Friday, November 20, 2009

"The Re-organized Chicken Run with Compost Bins....AND, The New "Girls"...."

Earlier this week, I began clearing up all of the leaves in the backyard. After adding some to our 2 compost bins, I made the decision to move the compost bins from in front of the chicken coop, to behind it. And in the process, make room for a 3rd bin.

This photo shows the area they were moved from. There is now a nice large open "run" for the chickens, which continues around the side and back of the coop as before.

This shows the 3 new compost bins. The larger 2 will hold the beginning and middle stages for the compost), and the 3rd, barely seen in the right foreground, will hold the completed or nearly completed compost. Unfortunately, I had to use the 1st 2 bins for leaves this year, but am confident I will be able to turn all of number 1's leaves into bin number 2 prior to next Fall's leaf pickup. That's my plan anyway...... ;)

By moving the chain link compost bins, I was also able to empty and move the Dane County compost bins to outside of the chicken run, allowing easier access to them without having to go into the run.

A wider view of the area......

The entire back of the yard used to be chicken run, from fence to fence. This Spring I changed the chain link panels to once again make a smaller run, due to having less chickens. When the run was larger, I just raked the leaves into the run and the chickens scratched through them finding bugs/worms and other delectable things to eat, and in the process, turned the leaves, breaking them down, and adding their nitrogen rich "matter" to the mix, too. So in my clean up this Fall, I raked that area and of course, the ground was bare beneath the decomposing leaves. I never thought I'd say/write this, but I may have to plant grass seed this Fall (shudder!!!! More to mow!).

The next 2 photos give a wider view of the chicken coop, run, and compost bins.

I must say, I am quite proud of how much I got done in a few days. As most of you know, I am more of an in-house body, working with my fiber addiction. ;)

In yesterday's short post, I told you of our new little pullets. They will not be laying eggs for awhile (usually pullets begin laying eggs around 5-6 months old), but will begin in Spring when the days are longer and they receive enough daylight to trigger their egg production.

Introducing "The Girls"! We've not named them as yet, but I'm sure that will happen this weekend when we both can go out to the coop together during daylight hours.

Once again, the brown pullets are Red Sex Linked Hens.

The black pullet is a Black Australorp.

And the gold pullet is a Buff Orpington.

So far, I've had to go out and physically pick them up and put them through the little door and into their nest box area, and in the morning, go out to usher them out and down the ramp, into the feed/water area. I hope they are quick learners. They will remain inside the coop until they acclimatized themselves to their environment, then they'll be allowed out into the run area.


Barb said...

Wow! Fabulous job. You did an amazing amount of work. I like the new arrangement. It seems a shame to put stupid old grass back in the newly fertilized section. I wonder if there is some shade tolerant edible perennial that could serve as a ground cover. Or maybe some berry bushes? I have a book about "forest gardening" you could borrow...

Janice Zindel said...

Mike, I had no idea you could have chickens in Madison! Neighbors don't object? Or lots big enough that chickens don't bother anyone?

Your re-arrangement of the area looks great. Perhaps a book on shade gardening? Or Barb's
"forest gardening" for ideas of easy-to-care-for plantings.