Monday, January 9, 2012
Cleaning the Hen House and Gardening January 8, 2012!
I felt so lucky to have a free day today to work outside. A sunny day, in January in the Northwest is rare treat. I even had to discard my jacket because I got HOT. The dogs, Kimmy and Buck stayed by my side while I worked.
Cleaning the barn has to be done every day, but taking the manure outside on a dry sunny day is a lot better then in the rain or snow.
The chickens were thrilled when I cleaned out the chicken house, replacing the used nesting material in their boxes with fresh hay and wood shavings. The main part of the hen house is where the real dirty work was, I shoveled out all the old manure and replaced it with fresh hay and a thin layer of cedar chips. (Wearing a filter mask.)
To make the job more enjoyable, I replaced the 2 x 4 chunk of wood that has been used to prop the chicken door open every day for several years with a chain and hook ... a major improvement. Taking this little bit of extra time to do something I've wanted to do for a long time, sweetened the job and energized me.
The chickens notice these improvements, they are very keen to change, they like to come in, inspect the house and scratch around.
Ann and Rich Anderson who also keep a flock of chickens here on the ranch in my mom's old hen house, cleaned and scrubbed their house today too. We chatted as our paths crossed, sharing the wheelbarrow and tools.
The whole chicken community is clean, happy and healthy!
Nothing is wasted, I put all the manure where it can aged and will be used in the garden and grow boxes. Using as many of the resources right here on the ranch and avoiding commercial products is most rewarding.
Making compost from kitchen scraps, yard clippings and manure is an all around good practise.