Thursday, March 14, 2013

Holy- you know what

Here are two piles of future fertility. Weed seedy pasture grasses are part of the mix, which just means more stuff for the chickens to eat that I don't have to plant or buy.

Yesterday I cleaned out both chicken houses in the backyard. We have a greatly reduced, older flock in the back of four hens and a rooster, but they still generate a significant amount of black and white gold, even with the deep litter method, to warrant the occasion. 

The deep litter method involves putting fresh bedding over all the richness until it's as deep as you want. The layers beneath slowly compost and can help keep the place warm in the winter. However, my stores have dried up and the weather has been so wet that it has not allowed enough time for our wealth of fallen leaves to dry enough to shred and bag up. And I wanted to get some cover and pasture crop growing around the fruit and nut trees planted in the chicken pen before they wake from their winter's dormancy.
After spreading my treasure around, I need to put up some protection from the chickens  before I sow the seeds.
The inexpensive netting is stretched between a few posts, pinned to the ground using snips of old fence wire, and extended to form baffles at the top with forked sticks and scraps of twine.

Now I can sow and water (gravity fed with the rainwater collection system I built on the nearby tractor shed last year)  safely while the chickens pace the perimeter in frustration. Yes, as soon as I started throwing down seed, the rooster came over and began chattering excitedly. The hens quickly joined him to see what the fuss was about. A good test for the net barrier, which did the trick.
A good afternoon's work. A blog post of euphemisms. Just wait until the coffee kicks in.....

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