Thursday, 27 June 2013
Grazing it down...
In between our perimeter windbreaks (mature willow and spruce) lies a golden opportunity.
Grasses & "weeds" give a lush appearance to this area (and are doing some good in repairing the soil), but we have decided to put the area to much more productive use before any more seed setting occurs...
The Humble Chicken
We erected temporary fencing and set our hens free to graze the area down in hopes that they'd make a dent in the weeds before they all went to seed.
(You know that when I say "we", I mean "he", right? I can't take a lick of credit for that, Kelly did it all while I was away for the day on course last weekend - what a guy!)
Well by golly, those hens thought they took the Concorde to Utopia and set to work scratching and grazing in the woodland area like there was no tomorrow (after all, chickens are woodland creatures).
What was previously VERY "weedy", now looks like this after just one week:
Can you believe the power of "Chicken"?
1) graze down "weeds"
2) eat insects
3) fertilize the trees
4) lightly till the area
5) produce nutritious orange yolked eggs
All of that in exchange for moving a fence over 30 feet. To heck with horse power (HP), we harness chicken power (herein called: CP) at Little Home In The Country!
Tomorrow, we move the fence down the tree line and watch the magic unfold once again...
** Of special note to anyone interested in Rhode Island Reds... we have NEVER in our entire chicken keeping lives (going back some 20 years) had any breed of poultry that came even remotely close to the grazing efficiency of these Reds. They reign supreme! Our Rhode pullets won't be in lay until the Fall, but by golly, those birds are growing fast and are so robustly healthy. They are a tad bit more skittish than our mature hens (of great breed diversity), but I highly recommend them for their ability to forage. They are excellent dual purpose birds that are very winter hardy (which is a bonus in our clime).