5077Re: [pfaf] Plants to follow chicken
- Jul 16, 2010Friday, 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
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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