Twenty broilers raised
bedding = fertility
for 15 blueberry and gooseberry bushes. Don’t you love farm math?
haven’t cleaned out the other chicken coop yet, but I’m hopeful that
it’ll have at least twice as much bedding. We raised nearly as
many broilers down there last summer, and it also housed four hens
until fall, and now is home to eleven chickens.
Even that much deep
bedding won’t be enough to fertilize
the rest of my perennials, though, since I have four long rows of
brambles, one of hardy kiwis, and one of grapes, plus two pears, four
peaches, four apples, and one plum. Maybe I’ll be able to scrape
up enough bedding to topdress the trees, which are likely to wake up
before our driveway dries up enough to
bring in off-farm fertility.
As I plan 2012’s
broilers, I can’t help wondering which is more important — the
delicious meat or the high quality, on farm compost. No wonder my
goals this year are simple — to raise as many chickens as our
pastures will bear.