It is spring in Southern Colorado, the mountain blue birds have returned with their wives, the Crow murders are flying East to their spring nests in the high Meadowlands , the elk have come down the mountain to nibble the grasses coming up against the lingering snow and frost.
We’ve started adding the winters manure from the horse paddock to all the deep beds, cleared the coops of all the straw and replaced it with pine shavings.
All of the winters livestock bedding is mixed into the deep beds. The chickens are then released into the beds to help churn up the medium, eat any critters that may have moved in (from tasty red worms to large creepy grubs) over winter. While they are working and turning the soil the birds are also leaving behind amazing little gold nuggets in the form of chicken turds.
Once the soil has been turned by the flock, the beds are soaked with water and covered with black tarps to Solarize them.
Solarization helps speed up the composting system, kills bacteria and unwanted sprouts.