I spent saturday shoveling shit.
Yes, literally. It was time to clean the chicken coop! And the chickens are very happy now.
Not that our coop was particularly bad this year. I’ve really come to love the deep litter method. It sounds fancy, but really it’s just code for “throw another bale of shavings in on top of the mess.” Our coop is 10’x10′ with about 15 birds living there and I added another 9 cubic feet of shavings each month.
Theoretically I’ve heard this helps compost things in the coop and adds warmth to the space. I’m not sure I buy that. Maybe it works that way in Virginia, but up here in VT everything is still freezing solid. That’s why I can’t just go in and shovel it out over the winter.
One bale of shavings is $4 at the feed store, and that price it totally worth the ease and non-stinky-ness of cleaning the coop this weekend. I mean, yes, there was still some stink. But hey, that’s chicken poop for ya. And I dumped the whole lot of it right next to my lawn, so it can’t be that bad…
Instead of composting this year’s waste I’m putting it right to use. We have a 8-10″ drop at the edge of our lawn, it’s leftover from pulling tree stumps and roots (which were about 2 feet from our leech field – eek!) and we’ve been meaning to fill it in for 3 years. I dumped the coop waste over the winter’s food scraps right next to my lawn. Then covered it all temporarily with paving stones to keep the dogs from rolling in it. Next my plan is to cover it with mulch and plant annuals there. NEXT year it should be a lovely garden bed AND be at the height of the grass next to it. Hooray!