Recycle your shredded shrubs into deep chicken litterPosted by Fiona Nevile in Chickens, Discoveries | 9 comments
Since I started keeping chickens I’ve always used gravel in the 30’ x 6’ run. Gravel provides drainage – when it rains the chicken poo is washed away. If it doesn’t rain you can turn over the gravel and, if you are energetic, worms appear. Special treats for the chickens.
Six bags just cover the run. Applied four times yearly, you are looking at quite a sizable bill. At least £36 for just one a spread. If you don’t buy something to raise and aerate the ground the chickens are standing in foul mud. Diseases increase. And what animal apart from a hippo would glory in mud.
The ground level has been raised by about 3” over the last 7 years. Even though chickens are light the gravel quickly sinks into the mud. I buy the bags – not economical I know – but they are handy and I can just transport them to the wheelbarrow and drag them quickly into the run. Chickens trying to escape to the great world yonder can be a bit of a nightmare. They wouldn’t last a second if they came face to face with a Min Pin or, even worse, a hunting trio.
I was just about to get some more gravel when I read this post from the super blog The Really Good Life.
Sometimes the lateral thinking of a recycling genie completely passes me by. Canny recycling tips can be huge step.
Initially I empathised over all those steps! Then the next morning I began to plot and plan. If I shredded things that were neither poisonous or had thorns, I could use this material in the chicken run. No more waiting for years for things to break down on the Pension Compost Heap. This is our long term heap that never seems to produce anything particularly useful for the garden.
So this afternoon I shredded some of the autumn and spring prunings. There were a lot lying all over the garden and as I wanted to mow the lawn, this session was a priority. I was assisted by Danny who is a wow with the long handled loppers and saved me a lot of time. When the shredded stuff was spread over the run the chickens came down from their roost to inspect. They always love the arrival of the gravel. But the shredded stuff was lighter. Kickable and the most scratchable medium that the old gang had ever come in contact with. Success! The five newbies kept their distance so tommorow I'll shred enough to cover the run.
I left them at dusk happily playing, searching, sniffing and tasting. The perfect way to recycle our woody trimmings. And they organic, safe and free.
How do I know what is not poisonous and safe for my flock? Check whether you can make wine from the flowers of your shredded shrubs. Easy peasy.
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