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Garden Helpers

July 13th, 2013

I’ve mentioned before that we got our pigs partly to do some garden work.  They’re workhorses when it comes to moving soil and clearing sod.  On Thursday I put them in the chicken run to break up the compost.  Ever since we moved here I’ve been adding weeds and grass clippings to the chicken run.  I also add any bedding from the chicken or duck house.  The chickens have a blast scratching through it and eventually it all composts down into a beautiful soil amendment.
pigs in the chicken yard 1
I was contemplating how to dig it all out earlier in the week, then I remember we had our piggies.  Into the chicken run they went and they happily softened up all the wonderful compost for me.  Now I just need to bring in my shovel and wheelbarrow.  I’ll most likely compost this a little further since it will have a small amount of fresh chicken manure in it.
pigs in the chicken yard 2
I was wondering how the pigs would do with the chickens, I’ve heard that some pigs eat chickens.  Most of the chickens were allowed to roam free, then the pigs were let in.  Our guineas and one chicken wouldn’t leave, so I watched closely to see what would happen.  The pigs completely ignored them and went happily about rooting.
pigs in the chicken yard 3
Next year I’m hoping to add a special chicken composting area.  It will be a small coop connected to a big composting area.  All the yard/garden waste will be added to the composting area and the resident composter chickens will turn the pile for me. I love using animals to my benefit, not only does it make them happy and healthy, it saves me having to do a lot of extra work! I’m also thinking in the future of training a dog to pull a garden cart for me, how convenient would that be?

Do you have any animals that work for you?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.