19 September 2010

Just add water

Yesterday's not-so-fun job was emptying the chicken's stall of litter. There were about seven barrow-loads of it, which are now sitting outside the greenhouse, ready to be turned into chicken manure. Of course when you want it to rain, it doesn't, so I'll be watering this heap along with the greenhouse beds for the next week or so, to get the process going. Then once it's good and hot, I'll cover it with tarpaulin and let it rot down over the next few months.

When I look at this pile I'm planning how it's going to help improve my vegetable garden next year. I certainly hadn't thought about it as a source of food for anything other than my plants. But while doing a little research on how best to turn it into chicken manure I came across this disturbing article from last year about how cattle are being fed poultry litter to bulk out more expensive animal feed. This practice is illegal in Canada, but not in the US. How can anyone think that it's a good idea to feed faecal matter from one animal to another? Poor cows.

In case that has left a bad taste in your mouth, here are a couple of photos I took today of flowers and insects, to change the subject.


Carole in England said...

Isn't that how BSE started?

Lucy Corrander said...

The ways in which cows are treated seem to be getting worse on several fronts.