The Kings and Queens of the Compost Pile!

The rooster and his girls, scratching through the compost for old bits of grain and worms.

This morning our chickens had a blast, scratching through all the fresh compost we dumped into the manure pile. Each time the rooster found an extra delicious piece of grain, he’d lift it high in his beak and give his short, high-pitched cluck, saying to the hens, “Look what your Sugar Daddy has for you!”DSCF6607

I love to watch them. Chickens and compost go together like my father and the            O’ Reilly Factor. . . both need each other! The birds scratch through the decaying material, picking out hidden morsels of food and making small holes for their dust baths. By doing this, they help turn the compost and aerate the soil, speeding up the composting process! Our hens are even thoughtful enough to leave their own droppings in the mix! I call it black gold. Their droppings have more nitrogen than almost any other manure! Just remember that chicken poop takes a bit longer to compost. Give it enough time to sit so that it doesn’t burn your plants.

One of our Delaware hens. (One of the last multipurpose breeds to be developed before the hybrids were introdued.)

-One of our Delaware hens, foraging in the manure. . .This breed was  the last multipurpose breed to be developed before the hybrids took over in later years.