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  • helpinghensfarmri

Mid-February 2021 Updates

It's mid-February and it is COLD around here. We've had a few mid-sized snowfalls of late, with below our usual seasonal average temps.

While that's kind of par for the course here in New England, it certainly does make processing food waste a bit less enjoyable.

That being said, we've been keeping at our pickups of food waste (up to twice a week now) and dropping off eggs to the church food pantry.

The days are already getting quite a bit longer, and the daylight is increasing our egg output from some of the older hens that had slowed down significantly after a molt late last year. We're also starting to get a few eggs from the new flock members who arrived in August...1-2 a day so far, but I expect that will explode soon and we'll buried in eggs.

That is really exciting because I feel like we're on the cusp of really upping our game and being able to help feed a LOT of people.

As soon as we get a warm stretch, I need to get the nesting box setup in the big coop finished up. I have the materials to do that, but it's no fun trying to do work in tight spaces with frozen fingers.

While we are continuing to add food waste to the pile, unfortunately our normal carbon source (leaves) are under a few inches of snow. To help keep the pile balanced, I added some hay this last weekend.

All told, it was probably about one bale of hay, and only about half of that was fresh hay - the rest came from our "under the rabbit hutch" manure catching setups, soiled nesting box hay, and some hay the goats wasted. Even if it was a whole fresh bale, it'd have been money well spent.

I buy my hay locally for $6 a bale for top quality hay, and $4 for slightly lesser grade hay I use for things like nesting boxes, under the rabbit hutches, and the like.

So, for less than $4, the pile gets in infusion of carbon, the flock gets some nice dry footing, plus some nice grass and seeds for the flock to snack on. I'm interested to see if any seeds from the hay sprout as the weather warms up, which would provide further snacks for the flock.

Overall, not a bad value to keep the pile in good shape during a less than ideal time of year. I'm really interested to see how the pile takes off when the weather warms up.

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