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5077Re[2]: [pfaf] Plants to follow chicken

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  • Ute Bohnsack
    Jul 16, 2010
      Friday, July 16, 2010, 10:33:18 AM, you wrote:

      Iac> why not sweep up the chicken poop and let it compost in a little pile, and keep it from
      Iac> over acidifying the ground?

      Iac> Mary Christine

      My chickens are enclosed with electric nets. This spring I moved one of the pens
      to fresh ground. The old ground (young orchard) was well used, more like
      over-used, totally bare from 2 years of scratching and poop.
      I bought some wild bird seed mix to sow there but never got around to sowing it.
      Within a few weeks the ground was green again with all manners of
      plants - Chenopodiums, chickweed, Polygonum, chamomile, stinging nettle, grasses
      etc. The tortured (by the chickens) horseradish under the apple trees exploded
      into growth. It is now 5 ft. high. I have been taking lots of greens from this
      new growth for chicks in other runs and in the brooder and even grazed the goats
      over part of the massive new growth.
      Recently I even discovered mushrooms (champignons) that I'd never
      before seem on our land.
      Encouraged by this I moved another bit of fencing in an adjacent run and planted
      some courgettes. They aren't doing so well though, probably too shaded from
      large trees and competing with tree roots. But in one sunny patch I put up a
      ring of 1/4 inch weldmesh, 5ft high, 5ft in diameter - the weldmesh is to stop the
      tiny chicks from slipping through - lightly forked the ground and planted a mix of
      lettuces, rainbow chard, and leeks. They are doing great. This could be done at a
      larger scale.
      Now I'm not saying this works everywhere. I'm in Ireland and our climate is mild
      and wet. Perhaps with all the rain, more of the faeces get washed away,
      fertilizing the bordering biomass & shelter willows. Our soil here is a loamy
      I'm still going to sow the wild bird mix in another run, just for more
      diversity, but, at least in our place, there seems to be a massive seed bank in
      the soil that fills the vacuum as soon as the birds are removed.

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