Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Composted Horse Manure

Composted Horse Manure Pile on Side of House
Of all the things I imagined myself learning as a child, the nuances of horse manure wasn't on the list. While I LOVED horses and never minded their manure, I didn't picture myself taking it home with me one day. Life is funny like that....I actually wrote an article about the subject for eHow a few years ago.

This whole horse manure expertise began when we decided to start our garden. My husband did a ton of research and realized there was FINALLY something useful my horse could provide - manure. In exchange for the thousands of hours of time and countless dollars spent on said horse, I agreed to transport horse manure IN MY CAR from the barn in plastic tubs to our house to use for the garden.  (See a picture of said bounty in my previous post on this topic, Easter Poop.)

Well, it is now 2013 and I have a different car and a different horse boarding situation, making the acquisition of poop much more difficult than it was a few years ago. Enter Rototiller Guy. We used him to rip out our sod prior to turning our backyard into Chicken Paradise and he also provides manure delivery by the truckload to your house.

So we now have a lovely pile of composted horse manure on the side of our house. My husband is working to fill all of our beds with it, but it is a HUGE project. It took him several days to dig our trash barrels out. :) He is getting a great workout, though. Hopefully our garden will be extra verdant due to all his hard work!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Homestead Revival: Urban Chicks

I thought my Eglu was something special, but I've discovered people out there who are much more creative and industrious than myself when it comes to the dwelling they provide their feathered friends!

Exhibit A is this Pinterest Board showcasing the many amazing coops Austin, Texas. At left is one of the unbelievably luxurious coops I discovered perusing this board.

A friend also forwarded me the link to an excellent blog called "Homestead Revival," which had an entry on urban chickens. Read on for more some amazing urban coops - Homestead Revival: Urban Chicks.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Mother Cluckers

It has been a busy few weeks here at the urban farm. Luckily with more daylight hours the chickens have finally ramped up the egg production. Up until the end of this week we've only been getting one egg a day from our Leghorn chicken Marge. Imagine my surprise when I went to put the chickens away at the end of the day and discovered 4 eggs in the laying box! I guess Spring has officially arrived.

The better weather unfortunately ignited a wanderlust in the chickens, as they have been escaping their pen on a daily basis this week. Since wing clipping is a two person job, we had to wait until today to give everyone a little snip. The photo at top left is of our decimated kale plant! (Mother cluckers!)

The hardest part about wing clipping is the catching of the chickens. Luckily Mr. Mills volunteered to crawl in the cage and face off with the ladies, who started screeching and flapping their wings at the sight of him invading their home. Fortunately for us, once they are caught and turned upside down they are putty in our hands! 

Now that wing clipping is complete we have to start thinking about seedlings. We had good luck with squash, cucumbers, kale and chard last year, but completely failed at growing heirloom tomatoes. Hopefully we can fix that this year, and add to our kale bed since that is a popular juice and dinner vegetable.