Welcome to the jungle…

I guess I should start with some kind of welcome message and explain why I’m here and what I’m doing…. So, er… welcome! My name is Sam and I work as a research scientist in Melbourne, Australia (although I am originally from the UK).

I have long been fairly environmentally conscious, growing veggies, recycling and refusing to simply throw things away (some might call it hoarding…), but amid growing climate change and other environmental concerns, these small measures seem somehow not enough to make much of a difference. So I’ve decided to push a bit further, to try to take bigger steps to living a more sustainable life, and to document my experiments, successes and failures here. True to my background in science, I hope to include at least some scientific rationale, explanation or logic to the things I am trying to do, but we’ll see how that goes.

Firstly to address the elephant (or rather fowl) in the room – why jungle chickens? Well… as I will most likely discuss in an upcoming post, we recently moved from metropolitan Melbourne out to a more rural area on the ’urban fringe’, and with our new home we (well mainly me!) also decided to get some chickens. I’m a lifelong animal lover, and want our chooks to have the best possible life with lots of time outside their coop to forage and doing their chicken thing. I’ve noticed that in particular, they seem to enjoy going underneath the bushes, and scratching around amongst the undergrowth to unearth bugs and worms to eat (or eating the undergrowth itself!). Chickens originated in Asia and would have lived their lives in the jungle areas, foraging on the forest floor.

I like to imagine that when they’re skulking around in the bushes like small feathery ninjas hunting down and digging for food, that they’re happy to be returning in some way to their jungle chicken roots. And definitely far away from the artificial, unnatural and unsustainable lives of many chickens raised in modern intensive farming environments.

Time spent watching ‘chicken TV’ in our garden got me to thinking about how I long to do the ‘chicken’ thing – perhaps not to scratch around in the dirt and poop all over the garden, but to live a more sustainable, less artificial and overall simpler life. I don’t know if I’m the first person to make poultry-inspired lifestyle changes, but I’m excited to be embarking on the jungle chickens path wherever it may lead!

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