Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Jump Start on Spring Chores

2C is absolutely insane in Ottawa (we're zone 5b) it should be -20c, or less with the wind chill. So I took full advantage of the warm weather on Monday since hubs was home to watch the kids (holiday).

 Why my muscles hate me today!
The deep litter worked quite well, in some areas more the others. There was a lot of build up under the water buckets, but that's also were the litter was the most decomposed. I think for next year I'll water the litter and see if that helps it along. I'm also trying to think of a way to add some worms to the litter (since we can't have any come up through the dirt, it's a concrete floor) but the chickens will just eat them all.
 The goats are "helping" again. 
We got all these wood-chips from hydro when they trimmed back all the trees around us. Be careful what you wish for because we ended up with 3 giant piles! The ones of the farthest left and right are great, very nice chips. The pile in the middle has a lot of greenery in it, so it's composting and steaming quite a bit.

It was the middle pile I used for the chicken coop, mostly because I needed to break that pile up before the wood chars.

The goats are quite happy to help clear out the pile, judging by my "goat pruned" trees around here, they really love a little evergreen in their diet.

 This is the first time I've walked into the chicken coop and thought it smelled really good! The chips are mostly cedar so it's quite nice in there. The chickens seem very happy with their new bedding, and I really quite like it as a flooring too. Maybe not quite as warm as the straw that was down before, but we'll see. It's already composting well too so it's warm just from that.

Happy Chickens
And because that wasn't enough work
I also removed the 1-2' of deep litter from the pig pen. That was a lot of work. Lots & lots of very wet and composting straw and old hay. Plus I started just before their dinner time I was navigating very heavy fork-fulls around annoyed goats.

I used the mostly chip pile to fill up their pen with just a few inches of bedding. Pigs are so clean I can easily scoop out the back 4" of their pen every now and then over the summer to keep the whole pen clean. Then I threw some hay into the sty for them to make a new bed for themselves. They seem to eat quite a bit of the hay as well as sleeping under it, so I really think it's a good thing to keep giving them and they only take a few flakes a week.

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