Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Garden/Chicken Cycle

I've been thinking about the entire garden/chicken cycle and how it all works.  I spent the other day taking stuff out of the refrigerator that was "slightly expired," but not so old as to make my chickens sick.  This expired stuff included some old hot and sour soup, cottage cheese, and salad that was on the rank side, but not really disgusting.  The chickens and geese had a hey-day. 

I had also pulled out some lettuce mix that was going to seed and gave them that too along with some of the bread I got for them from the bakery outlet.  They get cucumber and carrot peelings, old tortellini, nearly expired peaches, strawberry tops, cantaloupe rinds and seeds, and other things.  They're my recyclers.  Rather than throw it in the garbage, I have to remember that the chickens can eat most anything.  The food becomes bigger chickens, eventual eggs, and poop.  I've taken the litter and poop out to the back, behind the barn, where I am stirring it up and adding tea leaves to compost it.  The compost will go onto the garden in the fall and hopefully in the cold frames for vegetables.  Do you see a cycle with this?

The more I work with my chickens, the more I realize what wonderful animals they are.  They provide very useful manure, eggs, and meat.  They dispose of waste food products.  Once they start laying, I'll be able to sell eggs, which will help pay for their feed and start up costs.  Not a bad thing.

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