Sunday, March 13, 2011

Chickens + compost = WOW

(Fair warning, this post comes to you via my iPad, and I'm not a thumb-typing prodigy, so I'm vagely concerned that this will end up on "damn you autocorrect!". But my husband has our main computer, and besides, I'm outside...)

I redid the fencing for the chickens yesterday, giving them access to the compost pile for the first time. Oh, what I wouldn't give for before and after shots! When they started in on it, the pile was essentially a fermenting mass of ick (that through some miracle, didn't smell). But they joyously scratched, pecked, scraped, and just generally partied down right through that pile. When I returned, the pile was a lovely, crumbly, black humus--almost exactly what the textbooks tell you it should look like. True story, today I put some of this gorgeousness out on one of my garden beds, and I didn't even screen it. (Mostly due to laziness and the fact that I don't own a screen, but still, it worked.) I actually had to put the fourth wall slats back on, since the pile was now such loose crumbliness that it wasn't staying put anymore. This, incidentally, required that I put the top brace back on to hold the sides together, which makes a lovely perch. The compost pile is now my chicken's most very favorite place to be.

I've got a day off tomorrow, since I've been working 10-14 hour days for the past week with a group of Spring Break Service Trip kids, which was awesome. I probably got too attached to them, given that I knew they'd only be here for a week, but ah well. They did such a great job and worked so hard. I think they genuinely absorbed our message of a faith-practice focused on care of creation.

Oh, and along those lines, we're also running a pilot version of Lent 4.5 both at my work and at my church (Unitarian Universalist--yeah, tell me you're surprised). If you have any inclination to a faith-based ecological perspective, I heartily encourage you to look into this program, its vey good stuff.


  1. My chickens love my compost pile, too. I've taken scads of pictures. My 2 piles are about 8 feet tall and 12 feet they play *King of the Hill* all the piles have enough big juicey worms to populate the planet! I get my compost from the local mushroom it comes in semi-truck and trailer loads.

  2. Oh Yay! I love that spring is bringing on posts about compost. This is the third I've read today - wrote one yesterday. And you've given me a great idea of where to house my meat birds this year...or my pigs. I will take before and after photos - thanks for the tip.