of electricity in general.
    However, I had remembered a previous article in Readers Digest from years prior. The story was about a guy who did experiments with plants and measuring the plants’ response with a sensitive meter.

    I arranged some potted plants around me on the carpeted floor. Then I hooked up the alligator clips to one of the plants.
    I was playing with a neighboring potted plant a few feet away from the metered set-up, and then tore off one of its leaves. “Ping”…the meter needle suddenly moved. It was as if the metered plant responded to its nearby neighbor a few feet away which just had its leaf torn.
    I tried to repeat the experiment, but couldn’t get any reaction.
    I tried tearing the leaves on the metered plant, but got no reaction.
    I tried all kinds of things, but never got anymore responses.
    The memory of that experiment stuck.

  13. That’s really cool to see.

  14. Should you be interested in reaching out to permaculturists in Japan, James, there’s Permaculture Kamimomi (almost) on your doorstep: they’re up at the top of the rice paddy terraces at Kamimomi, Kumenan-cho. ALternatively, if you’re ever in the are, swing by my place Permaculture Mochizuki in Saku, Nagano.

  15. mpei,
    This January 29th, 2021 Corbett Report Episode had some profound aspects related to what you are saying.
    Episode 394 – Solutions: Survival Currency
    The bucket of Show Notes is pretty full…a lot of info there.

    For me personally, Unterguggenberger and the Wörgl concept struck my interest.

  16. When you build the coup/run you should place square pavers down as the perimeter which prevents predators digging under (its too far and they give it)
    I Would also advise that you lay on top that a layer of bricks and put the wood on top of that since wet wood rots fast even if painted or treated.
    For winter and fall My chickens love to have leaves raked into the run and burrow thru them and eat the bugs and such that live in it and it keeps them warm and entertained during the indoor season where there is not sufficient cover for them to be safe…they eat considerably less food when they can Ramage thru such stuff and it an pretty good soil after a couple of years

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