Friday, May 3, 2013

Seriously Shredded Part 2

Out for a quick stroll
after being cooped up
during the blizzard

Last winter we had lots of snow followed by lots of rain. Some of the  breeding coops would turn into swamps. I would throw alternating  layers of straw and leaves on top of the mud so it wasn't miserable. I  got a few coops cleaned out mid-season but then in February we got  like 14 inches of snow in like 2 days. Over the course of the next  week, inside each open air coop, the snow slowly melted until finally the birds were walking around wet with nasty mud half-way up their legs.

My supply of leaves was paltry - given the exceptional drought, leaves  turned to dust instead of getting raked and bagged. Straw was not  sufficient alone and the coops were simply too big for wood chips be  particularly useful.

I was at wits end when I stumbled upon a large  and steady supply of shredded office paper. The birds could at least  come out of the houses and kick about the paper. The first layer of  paper worked like a charm and seemed to sort of meld together with the  barn dirt forming a nice paper mash not unlike homemade paper. I was  pleased and I continued to add layers alternating straw and shredded  paper.

I'd been using shredded paper for about two months when I realized I was no longer being as careful as I had been.  Little pieces would get stuck on my feet when I walked into the coops and I would track them all over the yard.  The chickens would scratch about and paper would end up in the yard.  Open a door on a windy day and paper would blow out into the yard. It was getting out of hand.

And then it began to rain.....

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