my work in progress

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by macey, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Junior Member

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    With the bed that chickens are clearing, in the last photo in the album, how long does it take them to reduce all the greenery left over, clear the bed and fertilise it?
     
  2. macey

    macey Junior Member

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    Hey Matt,
    I find a fortnight to be adequate, but I'm allowing 3 weeks per bed this year. More to get a better spread as far as having a continuous supply of veg. Last year we still found we had feast and famine at times lol.
    The bed is mostly cleared already after about 4 days. We were a bit worried that it wouldn't be as quick to be cleared this time round as the birds are not confined to the bed, they can always go back to the main run and coop/greenhouse unless we are home to close the entry to the bed while they are in there. Doesn't seem to be an issue though it helps to throw in some feed pellets to encourage them in and scratching. Still needs more time to get the amount of chicken s--t it requires though! I'll take some progress photos to give an idea.....
     
  3. macey

    macey Junior Member

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  4. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Junior Member

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    Day-UMMM.

    So that was, what, 2 days? 3 days?
     
  5. macey

    macey Junior Member

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    yeah about 4 days
     
  6. macey

    macey Junior Member

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    the bed is now completely clear of all greenery, I'll give the girls another week to fertilise, and scratch in any extra dressings I think will be useful, some wood ash and possibly a little extra compost.
     
  7. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    One thing to be aware of is if you leave them on longer than the 2 weeks reccommended you could run into a situation where you have too much nitrogen in/on the bed.

    I discovered this when I felt I had to leave the chooks on a couple of beds for a month each.
    Some things than need alot of nitrogen did really well but things like beans didnt and just produced alot of greenery.

    I suppose this could be turned to advantage by planting nitrogen hungry things on these spots.
     
  8. macey

    macey Junior Member

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    good point.... i'll give them the week and be careful with my plantings!
     
  9. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    They'll be fine with the chooks on for two weeks, just not 4 which I wont ever do again.
     
  10. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    One way to circumvent this is to use a modified deep litter system. Throw shredded paper, hay or something carbon rich into the dome to make a nice thick layer. When the chooks move on scoop it up and compost it. You'll have captured much of the manure, and added some carbon to the bed so you don't end up with a smelly ammonia pile, and have the beginnings of really good compost. It creates extra work, but if there's a good reason to not move the chooks it'll stop you having a nonproductive bed for 6 months.
     
  11. macey

    macey Junior Member

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    thats a good idea eco, I think i'll do that for the 3rd week on the next bed (bed 3) it'd crossed my mind to dump all of the mulch for the bed on in the last week for them to pick through, which could then just be raked level and the bed planted....... I don't think over fertilisation will be an issue if they are on the bed for 3 weeks as they don't spend all there time on the bed, they still have access to the main chook run as well as the coop throughout the day.
     

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