I just read a wonderful article about using chickens to “turn” a compost pile until it is mulch. This aligns with our goal of having working chickens that add and benefit the garden.
I am linking a few of the photos (particularly the before and after shots), so to get the full article and more pictures, follow here: Composting with Chickens – BackYard Chickens Community.
Composting also allows us to cycle through the Franken-hay that we inadvertently bought. In a pinch, we purchased some hay from the local co-op. After working with the hay, Rebecca broke out in a pretty severe rash on any skin that was exposed to the hay particles floating in the air. When asked at the co-op, they indicated that it was “normal” hay, probably just treated with a little 2,4-D.
We are now buying straw and hay from a local farmer committed to organic practices. The hay is not as green, but we are finding that the greener the hay, the more toxic the hay.
A final note, Penelope the duck has started laying again. She has been fallow for about a month, with an occasional “rubber” egg–an egg whose shell isn’t completely firm. We tried providing oyster shells to help, but it (coincidentally?) seems to correlate with removing all of the co-op hay and introducing the organically-grown hay. After two days with the better hay, the shell has firmed up.
The franken-hay is being moved well away.
- Urban Green Tip: How To Compost in the City (shawnacoronado.com)
- How do you start composting? Part 1: Composting for free (sweethollowalmanac.com)
- How Do I Keep Composting? Part 2: Getting in the Habit (sweethollowalmanac.com)
- 9 Steps to Start an Organic Garden (greenerideal.com)
- How to Teach Kids About Using a Compost (groundtoground.org)