Monday, July 9, 2012

Chicken Compost

Thanks to the blister bugs taking down the foliage on a large number of our tomato plants leaving tomatoes to scorch in the sun before ripening, the chickens are eating well right now.  These are a few pictures of the compost pile in the chicken yard.





The goats and the chickens have really played an important role this year in cleaning up our garden.  While the goats have been busy taking care of the dying squash plants, all of the tomato debris has been given to the chickens.  We didn't realize what a good job the critters were doing for us until we left a pile of plants in an area not frequented by goats or chickens.  Despite being far from the garden, it took two days for the blister bugs to find that pile of debris and move in.  We won't make that mistake again!

2 comments:

  1. I know nothing about gardening. So what would happen if you put the chickens in the garden when the bugs first started? Would the chickens eat the tomatoes too, or just the bugs?

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    1. Good question! We used to let our chickens in the garden when we first started gardening. The biggest problem we had with them was in the early spring, when they would scratch they could really tear up some seedlings and pull them out of the ground. If we waited a month or two after planting though they did relatively little damage to the plants. Our issue with chickens in the garden now though has to do with food safety when selling our vegetables. If we were only growing for ourselves I would not hesitate to let our chickens in the garden. But since we are growing for others and have to comply with the National Organic Program guidelines, we cannot allow raw manure in the garden within 90 days of harvesting the vegetables. I think letting the chickens in though would definitely make a difference.

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