Thursday, 23 June 2011

The Soil Factory

Here at our place we have a dedicated team who make good garden soil for us.  They are the best kind of staff you can get.
Willing to work 7 days a week without complaint.  Paid in food and water and a roof over their heads.  And as a bonus they actually give us some of the food  they produce as well.

Check them out...
Yep these guys are hard at work for us and they do not even know it.

Our chickens have a backyard (outdoor run) that is approx 50 sq metres and it is fenced off with 6 foot fences to keep out the wildlife and puppy.  They then have a 2 storey dwelling with living and dining downstairs and bedrooms and nesting upstairs.

Upstairs Bedroom

Nesting Boxes
Surrounding their living quarters they have an encloseable courtyard that is about 6 sq metres and it is in this courtyard that most of the work happens.
The Court Yard

Every 3 months we dig out the soil that is in the courtyard and put it onto the gardens.  We then replace this soil with a thick layer of tree mulch (Hubby works as an Aborist/Tree Surgeon so we have a steady supply of weed free mulch).
Now the problem with using tree mulch on your gardens is that it leaches nitrogen from the soil, so if you are using it you need to apply additional nitrogen.  This not only stops it being leached from the soil but also helps to break down the mulch and turn it into lovely soil.
So this makes tree mulch a fantastic option for the chickens courtyard.  They add their lovely droppings (never thought I would say droppings are lovely but there you go) to the mulch layer and then as they scratch around in it and move it about they are basically turning the mulch over so that it all gets mixed together and breaks down to make lovely soil.

So that's the tour of the soil factory done and I'd better go and feed the workers.


  1. Oh we are signed up for getting some trees cut down around the units, and I have been wondering what to do with the mulch. Maybe I need to get some chickens? No not going to happen! - but I might add some chook manure to it and let it sit for awhile before using.

  2. Hi AA
    Yes you can let it sit but it takes a long time to break down just sitting in a pile. If you do not have chooks you can use seaweed solution too to help break it down.

  3. aren't they gorgeous!! i miss my hens. I agree - they make wonderful soil.

  4. I love your name for them soil factory. Clever. Your chickens look very happy. B

  5. Hi Fe,

    Love tuning in to your blog. Thank you for your birthday wishes via answer phone, (at friends having a birthday dinner)

    Have a great holiday and will catch you when you return

    Love & Hugs

    Rene & Don


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