29 November 2007

Chicken Powered Composter cont.

As I mentioned the other day, the leaves in the chickens pen needed a little muddling. After we had filed the pen, it rained plenty for most of two weeks. All of the precipitation weighed heavily on the leaves, forming a thick matted layer that stuck itself to the ground.

We got a few rain showers earlier this morning, but the sun came out later in the afternoon and it warmed up quite nicely. Armed with a pitchfork and camera, I set out to turn the tangle of leaves. I chose to use a pitchfork instead of a rake for this job because any rake we own would either too flimsy or would uselessly clog. I believe that I chose wisely because the job took only about fifteen to twenty minutes.

Afterwards it was obvious that the leaves were well on their way. They still need to be broken down a bit more, but there was the musky smell of composting and the chickens seemed to have an easier time making their way through the heaps. I suppose that we could give it another two weeks and then it would be time to collect the lot into a more tradition compost bin.

When the leaves are removed there will obviously be nothing but bare earth in the pen. This may be a little messy when it starts to snow. I think we may look to add another batch of leaves or some straw. We'll revisit the subject when it comes about.

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