I've never been a fan of deep litter style chicken runs... but I do dump their coop bedding into the run just to keep the soil covered (since naturally they consume every living thing down to bare earth!) I'm coming around though. There's a few placed they scratched down to the dirt lately and it's beautiful black earth under there now!
It may be time for me to stop being so controlling with my yard and other waste and just leave it for the birds to sort out. The work of moving it to them and collecting it is likely less work than trying to mix compost and turn it myself.
So what do you think? Could I toss in a few piles of leaves and grass clippings and just give them a year or so to break it down for me?
A few loads will probably not last very long, but absolutely, give those girls some yard "waste", they will love it!
When there isn't any bulk carbon in the run, I will turn the soil with a fork.
They come running, picking through the chunks, scratching, digging, eating things too small for me to see.
I even give them woody branch prunings that have green leaves.
The eat what they want and leave the rest.
I leave it until I'm ready to turn the soil, then I rake them into a pile for bio char making.
We used to have a compost pile, but we quit it since the yard waste portion that went to the bird yard always turned out better looking. They are happy and it's one less thing for us to do.
Like William, my husband turns over chunks of dirt for the flock and they come running to him when they see him with a shovel or fork! Fun to watch😀
We have also put some bigger stumps in their run to turn periodically for them to get to the critters than collect underneath. Want to keep them happy since they can't always free range. Like berry season...first year we had chickens and no contained run they ate about 40 pounds of blueberries. A painful lesson.
Ruth Stout was famous for gardening naked. Just like this tiny ad:
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