Our 10 laying hens have two jobs to do for us:
1. Lay farm fresh, nutritious tasty eggs. That hasn’t started yet but should soon. Let’s go girls!
2. Work as composting assistants. Their duty is to help speed up the composting of material that we need to become usable to enrich the garden soil. In the area around the house, the soil is thin with rocks near the surface and it needs the addition of lots of compost as mulch.
When we first got them, our 10 girls seemed rather timid and not particularly active. That is probably because they are quite young (19 or 20 weeks) and likely were raised in a big barn in which food was always available in a trough for them. Thus, they didn’t have much opportunity nor a need to be very active.But they are rapidly changing and are becoming more active and more eager workers. We feed them well but let them get a little bit hungry between feedings so they are eager to come to us, thinking that we might have something for them, and also are willing to work for their food. Several times a day we have scattered their feed on the big pile of leaves that we collected in the Fall from neighbours in the forested area around Andrew & Colleen’s cottage (see Farming Plan, #2 – second section but note that we don’t yet have pigs). They scratch through the leaves in search of their food, helping the leaves to compost by shredding and aerating them and by dropping lots of nitrogen on them. They’re happy, we’re happy and, hopefully, the plants in our garden will be happy this summer!
Sometime in the next month or two we hope to have pigs and apparently they can really turn a big pile over quickly. In the meantime, here is a video of some of our girls contentedly doing their job for us.
Easter greetings to everyone!