Chickens are but a part of a man and his hoe®. The 800 garlic I planted last fall are shooting up. Come May, the garlic bed will provide a bounty of garlic scapes to enjoy. Much of this is made possible by all the manure the chicken produce. Every few months, I start a new compost pile. The current one is heating up. Much of this week it has been around 130ºF. It’s a bit cooler today as I thoroughly broke it down yesterday and rebuilt it. It will be hot again tomorrow. A good reference for composting, is The Science of Composting by the University of Illinois Extension.

Every time I turn the compost pile, I’m always amazed at how full of life it is. There are countless tiny creatures as well as billions of microscopic bacteria, fungi, and actinomycetes. Turning the compost pile immediately attracts many chickens. The pile contains a feast for them, and stirring it up makes it easy for them to snatch their favorite things. It’s like a fast food joint for them.

The brooding hen has ten days left before her chicks hatch. Does she have any idea how busy she will be then? What is going through her mind as she patiently waits?

It’s been a cool, drizzly day. When the hens have had enough of being out in the wet, hanging out under the eaves is popular.


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