Sunday, September 29, 2013

Here's to Chickens!

Having Molly back the past few weeks has been more of a blessing than we could ever imagine. The kids and I have been enjoying spoiling her with bits of apples, walks to graze front yard grass (since the chickens depleted the backyard grass years ago!) and we've all been caught taking an afternoon snooze with her in the sunshine, lying up against her big belly as it rises and falls, taking in the breeze. Sometimes the kids and I like to talk about whether or not she'll calf a little girl or boy come February and what we'll name him or her. Only time will tell.

However, with the blessing of Molly has come a certain manure source. I say source because I have full intention to utilize it to its full advantage as fertilizer for potted plants, the garden and even our front  yard grass. My problem is how to break it down into a usable compost, and FAST!

We purchased 1,000 red wiggler worms a few weeks ago and after getting them in the mail last week, we added them to two of our blue, food-grade buckets of Molly's manure. The last time we did this experiment, it took approximately 2 weeks to break down the manure into a beautiful, odorless peat moss. So, I've got those little guys working for me currently. But we still have a few more barrels of manure to figure out what to do with.

Hmmm...think, think, think... Isaac (who has also been a great helper).

I got on the computer and started researching videos and I came across this one (above). When they title their videos and DVDs as Homestead Blessings, they truly are blessings. I can't tell you how  many times I've taken something interesting away from their knowledge. They suggested a concoction to feed their chickens, making THEM do the work. Leaves, kitchen scraps, hay and manure. Duh! Why didn't I think of this?
I immediately ran out back to fill some wheelbarrows full of my "problem" and distributed it to my egg-laying beauties. They quickly began working for me, scratching through the hay and such, looking for fly larvae, barley seed, etc.

The video says that it takes a few weeks, so I'll have to remind myself to update what our finished product looks like.
 Here's to chickens!


Rachel E. said...

That's a great video. My son has started free ranging our chickens lately, but I worry about them picking through my compost pit because of the onions. I have heard onions are not safe for chickens to eat. It seems this family doesn't seem too concerned. The chickens love it. I may just start doing it like they do it. Dump everything in the chickens pen and let them work it. I know they love the leaves that fall from the trees. I know there are times I look in and see a little head pop up now an then.

My other concern is horse droppings. I need to research whether or not a vaccinated horse's droppings are safe for organic gardening and such.

Jana said...

I so appreciate you sharing what you are learning as you go! It has been a blessing for our family and a huge help to me!