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  • helpinghensfarmri

Run Muck? What Luck!

Updated: Mar 27, 2020

So, with spring finally reaching us here in the northeast and the ground not being frozen, it's time to start playing!

I have maybe a 10' x 15' area of the larger run that is just soggy. I deep litter in the run, and for some reason in this spot instead of getting a nice rich compost covered with leaves, straw, and wood chips, I get a soggy, anaerobic, foot-deep layer of compress organic material. 

I plan to move this material into a proper compost pile once I have my setup built later this season, but chomping at the bit a little with spring finally sprung, I figured I'd break up the mucky area a bit with a pick ax.  

When I started turning over the muck, which definitely has a sour smell, I was amazed by two things:

  1. Just how good a workout swinging a pick ax about feeling the burn in a hurry!

  2. The sheer number of worms and other creepy-crawly critters in the mix is really staggering.

So, from now until I get the big compost area built, I plan to turn over a half dozen or so pick ax swings worth a day to expose the muck to oxygen (to hopefully get it moving from anaerobic to aerobic), expose the worms to the chickens (and provide them a lot of free protein and entertainment), and maybe burn a few calories myself! 

Once the compost area is built, I'll get one more round of exercise carting what's left of the muck to become a great base for the compost heap. Between mixing in some extra carbon and getting it piled up high enough to heat up, I expect this muck will make great compost. 

In the picture above you can see the chickens picking and scratching through the muck I pulled away from the shed door and back of the coop.

The picture below is a bit closer look at a few chickens going at some freshly turned muck.

Talk about turning muck into good luck!

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